STAFF at Vauxhall's factory in Ellesmere Port have celebrated the landmark production of the plant's five millionth car.

Among the employees was the company's secretive test-driver, known only as Ellesmere Pete.

Since 1964, when the factory opened, Pete has been putting the cars through their paces in the vast Body Shop area to ensure they are up to scratch.

The process has reportedly involved launching vehicles into the air, and driving them James Bond-style on two wheels – as our pictures show.

Pete works during the plant’s downtime and puts randomly selected cars through a variety of tough tests.

While the process has always remained the same, from the earliest Viva HA’s right through to modern day, Pete admits to some favourite test-drives around the plant.

He said: “The Firenza Droopsnoot was a cracker. It had so much poke that the biggest challenge was not clipping some of the machinery as you drifted it between production lines. And when I got my hands on the first Astra GTE back in ’82, it was by far the fastest thing I’d put through the stillage-chicane in Body Shop. I could hit 60 on a good day.”