News : Great British Car Journey put on hold

Great British Car Journey

Plans for a new car museum based near the Peak District have been put on hold. The Great British Car Journey had been due to open in Derbyshire this April, but in a statement issued by the Board, it was confirmed that the museum cannot proceed any further due to circumstances beyond the Directors’ control.

The new visitor attraction was the brainchild of former Auto Windscreens and Blyton Park owner Richard Usher, and had been set-up be a timeline of the rise, fall and rise of the British car industry told in nine chapters. A site in Ambergate had been purchased to house the visitor attraction, and more than 100 cars had been purchased in preparation.

The statement confirming that the project was being put on ice said, ‘the Directors of the visitor attraction Great British Car Journey regret to announce that the project, due to open in Derbyshire this April, cannot proceed any further due to circumstances beyond their control. Sadly, two of the Directors have been diagnosed with illnesses requiring extensive treatment and are therefore unable to continue work on the project.

‘The situation has been further aggravated by issues with the site at Ambergate, including the recent flooding, and by unforeseen additional development costs. As a result, the funding that had been secured is no longer available to the business. The Directors would like to thank everyone who has shown enormous commitment to the venture both locally and nationally. In the current circumstances this support is much appreciated.’

Metro and Mini - Great British Car Journey

Keith Adams


  1. Looking forward to visiting this, especially as it is just up the road. Not actually in the Peak District though.

    • Yes Tim, you are correct. GBCJ is located on the edge of the Peak District. But the attraction will appeal to Derbyshire Peak District visitors. Hope that clarifies things.

  2. Sounds like this would appeal to me too! I am considering a holiday in that area this year. Showing my age when I still remember the launch of the MK2 Astra and my brother had a Minor 1000.

  3. You young lads! Launch of the Astra? That was last week! My chums round this table tonight remember the launch of 1949 Jowett Javelin!!! They call me the ‘boy’ ‘cos I can’t remember anything before the 1955 Citroen DS!
    I wish I looked like a boy though.

    • @wolseley man, I remember the Jowett Javelin when I was at infant school era. My first motoring memory was going in a Cresta PA to the Garage where my Dad was buying his first car… A Victor Deluxe F series. I would have been about 7 years old.

    • My first memories of motoring was being taken to school in a 1933 Singer 9 saloon and playing in a 1934 Wolseley 16.

  4. First motoring memory – that could be a whole separate nostalgia mine! In my case, sitting on my Mum’s knee kicking three bells out of a St.Christopher medal stuck on the dashboard of our Morris Minor split screen convertible – no seat belts or child seats in those days! First vehicle launch memory – Escort Mark 1 being announced on Radio 4, or was it the Home Service in those days?

  5. Go as soon as it opens in April, it won’t be open for long! It isn’t in a tourist hotspot. It isn’t in the Peak District,as others have said. It’s in the middle of nowhere and hard to get to from the M1. How many people are going to make the effort to see a small collection (30 apparently) of average/rubbish cars? Probably one of the 3 people who watch the repeats of “George & Mildred” on daytime tv on a Freeview channel you’ve never heard of!

    • Hi Lucy – thanks for your interest.

      Great British Car Journey features over 100 significant cars and visitors will be guided through them by a revolutionary interactive guide. It is the story of how British entrepreneurs and engineers contributed to the global ownership of cars by families all over the world.

      Although the journey features failure as well as success, it celebrates truly inspired designs such as the Austin 7 and the Mini and features remarkable survivors of rarer machines such as the Morris Marina and Austin Allegro. It’s a trip through childhood memories. It’s a trip that reflects on a romantic nostalgia for Britain’s past.

      Although GBCJ is not in the Peak National Park, it is right on the edge of the A6 which remains one of the key routes into the beautiful Derbyshire Dales, following the River Derwent from Derby up to Matlock, Bakewell and beyond.

      The interest we’ve had already is truly phenomenal, and far more than we’d originally hoped, and we’d love to have you come visit us Lucy.

    • For all those interested, GBCJ is located on the A6 just 20 minutes from Jct 28 M1. It is in the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage site which attracts international as well as local visitors. Attractions include the National Tramway Museum at Crich, Heights of Abraham, and Cromford Mills – as well as Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall just 15 mins away. Too much to do in one day! Finally the headline to this piece is accurate. 100 cars to see, and 30 cars in the Drive Dad’s Car experience.

  6. I like Bakewell, Chatsworth & Haddon Hall so adding GBCJ to the list of attractions sounds worthwhile…

  7. Sad news, though as an exhibit to me its appeal seems slightly niche when you consider the cost of exhibiting all these vehicles.

    Gaydon works as they have the “flashy” stuff to appeal to the casual public, but also have the more obscure stuff for us anoraks!

  8. This looks interesting, I visited the Trabant museum in Prague and I found the production figures interesting. Under communism it was the production figures that mattered, not the sales as it was a captive market almost. I would be interested in market share, prices of competitors and reliability of the cars. I hope it gets off the ground at some point.

  9. sure the directors can be replaced, they do it all the time in business, and as for funding not now being available, there is more to that statement than they are letting on, maybe the area has been flooded and the banks or personal investors are not prepared to invest in a project that can be devastated one year down the line, as insurance will now be impossible to get at reasonable rates.

    What about a one of those online fundraising sources, i am sure that a lot of car orientated businesses could be persuaded to offer some pennies, as well as car fans.

  10. According to the Derby Telegraph today, this project has been revived and is due to open on May 22nd this year (plague permitting!).

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