A CAR buff has launched a crusade to keep a Kidderminster-made vintage vehicle in the town.

Historian Robert Barber fears foreign collectors will snap up one of the two remaining Castle Three cars if it goes on open sale. Flashback - Castle Three owner Dee Knight with Robert Barber, centre, and Cliff Brown, whose father Charlie used to sell Castle Threes at the County Museum, Hartlebury, when the vintage vehicle was on display two years ago.

He believes the motor, made by Kidderminster's Castle Motor Company, could fetch up to £30,000 on the open market.

However, he has been offered first refusal in the region of £20,000 to buy the car.

Mr Barber, who traced the story of the car in his book on the history of Kidderminster in the 19th and 20th centuries, said: "As much as I would like to buy it I really haven't got that sort of money.

"If there was enough interest we could launch a fund-raising campaign to preserve part of Kidderminster's heritage in the town."

The Castle Three Motor, a rare three wheeler which caused a sensation at the 1919 Olympia Motor Show, was made by the motor manufacturing company founded in Green Street in 1907.

The company, which was the official repairer for the AA and RAC, made Castle Threes and supplied a wide variety of other cars and motorcycles.

Mr Barber said the company was bought out by carpet makers for its premises and the motors were destroyed.

However, he traced one of the remaining cars by chance through an article in a motorcycle magazine and contacted owner Dee Knight who brought the car to an exhibition at the County Museum, Hartlebury, two years ago.

Now she wants to sell the motor. The other remaining car was sold by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, some years ago - its whereabouts is not known.

Kidderminster Civic Society secretary Charles Talbot backed the campaign and said it highlighted the need for a museum in the town.

He said: "An object of such interest should be available for future generations to see in the place where it was made.

"It is lamentable we do not have a museum but if there is sufficient interest and the motor is secured it could be shown at the County Museum for now."

Anyone interested can contact Mr Barber at 14 Sabrina Drive, Bewdley.