reviews & more
Pete ’n Jerry’s
Guild of Motoring Writers –
Bring Your Own Vehicle Day 2017
Studio 434 and Shuttleworth
The Guild of Motoring Writers' 'Bring Your Own Vehicle Day' for 2017 took in two different venues – the Studio 434 car collection and storage facility in Potters Bar, and the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden aerodrome near Biggleswade.
Rodger Dudding, the owner of Studio 434, made his fortune by inventing the Lonsto queue management ticketing system seen in supermarkets and shops worldwide – and from over 14,000 lock-up garages that the company owns around the UK.
Starting with his father's 1955 Morris Minor, Rodger has spent 40 years, and a few million pounds, building a collection of over 300 vehicles now worth around £40 million.
Studio 434/1 is a rather unprepossessing building which belies the automotive richness within. Spread over two floors is an astonishing, and surprisingly varied, collection of cars, motorbikes and memorabilia, including a few 'dodgem' cars and even a Dr. Who Dalek lurking in one corner.
It's difficult to know where to look first as there is so much amazing machinery parked bumper to bumper, and wing to wing, over two floors.
With such a collection of rare and diverse vehicles – including over 20 Aston Martin Lagonda 'Wedge' saloons – it's no wonder that film and TV production companies are queuing up to hire cars from the collection.
If you're a fan of Peaky Blinders, SS-GB, Mr. Selfridge, Luther, The Crown, or Downton Abbey; then you're pretty much guaranteed to have seen one of Studio 434's cars on your screen.
Studio 434 is not just Rodger's private collection; it is also a vehicle storage facility where your beloved classic car can be securely looked after.
To this end – and also because as somebody said: "Rodger just can't stop buying cars!" – the business is expanding with the opening of Studio 434/2, a brand new additional facility just a few minutes away.
This impressive 400,000 sq.ft. building provides climate controlled, secure storage for 500 cars over four floors.
With nowhere near that number currently installed, the overriding first impression is of a vast space enhanced by white walls and shiny metal flooring.
If I was the owner of one, or more, high-worth classic cars then this is the place I would want to keep them.
Having been impressed by the facilities at Studio 434, and after a buffet lunch, GOMW members departed for the 35 mile trip to the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden aerodrome.
Car lift at Studio 434/1
Convertible version of Ford Classic Capri
Just a few of the 21 Aston Martin Lagonda 'Wedges' at Studio 434
Atari games console-like dashboard in A-M Lagonda 'Wedge'
Beautiful convertible Citroen DS attracted attention..
..especially its comfortable seats
Warning notice on 'barn-find' Austin still awaiting restoration after eight years.
BSA and very shiny sidecar combination caught our eye.
Collection of illuminated petrol pump signs
GOMW members enjoying lunch. Glorious Jensen in foreground features rear nearside door and opening top hatch in scuttle behind front passenger seat to gain access to rear seats.
Chris Mann's Jaguar XK120 outside Studio 434/1
Studio 434/2 – new second storage facility for Studio 434 is just around the corner.
Four floors like this in Studio 434/2
Plenty of opportunities for photographs.
Floors so clean and shiny you could eat your dinner off them.
Immaculate wood work on rare Bentley shooting brake
Pristine MGA Coupé
Trio of Jaguars. Need to be aware of trickle charger leads when walking around.
Think I've seen this Austin Taxi on the telly..
Ally-bodied DeLorean almost matches the flooring.
Rodger Dudding, owner of Studio 434, told me he saw this 'short-arse' Mini at auction and just had to buy it because it "looked so cute".
Guild Chairman Andrew Noakes says a few words at Shuttleworth before we have our guided tours of the hangars.
Fiat Topolino and early tractor, with Percival Provost Trainer.
Westland Lysander, famed for landing secret agents in occupied France during WW2. Named after the Spartan Admiral Lysander, not the character in A Midsummer Night's Dream as I mistakenly told someone on Sunday.
It's not just British aircraft on display.
The Swiss Garden at Shuttleworth
To cap a great day out, on our way home we passed the airship hangars at Cardington and spotted the Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander parked outside.
27 - 27