Motoring history secured as trust finds new home

Car display
Car display

One of the great names in British motoring history was celebrated at a special event with classic vehicles and family members.

The occasion was the opening of a permanent home for the Rootes Archive Centre Trust in Wroxton on April 22.

Ribbon cutting by Rev William Rootes NNL-180805-143233001

Ribbon cutting by Rev William Rootes NNL-180805-143233001

The official ceremony was conducted by Lord Nicolas Rootes and Rev William Rootes who cut the ribbon on the new building which has been bought through donations.

Other members of the family were present, along with more than 200 Rootes enthusiasts who had made donations, plus more than 100 vehicles, including Commer trucks.

The new building will become the headquarters of the Association of Rootes Car Clubs and many of its member clubs will also use it as their headquarters as well as for events.

The archive holds documents, photos and more from Rootes/Chrysler engineering departments from 1920 to 1980.

Members of the Rootes family at the opening

Members of the Rootes family at the opening

It came about in 2002 when Peugeot was clearing the Stoke factory in Coventry and contacted the association about it, triggering the formation of the Rootes Archive Centre Trust.

It found an initial home near Aylesbury for five years before moving to the Cherwell Business Village in Banbury in 2010 on a rolling 12-month lease.

But as costs went up the trustees looked at options and launched a building fund in October 2015.

After missing out on one option at Wroxton, a second came up and the trust was able to move in in October ahead of the recent launch.

Trust treasurer Matt Ollman said: “Its been a fantastic day and we couldn’t have asked for anything better, but we still need to remember that we have to raise another £60,000 to pay off the loans we have so that has to remain our focus for now.”

> For more about the archive trust’s work or to donate to the cause, go to www.rootesarchivecentre.org.uk