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Queen’s Cresta is the jewel in the crown for Vauxhall at NEC show

Published 15 October 2015

The Queen’s Vauxhall Cresta will take pride of place on the Vauxhall stand at this year’s NEC classic motor show. The car, a 1961 PA Cresta Friary Estate, is making a rare outing from the Sandringham garage to be at this year’s show, which takes place 13-15 November.

Registered MYT 1, the car was moved from the Royal Mews in London to the workshop at the Norfolk estate 31 years ago and has only been out once since the move. The car, which is said to be a personal favourite of the Queen, was one that she drove regularly in its day. Finished in Imperial Green (not a standard Vauxhall colour), it boasts fishing rod holders built into the roof and a gun rack.

The Cresta is just one of six rare model’s on Vauxhall’s stand at this year’s show. The others include Vauxhall’s most successful competition car, Baby Berth. Driven by the legendary Gerry Marshall between 1975 and 1977, the car won all but three of 43 races entered and took the Super Saloon Championship two years in a row. Based on a Firenza, it boasts a spaceframe chassis and a 500bhp 5.0-litre GM V8.

Visitors to the show will also be able to see a 1970s styling research vehicle. First shown at the 1970 Earls Court Motor Show, the car combines a sleek shape with four-door practicality.

Vauxhall SRV (Styling Research Vehicle) (1)

Vauxhall's Styling Research Vehicle will be at the NEC classic motor show.

The fourth car on the stand is the seven-millionth Astra to roll off the line, and the last car to be made at Luton. Although car production ended there in 2002, the factory still makes vans (and Astra continues to be made at Ellesmere Port). The Astra at the show is powered by a 2.6-litre engine and carries the names of all Vauxhall employees who built it.

The oldest car on Vauxhall’s stand will be a 1930 T-type Melton Golfer’s Coupe. A rare car, with its Grosvenor body, dickey-seat and unique small door in front of the nearside rear wheel to house golfing equipment, the T-type was one of the first Vauxhalls wholly built under GM ownership.

The last car on display is a Viva HA known as ‘Goldviva’. The car made its first appearance at this year’s Goodwood Revival, where it was the star of a cinematic pastiche in the Earls Court motor show display. Wrapped entirely in gold, the car gives a nod to Ellesmere Port’s 50 years of car production, which the plant celebrated last year.

Vauxhall fans will be able to see plenty of other Griffin-badged cars at the show – across eight-stands in total. So keep an eye out for John Cleland’s ex-Works Mk 3 Cavalier Touring Car; Silver Aero and Black Magic (one-off creations from Vauxhall’s design department); the oldest roadworthy Chevette, and the oldest Cavalier – both of which are on show to support their respective 40th anniversaries.

Baby Bertha And Gerry Marshall At Silverstone 1975

Racer Gerry Marshall and 'Baby Bertha' back in the day.

Clubs joining Vauxhall in the Griffin-branded area will be the Vauxhall Cresta Club, Vauxhall FD Register, Vauxhall VX4/90 Drivers’ Club, Chevette Owners’ Group, Vauxhall Cavalier and Chevette Club, Vauxhall/Opel Drivers’ Club and the Just Opel/Vauxhall Car Club.

‘We’re pleased to be back at the NEC once more,’ said Andy Boddy, Vauxhall’s Senior Vehicle Restorer and keeper of its 70-strong Heritage Collection. ‘Between the owners clubs and ourselves I think that we’ve brought together a truly remarkable mix of rare and one off models that pay homage to what is the UK’s oldest surviving car manufacturer.’

The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show runs from November 13-15 and is the largest show of its kind in the UK. This year, there will be 2500 cars and bikes on display, many of which can be found on the 250 club stands. For more information about the show, please go to www.necclassicmotorshow.com.

 

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