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Category: British Motor Museum

  1. British Motor Museum shortlisted in the Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards!

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    The British Motor Museum has been selected as one of three finalists in the Collection category in this year’s Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards. The annual Awards recognise outstanding achievements within the British historic motoring and motorsport world. The judges had an impressive and diverse list of candidates across all 8 categories to scrutinise and will announce the results on 28 January 2021.

    The Museum was shortlisted for a number of reasons, namely hosting three exhibitions during a difficult year and through two lockdowns. These included a major exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Range Rover and “Metro at 40” which celebrated one of Britain’s best-selling small cars. The exhibition, which went live on 9 September, is free to view from the Museum’s website and gives everyone the chance to celebrate this iconic car’s special birthday.

    In October the Museum opened a new exhibition from the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (JDHT). “When Jaguar Bought Daimler” tells the story of when Jaguar bought the Daimler Company from BSA in 1960. The Museum has also remained very active online throughout this unprecedented year with its #historybeginsathome social posts and a lively blog. On 13 October the Museum also held its first ‘Gaydon Gathering’, an informal socially-distanced evening for enthusiasts and their classics, with the opportunity to see the Museum's collection in action.


    Stephen Laing, Head of Collections at the British Motor Museum said “Despite the challenges of the past few months, we know that museums like ours are an important part of the community. When the Museum has been allowed to open, we have tried to maintain as much of the normal experience in the safest possible environment for our visitors. When we have had to close, our superb team has found creative ways to keep in touch with our visitors. From fun at home activities for families, updates from the archive, to our first online exhibition celebrating the Metro's 40th birthday, we've really enjoyed the feedback from the public. We have loved hearing everyone’s Metro memories, proving that the much-maligned little car really did help transport a nation through their daily lives and still has a faithful following today. Being a finalist in the Collections category is a great testimony and recognition of the hard work the entire team undertakes”.


    Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club said, “There has never been a better time to be rewarding excellence and achievement in what has been an extraordinary year. From keeping businesses active to producing events when all the odds were stacked against the organisers showed such determination. There was also an impressive line-up of online activities within the entries, which just reinforced how resilient and innovative the industry has been in keeping the wheels turning. The standard of entries this year has been overwhelming and the judges, who I’d like to thank, had a tough time honing them down to the finalists”.

    For more information about the Awards please visit find out more about the British Motor Museum please visit more information about the exhibitions please visit


  2. British Motor Museum to host brand new 'When Jaguar Bought Daimler' exhibition

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    ‘When Jaguar Bought Daimler’ is a new exhibition at the British Motor Museum, from the  Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (JDHT), telling the story of when Jaguar bought the Daimler Company from BSA in 1960.

    Most people know very little about the early history of the Daimler Company in the UK, or when it became part of the Jaguar Group, and the 60th anniversary of Jaguar’s purchase of the company from BSA provides the ideal opportunity to tell the story.

    ‘When Jaguar Bought Daimler’ will run from 10 October 2020 to the end of January 2021.  It starts by detailing Sir William Lyons’ requirement for additional factory space, which fortuitously coincided with BSA’s desire to divest themselves of the loss making Daimler Company.  It explains the background behind the deal that was struck between Sir William and Jack Sangster of BSA, without the knowledge of Jaguar’s own board of directors.  This is exemplified by the opening headline of the exhibition:

    “While shaving on May 26th 1960 , Jaguar Engineering Director, William Heynes heard an announcement on the BBC radio news that Jaguar was to buy Daimler from BSA.  This came as a complete surprise to Heynes and the rest of the Jaguar Board.”

    The exhibition covers 100 years from the Daimler Company’s beginnings in 1896, its history of Royal patronage, superb engineering, efforts supporting both World Wars and then Daimler’s ‘post Jaguar’ life.  A series of period advertisements provides an insight into  Daimler’s social history

    The following Daimlers from the JDHT Collection are included in the exhibition:

    • 1897 - Grafton Phaeton AD 1897 – the oldest surving Coventry built Daimler
    • 1907 - TP 35 – a sister car to the Daimler that set fastest time of day at the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb
    • 1911 - TA23 – owned by a serial inventor who was responsible for many of the innovations that made pneumatic tyres practical. (The car wears registration number DU 1 the first one issued by Coventry).
    • 1950 - DE36 ‘Green Goddess’ – one of only 7 built – bought in New York by James Melton - ‘America’s Favorite Tenor’
    • 1963 SP252 Prototype – Sir William Lyons’ proposal for re-styling the Daimler SP250 Sports Car
    • 1964 Majestic Major Limousine – the standard limousine of the 1950s and 1960s – powered by the 4.5 litre version of the Edward Turner designed, Daimler V8 engine
    • 1966 V8 Saloon – Daimler version of the Jaguar Mark II compact saloon
    • 1992 DS420 Limousine – the very last DS420 limousine built – signed by the team who built it
    • 1996 Corsica – built by Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations to commemorate Daimler’s centenary

    The exhibition is included in the normal Museum admission.  Museum entry is £14.50 for adults, £12.50 for concessions, £9 for children (5-16 years) and under 5s are FREE.  There is also the option to Gift Aid or donate your entry fee and get an Annual Pass in return, at no extra cost.

