Vauxhalls get thrashed through Ellesmere: video

Vauxhall celebrates Ellesmere's 5 millionth car by letting its most legendary employee thrash its classics

Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory has built its 5 millionth car this December. To celebrate, the British carmaker has produced a video of a legendary Vauxhall employee thrashing some of its most popular cars around the 50-year-old plant.

Opened in 1964, the plant’s 1800-strong workforce is now capable of building a car every two minutes. It’s set for expansion next year too as 300 new employees join as part of £140 million of investment from GM.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

This alone is reason to celebrate, but it’s the ‘work’ of a mysterious character called Pete that takes centre stage in this video. Known simply as ‘Ellesmere Pete,’ the Vauxhall employee is filmed flicking and chucking several generations of fast selling Vauxhalls around the production lines, all part of a supposed test-routine that he has been using since the ‘60s.

Whilst he seems to be having a great time skidding around after hours, we’re not sure what balancing a new Astra on two wheels would do for its running in. Ellesmere Port’s Plant Director, Stefan Fesser, was also concerned after his 2013 arrival, but is now supportive of Pete: 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

‘I wasn’t convinced until I saw the breadth of his high-speed testing in the plant, and the detailed reports he generates. And you know what? After fifty years, he still does a fantastic job of validating the great quality that comes with every car we produce. Long may he continue.’

Is this a big joke or is Pete real? We don’t have a clue. But watching a 1964 Viva slip its way around heavy machinery, and a 1984 Mk1 Astra GTE flash past robotics makes for great viewing. Other cars to feature are a ’75 Firenze HP ‘droopsnoot,’ ’80 Chevette HS2300, ’93 Mk3 Astra GSi and of course the 2014 Astra 2-litre CDTi. 

The replacement Astra is due in 2015, and will go head to head with its archrival the 2015 Ford Focus. Ellesmere holds the title as the lead European manufacturing location for the new car, so Pete will have his work cut out to ensure it stands a chance of beating the popular Ford. Good luck Pete… 

What’s your favourite Vauxhall from the past 50 years?

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mclaren/201626/2020-mclaren-elva-further-details-of-next-ultimate-series-supercar
McLaren

2020 McLaren Elva – further details of next Ultimate Series supercar

No roof? No worries… The McLaren Elva will be the ultimate sun-seeking supercar
12 Dec 2019
Visit/news/22743/first-details-of-the-gordon-murray-automotive-t50-hypercar-revealed
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 hypercar revealed

A true successor to the McLaren F1, Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed more about its spectacular T.50 hypercar
10 Dec 2019
Visit/evo-car-of-the-year/202042/ecoty-2019-evo-car-of-the-year-preview
evo Car of the Year

eCoty 2019: evo Car of the Year preview

Our annual evo Car of the Year test is coming, in print and online
13 Dec 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019