The UK is full of classic car museums that are worth visiting and one of the most impressive is the British Motor Museum. Found in the small village of Gaydon in Warwickshire, the museum contains the world’s largest collection of British classic cars. There are various vehicles to see, such as the first Land Rover, an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, Rolls-Royce Phantom and a Sinclair C5. Since it was started, the museum has expanded to include other activities, and we’re looking into the venue’s history.
In the 1970s, a new division of the British Leyland Motor Corporation was formed to preserve the company’s historic vehicle collection. The company became BL Heritage Limited in 1979 and a museum was opened at Syon Park, the former home of the London Transport Museum. 100 vehicles from the collection went on display.
In 1983, the collection was granted charitable status and became the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. As the collection continued to grow it was decided the cars needed a larger site to accommodate them. The former RAF Gaydon airfield was chosen in Warwickshire and the Heritage Motor Centre opened in 1993. The museum contained educational facilities that charted the journey of cars from the 20th century to the modern day.
The museum improved with time, with a major revamp occurring in 2006. After carrying out research on what visitors wanted to see, the Trust was awarded a grant of £1.3 million to enhance the museum. It led to new exhibitions being developed, such as ‘Under the Skin,’ which demonstrated the process behind making a classic car.
Another revamp happened in 2015 and the venue’s name changed to the British Motor Museum. It reopened in 2016 with new exhibits and a renewed sense of purpose.
What’s happening this year?
2018 is an exciting year for the British Motor Museum as there’s various events to be involved with:
Mini Motorists – 19th February
Mini Motorists is a new activity aimed at toddlers. Held in the morning, the event features storytelling, Lego car assembly and dress up. It’s a great way to introduce your children to cars in a fun and friendly environment.
Lights, Camera, Cars – 25th February
This is a photography workshop that will help you develop lighting skills. You’ll take photos of the museum’s collection and be able to apply this to taking pictures of your own car. The course teaches how to utilise natural light, flash guns and reflectors to get the best photo.
Inside British Motorsport – 3rd March
Ever wanted to learn more about the motorsport industry? This event will give you the opportunity to find out more. Hosted by the Editor in Chief of Autocar, Steve Cropley, the event will also have several guest speakers from the industry. You’ll be able to come away with a new appreciation for motorsport.
Are you planning a visit to the British Motor Museum this year?