    To find out more information about this exhibition please visit the website at or call 01926 927823.


  3. British Motor Museum awarded £707,000 from Government's Culture Recovery Fund

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    The British Motor Museum is delighted to announce it has been awarded £707,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure it has a sustainable future.

    The British Motor Museum is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced on Saturday. This follows £257 million awarded earlier in the week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

    Stephen Laing, Head of Collections said "We are delighted that the Government has given the British Motor Museum a generous award from the Culture Recovery Fund. It will enable us to continue to look after our amazing collections, support the talented team of people that work at the Museum and plan for the future. It will also help us to keep welcoming visitors through the doors of the Museum in the coming months and to share our wonderful stories with them."

    Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden said “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations. These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”

    Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said “Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries. 

    This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis.  We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”

    The British Motor Museum is currently open Friday to Monday but will be open daily throughout half term from 24 October – 1 November and will be running a fun range of family activities including the 'Where's Wally?' Spooky Museum Search and Rocket Science. To find out more about the British Motor Museum please visit the website at 

  4. British Motor Museum to host a safe outdoor musical theatre performance!

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    With less than two weeks to go until the British Motor Museum hosts a new innovative production ‘Voices of the West End, the organisers are keen to stress how COVID safe and secure the event will be. The outdoor event will take place in the grounds of the Museum on 25, 26 & 27 September and showcase music from the West End’s greatest musicals.

    2,000 people recently watched the performance at Broadlands in Hampshire. Audiences greeted West End stars John Owen-Jones, Earl Carpenter, Kerry Ellis, and Katie Hall with a rapturous reception as they delivered a succession of hit numbers from favourite musicals including Chess, The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. The audience praised not only the incredible performances but also the safe and secure organisation of the event.

    Earl Carpenter, performer and producer said “From the outset we wanted people to feel entirely safe. Every group of up to 4 guests occupies their own 3m square marked out socially distanced plot, with metres of space between each one. But that did not dampen the atmosphere and enthusiasm one bit. Everyone was incredibly excited to hear a live performance and, as four performers, we loved singing for an audience again”.

    Along with an option of a 4-person pitch from no more than two households or support bubbles there is now also the option of a two-person picnic or car pitch. The performances are 90 minutes long with no interval and will take place on Friday 25 September at 7pm, Saturday 26 September, when there are two performances at 2pm and 7pm and on Sunday 27 September at 6pm. Gates open 2 hours beforehand.

    The box office for the concert is managed by Birmingham Hippodrome and tickets can only be booked via their website at Roped pitches are from £59 for a 3 square metre pitch and car pitches are from £96.50, where performances can be watched from inside the car or set up next to it. 

    The chefs at the British Motor Museum are making luxury picnics and hampers which can be pre-ordered along with a selection of wines to enjoy in style. Picnics are £16 per person and the luxury hampers £21 per person. These must be pre-ordered via the Museum’s website and orders close on the evening of Sunday 20 September. On the event day there will also be a small food and drink area serving gourmet burgers with vegetarian/vegan options, coffee/teas, ice creams etc. and a bar selling alcoholic and soft drinks along with a Pinnock’s Artisan Gin Bar.

    For more information about the event please visit

    The Museum and event organisers will continue to monitor the Government advice and keep visitors informed of any changes.

  5. Update regarding the British Motor Museum 'Gaydon Gatherings'

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    In view of Wednesdays Government announcement the British Motor Museum has taken the decision to postpone next week's ‘Gaydon Gathering’. The first of these new events will now take place on Tuesday 13 October.

    Jeff Coope, Managing Director at the British Motor Museum said "Safety is our number one priority and we feel that, given these recent developments, the responsible approach is to delay the launch of this exciting new format until October. The event will remain free but admission will be by ticket only, with limited numbers to ensure everyone's safety. We appreciate the support we have received and hope that everyone who was due to attend will understand our decision. We look forward to welcoming our visitors instead on Tuesday 13 October".

    This new, informal event will be held outdoors on the Museum’s arenas. Updated details will be available on the British Motor Museum website where visitors will also be able to book their October Gaydon Gathering FREE ticket. Tickets are subject to availability and can be booked up to 12noon on the day. There will be no admission without a ticket.

    The Museum will continue to monitor the Government advice and keep visitors informed of any changes.  Names and contact details will be taken at the time of booking to comply with NHS Test and Trace and visitors will be required to observe social distancing.

    For more information on the October Gaydon Gatherings please visit