The Rootes Archive Centre:  the repository for the Rootes Group Factory Archives in the UK

The center includes all the manufacturing drawings for Rootes products from the 1930’s to the1980’s.  These archives are accessible to members of Rootes clubs worldwide.

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After learning about the Archive Centre and its activities many supporters of the Rootes Group Marque wanted to get involved in some way. The Archive Centre newsletters are available to TEAE members available on the members only page of the website as they are published. The following is excerpted from a letter TEAE received from the trustees of the Archive Center which was printed in the January 2016 RootesReview:

The Association of Rootes Car Clubs (ARCC) is an umbrella organisation for the many individual marque and model clubs associated with products of the Rootes group and successor companies. Through membership of the ARCC it is hoped that clubs can benefit from a wider audience for collaboration in events and spares re-manufacture, more favourable public liability insurance premiums, membership of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs and complete access to the engineering drawing archive held by the RACT.AARC

In 2002 the ARCC rescued the engineering drawing archives from Peugeot and later established the RACT, a Charitable Trust to house and manage the unique vintage collection. This body operates independently from the ARCC and currently has a board of seven volunteer, unpaid trustees from individual clubs who are personally liable for the actions of the RACT. There is no liability on the ARCC or member clubs, although their financial support is, of course, vital for the RACT’s survival.

Since the RACT was established, both the ARCC and RACT have experienced considerable funding pressure and five years ago the trustees of the RACT took the difficult decision to move the archive and reduce the amount of space rented in order to reduce their financial burden. However, as income from insurance commission to the ARCC continues to plummet year on year, the ARCC and RACT calculate that within two years there will once again be the need to drastically re-think the future of the archive.Building Fund Poster

Having access to the archive of engineering drawings for research and to aid the re-manufacture of unobtainable parts to keep our vehicles on the road makes us the envy of many other historic vehicle clubs. Not only is the archive an asset to the Rootes community, it is also an important piece of national heritage and both the ARCC and the RACT want to fight to preserve it for current and future generations.

We need your help! In order to break the cycle of short-term rental contracts and declining funding, we propose to purchase a permanent home for the archive – a modern fit for purpose building with space to expand if and when necessary, facilities for clubs to hold meetings and events and, most importantly, permanent, safe and secure housing for the archive. Can you help us make this happen? If so, we would appreciate any donation you feel you can afford, but we are also asking, for those who can, to make a significant commitment to do so in the form of a pledge of $750 either as a one-time contribution or in five equal yearly installments of $150 (or, for that matter, any other arrangement you would prefer). The Trustees are extremely grateful for TE/AE members to help with this big project.

Sir Stirling Moss and Rosemary Smith join RACT chairman Gordon Jarvis in accepting a cheque
Sir Stirling Moss and Rosemary Smith join RACT chairman Gordon Jarvis in accepting a cheque

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 early 1980s, as well as marketing, sales and servicing literature and photographs. The material is complemented with artifacts 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 by 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.

Please use the following form to make your pledge or donation. Your information will be sent directly to the Rootes Archive Center Trust. A PayPal account is not necessary to make a credit card contribution through PayPal.

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The Rootes Archive Centre Trust is a UK Registered Charity, Registration # 1108882; check with your tax advisor  regarding deductability under IRS rules.

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