The Bruntingthorpe site was constructed in 1942 as a World War II airfield and was used extensively post war by Sir Frank Whittle’s Powerjets company for early test and development activity on jet engined aircraft. 1954 saw the construction of a new airfield for the US Air Force and it was subsequently used as a strategic heavy bomber base (code-named ‘Big Thunder’)until 1962.
Following a brief period in the 1960’s when the site was used by the RAF, the Rootes Group purchased the facility in 1972 and the site was used for testing vehicles for the first time. Over the next 11 years, the Rootes Group, and subsequently Chrysler and Peugeot, used it extensively for vehicle development, constructing a number of test features appropriate for the vehicles of their time.
The current owners, C. Walton Ltd, purchased the site in 1983 and have set up a diverse, yet complementary group of businesses under the ‘Bruntingthorpe’ umbrella. The services provided include vehicle testing, vehicle storage and refurbishment as well as events and corporate hospitality.