UK residents and visitors this spring and summer are being given the chance to see a rare exhibition of nine cars used by the Queen and her immediate family at the Heritage Motor Centre near Warwick. The display coincides with the Queen’s golden jubilee celebrations.

The centre houses the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust collection of mostly former British Leyland brands and is now under the control of Ford, which bought Land Rover in 2000.

Land Rover has a long association with the British royal family and the Queen has used the company’s vehicles as her personal transport for many years, particularly on her country home estates in Scotland (Balmoral) and Norfolk (Sandringham).

She currently drives a 2001 Land Rover Defender 110 County Station Wagon and her 1983 110″ station wagon, donated to the Royal collection of vehicles usually kept at Sandringham, was in service until last year

That vehicle, fitted with leather seats and security radio system and finished in unique green paint to Her Majesty’s personal choice, is included in the HMC display along with other cars personally loaned by Royal Family members such as Prince Philip’s 1980 Lucas Bedford CF electric limousine.

This vehicle was a limousine version of the Bedford CF vanused by the British Post Office for city deliveries in the 1970s. Fitted with a Lucas 40 kW traction motor, it could reach 50 mph and travel 70 miles. The prince used it to drive around London and to travel between Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, to the west of London.

Another of Prince Philip’s cars in the exhibition is a 1956 Ford Zephyr estate car (station wagon), the first modern estate car to be acquired by the Royal Family, and recently refurbished by students from Manchester College of Arts and Technology.

Other vehicles include the 1954 Land Rover royal review vehicle, specially adapted from a basic 86-inch wheelbase Land Rover, which accompanied the Queen and Prince Philip on a six-month Commonwealth tour soon after her Coronation.

The 1971 Rover P5B 3.5-litre saloon car in the exhibition is on loan from the Queen herself (it has been in the museum for some years) and the oldest car displayed, a 1900 Daimler 6hp Mail Phaeton, was acquired by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII).

The car, loaned by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, also under Ford’s control, was completely restored by the National Motor Museum to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 and is normally displayed in the Royal Motor Museum at Sandringham.

Another JDHT car is the Queen Mother’s former 1955 Jaguar Mark VII M used until 1973 and finished in a special metallic version of the royal colour claret.

The 1968 MG MGC sportscar is on loan from Prince Charles, the current Prince of Wales, who drove it for many years before giving it to the Queen’s head chauffeur, Harry Purvey, who in turn used it for four years before passing it on to the collection at Sandringham. This car was also refurbished by students from the Manchester College of Arts and Technology and presented back to the prince in 1999.

The display is completed by a 1968 Vanden Plas Princess 4-litre, one of the last to be produced by Austin. Many were used by the royal household over the years.

The Royal Tour Golden Jubilee exhibition is open from tomorrow until the end of July.