British Commercial Vehicle Museum

The production of commercial vehicles at Leyland south of Preston began in 1896 when James Sumner and Henry Spurrier established the Lancashire Steam Motor Company. The company turned to the production of motor lorries and employed 11,000 people during the Second World War. For many years after the war it was one of Britain’s most successful motor companies, but it suffered decline after its merger with several car producers to form British Leyland. In 1987 the operation at Leyland was merged with the Dutch DAF company and is now part of the PACCAR group employing 800 people. The museum, administered by a charitable trust assisted by many volunteers was established in 1983. It is housed in an inspection building of the 1930s, where customers for Leyland trucks and busses collected their purchases. It displays more than 60 historic vehicles including horse-drawn wagons and carriages of the 1890s, steam wagons, single-and double-decker buses and fire engines. A particularly prized exhibit is the 24-tonne armoured ‘Pope-mobile’ built for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Great Britain in 1982. Other exhibits, such as a garage with a single petrol pump, illustrate the infrastructure of the early years of motor transport, and the museum also holds a large collection of sales literature and company catalogues. Visitors can experience simulators for vintage as well as modern vehicles and can enjoy the music of a fairground organ. A cinema shows the museum’s extensive collection of archive films.

British Commercial Vehicle Museum
King Street
PR25 2LE Leyland
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1772 - 451011