Historic fleet of vehicles moving from Dagenham, Ford confirms

The Ford Heritage Centre in Dagenham with its collection of classic cars from Fords heyday

A replica of a Quadricycle, built by Dagenham apprentices in 1963, as seen at the heritage centre in 2016 - Credit: Ken Mears

A fleet of historic Ford vehicles is being moved out of Dagenham.

The motoring giant confirmed to the Post that its heritage fleet, which was kept at the Ford Heritage Centre in Dagenham, will go to Daventry in the Midlands.

The facility was typically closed to the public though open days were held.

A tour of the site posted on TrustFord's YouTube channel last June showed that vehicles there included the very last Capri 280 Brooklands, an Escort RS Cosworth that Francois Delecour drove to victory at the Portuguese round of the World Rally Championship in 1993 and a 1937 tug bought by Cadbury.

The Ford spokesperson said: "The heritage fleet is in the process of being moved from Dagenham to the Ford site at Daventry, a more central UK location which will give the fleet a new lease of life in a great new space.

"The area of the Dagenham plant which currently houses the heritage fleet is in the process of being transformed in to a production base for Venari, a company with which Ford have created an alliance to convert Transits in to lightweight ambulances allowing paramedics to drive the vehicles on a standard UK licence."

The Ford Heritage Centre in Dagenham with its collection of classic cars from Fords heyday

Rally cars are housed at the heritage centre (seen here in 2016) - Credit: Ken Mears

The partnership with emergency vehicle manufacturer Venari was announced last July, with 100 jobs set to be created by the new production base.

Jon Cruddas, Dagenham and Rainham MP, said: "The recently announced plans to produce lightweight ambulances at the Ford site in Dagenham is a good news story.

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"It re-establishes Ford’s commitment to the area and will create around 100 new skilled jobs for local people."

The Post was given a tour of the heritage centre in 2016 and met former stamping plant tool-maker Ivan Bartholomeusz and ex-prototype engineer Colin Gray, who were then at the centre of the operation.

At the time, Ivan said: “Some people say we should be looking forward but you only get to where you are by looking at where you’ve come from."

Colin added: “It’s really important to have this place because it shows the progress of the company and what’s been achieved."

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