The UK features an assortment of classic car museums that are open to the public. One of the most impressive in the country has to be the Coventry Transport Museum, for its range of rare motors that date back to the dawn of the automotive industry. Historically, Coventry has been an important place for cars, with many companies gaining a foothold in the city, such as Jaguar, Triumph, Peugeot and Chrysler. In honour of Coventry’s automotive heritage, we’re looking into five of the most beautiful cars that the museum has to offer.
1935 SS Jaguar
With Jaguar having a presence in Coventry, it stands to reason that a few of their cars would be in the museum. A beautiful example is a 1935 SS Jaguar that featured an art-deco design, with a long, elegant bonnet and arches over the front wheels. It had a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine that ensured the Jaguar reached a top speed of 70 mph. The model is important because it bore the original name of the Swallow Sidecar Company, which was changed after WW2 to avoid any negative connotations.
Queen Mary 1935 Daimler
Another vehicle that’s worth seeing in the museum is the royal Daimler that was given to King George V and Queen Mary for their Silver Jubilee in 1935. The king died less than a year later, though Queen Mary continued to use the motor to travel around in. The car was acquired by the museum in 1984 and restored to its former glory.
1960 Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire
The Star Sapphire was built by Armstrong Siddeley, improving on the previous Sapphire design. The car had a 3990 cc engine capable of 165bhp and came with an elegant appearance. A 1959 test carried out by the British magazine The Motor clocked the Star Sapphire coming in at 100 mph. Around 902 were created, with the one in the museum being an excellent engineering example.
1949 Coventry Venus
The Coventry Venus is an oddity among the museum collection because of its design. It featured a 747 cc engine mounted ahead of the front wheels, yet has a rear-wheel-drive. Six prototypes were made, though the car never went into production. The museum version is the only one left in existence.
1935 Standard 16
A rare car, the Standard 16 featured a 2.1-litre 6-cylinder engine and was adapted for war time use. For example, it featured lamp covers that were designed to prevent light emission during the night that would have alerted enemy aircrafts. Although it was a beautiful car, it’s safe to say that anyone driving it would be prone to being in an accident.