While they are best-known for their collection of some of the most iconic cars of the past 100 years, the latest addition to Lakeland Motor Museum’s repertoire is set to raise some eyebrows.

Despite being one of the UK’s most commonly used cars of the past three decades, a Vauxhall Corsa, one of a mass of models to have rolled off the production line since its launch 26 years ago, will soon be displayed alongside a collection of rare vehicles.

Museum curators predict the 1994 GLS model could become one of their rarest exhibits, given its rapid decline in popularity.

“We’re playing a long game with this car,” the duty manager, Chris Williams, said. “At the moment, you’d think you’d be far more likely to see one of these in a supermarket car park than a museum, but numbers are dwindling very fast and this model is around five years away from becoming extinct.”

For every new exhibit, an old one has to be removed. As a result, one of the Backbarrow museum’s longer-term residents, a 1973 Austin Allegro, has moved on to the Haynes International Motor Museum in Somerset, after being on display since 2010.

Practical Classics magazine has praised the bold move, writing: “We say well done Lakeland Motor Museum for pulling off a classic world first!”

Williams said based on current projections by the motoring industry, there would be hardly any of this particular model of Corsa left by 2025.

Curators say the 1994 Vauxhall Corsa GLS could become one of the museum’s rarest exhibits.

Curators say the 1994 Vauxhall Corsa GLS could become one of the museum’s rarest exhibits. Photograph: Goddard Archive/Alamy Stock Photo

“With that in mind, we are getting one now while they are still relatively easy to find. I actually feel a bit nostalgic about this car, as I had a 2000 version myself – same style, same engine. We are all about unlocking memories and, in a few years, we think this particular car will certainly achieve that goal. Remember: every new car gets old!” he said.

Meanwhile, as the Cumbrian attraction prepares to reopen its doors in December, the team has been hard at work to ensure new vehicles are brought in for Christmas and the new year.

“It’s certainly been a busy few weeks here at the museum, with quite a few new cars being prepared for display. There are plenty more to come and we are looking forward to revealing more details over the next few weeks,” Williams said.



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