The Rootes Archive Centre Trust (RACT), in a project led by Matt Ollman of the RACT and Sunbeam Alpine Owners Club, has launched an ambitious but exciting building fund program to raise the capital required to purchase a permanent home.

The RACT is based in Banbury, Oxfordshire and has been preserving and protecting the original material from the Rootes/Chrysler Engineering Department for the last 12 years.

The archive includes hundreds of thousands of detailed manufacturing drawings from the 1930s through to the early 1980s as well as marketing, sales and servicing literature and photographs. The material is complemented with artefacts such as the Rootes boardroom table and chairs from Devonshire House, a large 3D model of the Linwood Plant and various dealership signage items and continues to grow as further items are collected and saved for current and future generations of Rootes enthusiasts. Access to interested parties is encouraged and club committees hold regular meetings at the centre. The RACT also recently created a Facebook page and so is now reaching more classic vehicle devotees than ever before.

The RACT currently rents a shared user building. This is its second premises, after a move from its previous unit in a business park was necessary to reduce rocketing rent rises. However, ever increasing rental costs and the risks associated with short term contracts puts it in a continuously precarious position. The Trustees have always had to keep a keen eye on the long term viability of the RACT and think that the time is right to consider alternatives…including the possibility of purchasing a permanent home through an innovative donation program.

This is history in the making! Would you like to be part of this special project? The RACT is initially seeking pledges of £500 donations from individuals. This could be as a one-off payment, in five annual instalments or even as a standing order of £1.93 per week for five years. If enough people come together to support this inspiring venture, then our unique Rootes archive could enter the next chapter in its fascinating journey!

In addition to financial pledges, volunteers with relevant expertise are vital. Please do step forward if you can assist in any of the following areas: Marketing; Property Law; or VAT. You would be joining a dedicated sub-committee of forward-thinking individuals responsible for driving the project.

Matt is delighted to be part of this initiative: “Since joining the board of trustees over five years ago it has been my desire to secure modern fit-for-purpose premises for the archive and with the launch of this this program and the support from members of the Rootes car fraternity we can really make history and secure a permanent home for the fascinating archive material associated with our vehicles.” Matt can be contacted at matthewollman@rootesarchivecentre.org.uk with any enquires or to pledge financial support or time to the program.

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