A Visit to the British Motor Museum

Spread the love

The former Heritage Motor Centre, created to display classic and rare British cars, was reopened in February 2016 with a new name, ‘British Motor Museum’ after a £M1.1 refurbishment. A new facility, the ‘Collections Centre’, built at a cost of £M4.0 was opened at the same time. The Collections Centre, which can only be visited via  guided tours, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, houses the Jaguar Heritage Collection and the Motor Museum’s reserve collection. All these cars have been built in Britain, mostly in the Midlands.

The last time I visited the Heritage Motor Centre was about ten years ago so I was keen to see what improvements had been made. In the meantime I have visited a number of car museums in England, Europe and the U.S. so had some references with which to compare the BMM. Having thought about that “comparison” statement, I don’t think that it is fair to compare these types of facilities; they each have their own uniqueness, the common denominator is that they are displaying interesting and sometimes very rare, cars. There is no doubt that some do it better than others but even then it depends upon how they are perceived by the visitors who all have their different perspectives.

All I can say is that I was very impressed by the new British Motor Museum. It is very well laid out and all the cars in the main museum, as distinct to the Collections Centre, are attractively displayed with very full information boards close by.

My son and I took the tour of the Collections Centre, the guide emphasised that the cars we would be seeing are part of a collection and  not presented as they would be in the museum. What this means, in reality, is that the cars are just parked in what could be described as an ‘up – market’ multi-storey car park rather than being ‘put on display’ in a pristine setting as is the case in the museum proper. This does not detract at all from the interest value of the available cars (c.250). In some respects it adds to it because you can walk all around the cars without being impeded by rope barriers etc, as is sometimes the case in the museum.

Both the Jaguar/Daimler Heritage collection and the museum reserve collection contain cars which literally took my breath away in terms of either their rarity or their originality of engineering or style.

At the beginning of this piece I said that I was impressed with the new British Motor Museum, I hope that what I have written subsequently gives you some idea of why I developed that view.

Just a word of guidance to any prospective visitor: the clue to what you will see is in the name  – British Motor Museum. The vast majority of the cars in the museum have been made in Britain. You will not see exotic Ferraris, Lamborghinis or Porsches etc. etc. that you might expect to see in other museums but if you are generally interested in cars or are a student of British culture and industry then I am sure that, like us, you will leave with a big smile on your face and a desire to return.

As an appetiser here are just a few of the cars to be seen –

P1010545
1925 MG 1.5 Ltr. “Old No.1” (a misnomer!)

P1010546

P1010548
1972 Leyland-Crompton Electicar
P1010549
1967 Rover/Alvis P6BS Mid engined Sports Coupe

P1010551

P1010553
2004 MG 4.6 Ltr. X – Power SV

P1010555

P1010557
1927 Leyland Straight Eight

P1010559 P1010560

P1010561
1951 Rover 2.1Ltr. Marauder

P1010563 P1010565

 

P1010568
1931 MG 2.5 Ltr. 18/80 Mk.1

 

P1010569

P1010576
1965 Rover – BRM Gas Turbine, Le Mans 24 Hrs. Entrant

P1010578

P1010574
1953 Lotus MK VI

P1010575

P1010572
1948 Morris Minor MM

P1010571

P1010582
1998 Jaguar XK 180 Concept Car

 

 

P1010584
2003 Jaguar R-D6 Concept Car

P1010585

 

P1010596
1933 SS1 16HP Tourer

P1010599 P1010598

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1010594
1933 SS2 Coupe

P1010601

 

P1010592
1929 Austin Seven Swallow

P1010591

 

P1010602
1932 SS1 16HP Coupe ” Helmet Wing”

P1010603

 

P1010604
1932 Wolseley Hornet Swallow

 

P1010606
1913 Daimler TE30 Cranmore Landaulette

P1010609

P1010619
1928 Alvis Ards TT Car. Front wheel drive

P1010623

 

P1010616
1901 Lanchester 10/12 HP Tonneau

P1010615

 

P1010620
1930 Rover Meteor by Corsica

P1010622

P1010631
1932 Wolseley Hornet Eustace Watkins Special. Body by Whittingham and Mitchell
P1010629
1936 Rover 14HP Streamline
P1010626
1989 MG DR2/PR5 Concept prototype based upon a TVR chassis.

P1010627

 

Nick

This article is held under copyright of carsceneinternational.com and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Links –

Car Scene International Index Page

https://www.carsceneinternational.com/index-page/

 

Explore more

spot_img
Coventry MotoFest 2024

Coventry MotoFest 2024 Report

In the U.K. you can never depend of the weather to treat outdoor events kindly but when it does  those events are so much...
Healey Silverstone 75th Anniversary

Healey Silverstone 75th Anniversary

CSI is please to bring you this 'Press Release' from Silverstone Festival 2024 "HEALEY SILVERSTONE CELEBRATES ITS 75th AT SILVERSTONE FESTIVAL • Special milestone for racy roadster...
Midget & Sprite Club

Healeys at the Classic Car & Restoration Show 2024

I made my annual visit to the 'Practical Classics' Classic Car & Restoration Show last Friday. As ever, it was a friendly and joyful...
Classic Car & Restoration Show

Classic Car & Restoration Show Birmingham NEC 2024 – Report

It's always a pleasure to attend this annual event. Everyone you meet is friendly and courteous, the people on the various stands are keen...
MG Prototypes

MG Prototypes at the British Motor Museum

Last year I read various articles on how MG enthusiasts had spotted rare MG prototypes rotting away on the old MG Rover site at...
Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at Gaydon 2024

Historic Rally Car Register Open Day at Gaydon 2024 – Report

In previous years I have been pleased to publicise the Historic Rally Car Register Open Day held at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, in...
Singer Le Mans

The Patrick Foundation supports ‘The Learning Hub’ at the British Motor...

A press release from the British Motor Museum - "The British Motor Museum is delighted to announce the opening of ‘The Learning Hub’, a brand-new...

Healeys at the Classic Motor Show Birmingham NEC 2023

Last Friday I made my annual pilgrimage to the Classic Motor Show held at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre. I have attended for the...