British Motor Museums

25th November 2013

After you've been to see the film RUSH, about James Hunt and Nicki Lauda, it might whet your appetite to go and look at the finest collection of Formula 1 racing cars in the world. It is the Donnington Grand Prix Collection in Derbyshire, just off the M1 at Junction 23a and near East Midlands Airport if you’re a pilot.

Nice to see the oldies (both people and cars) can still get about. The Classics Division of the 5th Peking to Paris rally was won by Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson, two octogenarian Aussies, driving a Leyland P76 car built in Oz in 1976.

Enzo Ferrari Museum at Modena, Italy. It has been very popular since opening in 2012, here’s a quote from web “We enjoyed this museum much more than the one at Maranello. Enzo Ferrari's house was very interesting and explained the history of Ferrari. The exhibiton of F1 cars next door was stunning. They even had Fangio's Mercedes there.”

Bicton Gardens, near Exmouth, is an attraction in its own right but in 2012 they added the Reg Imray motor cycle and car collection to its exhibits. Reg is a famous motor cyclist who lives in Devon. The collection is well worth a look if you are down that way. In March 2014 the Royal Air Force Museum, with main site at Hendon, North London and their second site at Cosford in Shropshire, announced a partnership with BAE Systems. This will help to transform both museums ready for the Centenary of the Royal Air Force in 2018. Whilst their museums principal exhibits are planes, there are a number of interesting vehicles on display as well.

THE world’s second oldest Rolls-Royce has gone on display in Glasgow.Built in 1905, it is the only survivor of six three-cylinder cars made by Henry Royce as he was forging his partnership with CS Rolls. It has been loaned to Glasgow Museums for three years by the Trustees of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club (RSAC) and is now on display at the city’s Riverside Museum. RSAC Trustee Mike Gascoigne, who was at the Riverside Museum to see the restored Rolls-Royce take up position on the main floor today, said: “It was gifted to the Royal Scottish Automobile Club in 1974 by its third owner, Adam McGregor Dick, who called it ‘the Old Girl’. “The gift was conditional on trustees being appointed by the RSAC to preserve the Old Girl in perpetuity and to put her on public display in Scotland. “The vehicle was initially an exhibit at Lord Moray’s Motor Museum at Doune from 1974 to 1998.“Now, with the very generous financial support of various Scottish benefactors who met the cost of the latest mechanical restoration, the generosity of Bridge of Weir Leather and the dedication of the Glasgow Museums conservators, the vehicle can again be on public display. “The Old Girl Trustees are delighted at the outcome of our 15 years’ quest to achieve this, and even more so that the Old Girl is now an exhibit in the stunning Riverside Museum in Glasgow.” The car was a demonstration vehicle initially before being sold to a man in Yorkshire. It was then bought by a woman in Dumfriesshire. However, her chauffeur was not fond of driving it and it was sold to Adam McGregor Dick, a garage owner in Kilmarnock. Mr Dick willed it to the RSAC in 1974.The Rolls-Royce is situated on the main floor under the Infinite Velodrome in the Riverside Museum and will remain on show until spring 2016.

Haynes International Motor Museum in Somerset has the official opening of their £5 million development on 16th April 2014. Believe me, it’s a museum worth a visit. It boasts the famous Red Hall, which has lots of red Ferraris as well as other cars. Haynes keep many of their display vehicles taxed and tested so they can be driven on the road.

Another big development announced in April 2014 is at the Heritage Motor Museum at Gaydon, near Warwick They are to develop a new £4 million building which will enable them to show many cars not able to be displayed at present. These belong to the Motor Industry Heritage Trust and Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust. In addition, there will be a new restoration and conservation workshop built. Both the Heritage Lottery Fund and Jaguar Land Rover have contributed money towards the new building.

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