TVR began life as early as 1946 in Blackpool and the name is taken from the first name of it's original founder Trevor Wilkinson. For most of its life the company remained in this town, with which it became closely associated. From around 1949 until 2004 TVR produced a number of highly individual sports cars, made famous by their lightweight construction and the use of large capacity engines.
The company went through several changes of ownership and management during this period, often struggling with limited finances. It enjoyed particular success under Peter Wheeler in the 1980s and 90s, when some of it's most highly regarded models were produced, including the Cerbera, Chimaera, Tuscan and Sagaris. In 2004 ownership passed to Russian businessman Nikolay Smolensky who split the company into various parts and threatened to take production abroad, but nothing came of this. After several false dawns it was feared that the famous and much-loved marque would be lost for ever until a certain Les Edgar appeared on the scene in 2013.
Putting together a team of motor industry stalwarts, including renowned designer Gordon Murray and Cosworth, he announced the development of the first new TVR model, under his watch, in 2015. This resulted in the Griffith, a name already synonymous with TVR, which was shown to an expectant world at the 2017 Goodwood Revival meeting. The story continues, not in Blackpool, but in purpose-built premises in Ebbw Vale, close to the Circut of Wales and the first deliveries of the Griffith are expected in early 2019.
One of British car manufacturing's best kept secrets, Ultima Sports Ltd, produce the world's quickest supercar - fact. It has broken several world records for a road-going car including the fastest time from 0-100-0mph. According to Jeremy Clarkson "it's an amazing road car the Ultima GTR, it has broken just about every single speed record there is to break".
The really exceptional point about Ultima is that all this world-beating performance is available for a fraction of the cost of most ot the supercars they outpace!
Born in 1992, out of acclaimed automotive engineer and designer Lee Noble's original company, Ultima Sports, under the expert stewardship of Ted and Richard Marlow, has carefully and continously developed the original car into the current GTR (launched 1999) and the roadster version the Can-Am (launched in 2001).
An earlier Ultima Mk3 was even used as a prototype 'mule' by Mclaren during the development of the iconic F1
Produced at the factory in Hinkley, Leicestershire, both the GTR and the Can-Am have now been replaced with updated models to be known as the Evolution Coupé and Evolution Convertible respectively. Both models can be supplied as turnkey cars, though according to Ultima Sports the majority of customers derive most satisfaction in receiving their car in component form for self-assembly. In spring 2019 Ultima announced their new model the RS, which joins the range.
Established in 1903, Vauxhall is the only volume manufacturer continuously building vehicles in the UK for over 100 years. Their Ellesmere Port plant, in Cheshire, produces the sixth generation Astra 5-door hatchback and is the sole manufacturer in Europe of the Astra Sports Tourer. The plant has a headcount of 2,100 and the capacity to produce 187,000 units a year on three shifts. In 2007, Ellesmere Port became the first UK manufacturer to receive the Energy Efficiency Accreditation and in 2010 became the first European manufacturing plant to achieve the Wildlife Habitat Accreditation.
In May 2012, GM announced that it would build the next generation Astra in the UK, safeguarding the Ellesmere Port plant until at least the end of the decade. Then in November 2017, the PSA Group completed its purchase of the Vauxhall and Opel brands from GM. The latest generation Astra Hatchback and Sports Tourer remain in production at Ellesmere Port.
Vauxhall also build the 'medium-sized' van, the Vivaro, at their plant in Luton, for sale in the UK and Europe.
Westfield Sportscars was founded in 1883 by historic grand prix competitor and engineer Chris Smith. By 1991 the company had developed sufficiently to move into the impressive factory in Kingswinford, West Midlands, where they are still manufacturing their range of sports/racing cars today. In late 2006 ownership of Westfield Sportscars transferred to family owned Potenza Sports Cars and a year later they purchased GTM Cars. In 2009 Westfield became the first Niche Vehicle Manufacturer to be awarded European Small Series Production Status which immediately expanded their market in Europe. They have sold over 12000 cars worldwide since 1983 and currently produce over 400 cars a year. The Westfield company itself is now also involved in the design, development and production of various autonomous vehicles, with their Pod now in use in several locations.
Wildcat Automotive are both automotive engineers and successful competitors in off-road motorsport. Indeed, their Managing Director has been involved in this sport for over 25 years. A few years ago, the original company QT Services aquired the rights to build and sell the Wildcat, an awesome off-road racer, from its originator Drew Bowler. Since then they have constantly developed and improved the Wildcat. They now build the current model the Wildcat W1 from their factory in Cornwall together with a new addition to the range, the LSV320 a specialist military vehicle. They are now in the process of developing the Wildcat W22, a totally new version of the W1.