Vauxhall Heritage Centre’s Open Day

Ian Cook - Popbang Car Art

Ian Cook - Popbang Car Art

If you're a fan of classic transport or just want a family fun day out, then the Vauxhall Heritage Centre's annual open day on 26th April 2009 is a must.

This year, the open day will be tied in with 'Drive it Day' - the one day a year where owners of old cars, bikes and trucks are encouraged to take to the road and celebrate the freedom of motoring.

For families, there will be a face painter, as well as a Vauxhall VXR racing simulator, allowing visitors to experience life behind the wheel of a British Touring Car first-hand, along with a number of side shows and stands to keep people entertained.

While if you're the kind of enthusiast who has accumulated a pile of old spares over the years, there will also be the opportunity to have your own autojumble stand free of charge in a specially reserved area, while Vauxhall will also be selling some official merchandise on the day, both old and new.

Another star attraction on the day will be 25-year-old artist Ian Cook, who is widely regarded for his unusual car-related artwork, which he creates by using old tyres and remote control models to drive through the paint. Ian will mark Drive it Day by creating an image of the Heritage Centre's distinctive turquoise PA Velox live at the show - a car widely regarded as Vauxhall's boldest classic design.

His most recent work, an image of the Vauxhall Astra 4S, was created at the Race Retro show earlier this month, and was signed by the car's original test driver, Russell Brookes.

The Vauxhall Astra 4S, as well as Ian's other Vauxhall artwork to date - a Vauxhall Astra MK 1 and a Vauxhall VXR - will be on show at the open day.

The site will be open to any member of the public and is free to enter, with a special parking area right in front of the Heritage Centre for those arriving in old or interesting transport. And while the focus of the day will be Vauxhall's own collection of over 50 classic Griffin-badged classics, from the earliest 1903 model to the iconic muscle cars such as the Lotus Carlton and Monaro VXR, access to the classic car parking area will be open to any make or model, providing it's either old or interesting. Free public parking will also be available on-site.

Drive it Day is an initiative set up by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs - an umbrella body representing the classic vehicle movement in the UK - to encourage owners of old or interesting cars, vans, bikes or trucks to take to the road for one day and demonstrate the strength of the historic vehicle movement in the UK. It campaigns against issues that may affect the right to use historic vehicles on our roads.

Opening times will be 10.30am to 4.30pm, and the entrance to the Heritage Centre can be found in Park Street, Luton, LU1 3ET, behind the main Griffin House headquarters in Osborne Road.

Published 16 April 2009 Staff

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