MILL­BROOK – A SHORT HIS­TORY

Trial Magazine - - WHEEL SPIN -

The story starts in the mid-six­ties on the new M1 mo­tor­way, which car­ried very lit­tle traf­fic at that time. Au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ers Vaux­hall and Bed­ford de­cided that it of­fered very good test­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, as it ran close to its base in Lu­ton. Look­ing to the fu­ture and learn­ing from the Amer­i­can Gen­eral Mo­tors ex­pe­ri­ence with their own ded­i­cated test fa­cil­ity they de­cided a UK-based ded­i­cated prov­ing ground was needed. They knew a var­ied fa­cil­ity in a good lo­ca­tion of­fer­ing all types of ter­rain was needed as many of the es­tab­lished ones in the UK were based at old air­fields.

A task force was re­cruited to find an area which ful­filled their spe­cial­ist needs and the Mill­brook site was lo­cated, which co­in­ci­den­tally was close to Lu­ton and Lon­don. Plan­ning was ap­proved for a new fa­cil­ity which repli­cated many of the most suc­cess­ful fea­tures of the Mil­ford site in the USA. It would ben­e­fit from the ac­cu­mu­lated wis­dom of more than 50 years of prov­ing ground op­er­a­tion, and a smaller ver­sion of the North Amer­i­can Gen­eral Mo­tors Prov­ing Ground would be con­structed.

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