Preserving our Rootes

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The power of enthusiasts has rarely exceeded the determination of the Rootes Group Clubs and the Heritage Department. Just four days ago they opened their Archive Centre in Banbury. The regional clubs, members and donations brought together more than £180k to ensure the history of all Rootes Group automobiles would be protected for generations to come. The scale of this achievement cannot be over stated when one considers this includes;

Original materials from Rootes and Chrysler Engineering departments from 1920 – 1980

150,000 full size original Engineering drawings

150,000 drawings on microfiche

Extensive photographic library

Literature and Company documentation

Artefacts of the company

To put that into context, this unit contains the World Archive for Humber, Hillman, Sunbeam, Singer, Commer, Karrier, Chrysler UK, Dodge and Talbot. To borrow some detail from their website, in 2004, ARCC members were able to rescue the Rootes Engineering Department archives from Humber Road, Coventry. This is a truly fantastic collection of material: the complete library of engineering drawings from the early 1960s to the end of the Chrysler era, including anything from the late 50s that was modified in the 60s; so there's a lot for Minx, Rapier, Gazelle and Humber ranges, plus everything relating to Arrow, Avenger, Imp etc.

There are drawings and specifications for all chassis and body items including mechanical, electrical, soft trim etc. It all amounts to at least 150,000 items stored in 47 4ft x3ft metal cabinets, a dozen filing cabinets and 75ft of 8ft high racking containing original drawings. The card index catalogue alone fills 92 drawers. There is also a microfiche collection which goes back even earlier to 1934.

Opened to coincide with ‘Drive it Day 2018 over 100 classics attended the new facility which is now ready to assist, advise and act as the centre for all things Rootes Group.

Find out much more at

"Preserving the past for the future." Rootes Heritage, Unit 15 Apollo Office Park, Ironstone Lane, Wroxton, Banbury, Oxon OX15 6AY, UK.