Rootes Archive Centre Trust
In 2002 the Association of Rootes Car Clubs Chairman took a call from the facilities manager at Peugeot who whilst clearing out the Stoke factory was faced with a warehouse full of old Rootes documents and engineering drawings. This call was the pivotal action in saving the archives of the Rootes Group.
In 2005 the Rootes Archive Centre Trust (RACT) was created and registered with the Charity Commission with 5 Trustees being appointed.
All the material was transferred into the ownership of the Trust and a legal ownership agreement signed with Peugeot. The material was now protected for generations to come.
When the Trust was registered with the Charity Commission its aims were:
• To preserve & promote the heritage of the Rootes Group & its successor companies
• Use the information to help remanufacture parts to keep classic cars on the road
• Use the information to help future generations keep classic cars on the road through a greater technical awareness
• Provide & share data or information for historical research
After a couple of rented buildings the Trust kept facing rent increases so in 2015 the decision was taken to fundraise to buy a building and the campaign was launched by Sir Stirling Moss at the NEC Classic car show.
In November 2017 with the amazing support of the Rootes community the Trust had raised £105,500 and had secured loans from individuals and clubs to cover the £76,500 balance.
The Trust finally took possession of their new building on 27th October 2017.
The archive has become the Headquarters of the Rootes Community and many of the clubs will use it as their companies house registered address and to hold their committee meetings.
The Grand Opening of the Archive Centre was held on 22nd April 2018 with the official opening being performed by Lord Nicolas Rootes and the Rev. Bill Rootes (grandsons of the company founder, Willian Rootes) and in fact the Trust were honoured to have 3 generations of the Rootes family at the opening.
The fantastic array of material saved and preserved within the Archive includes:
• Original materials from Rootes/Chrysler Engineering departments from 1920 – 1980 and includes:
• 150,000 full size original Engineering drawings
• 200,000 drawings on microfiche
• Extensive photographic library
• Literature & Company documentation
• Artefacts of the company
• Sectioned display engines and gearboxes
The Archive holds open days which are normally on the first Sunday of every month but always check the website to confirm the opening times.
For more information, please email Trustee Andy Bye via email@example.com