More than 100 guests enjoyed the Heritage Motor Centre’s 21st birthday celebrations on 1 May, including people from various car clubs, local councilors, members of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and various press.
VIPs included Peter Mitchell, OBE who was the founder Patron of the HMC. Peter was responsible for securing the funding for the HMC back in 1991. Since the Centre opened on 1 May 1993, its collection has grown and is now renowned as the largest collection of historic British motor cars in the world
Karen Wright reports
This informative and enjoyable day also included the official opening of the “21 Years 21 Icons” exhibition which will run until the end of December as part of the celebrations. This well presented and fascinating exhibition features 21 iconic automotive products including 7 motoring icons, 7 motoring inventions and 7 motoring innovators – from the elegant Jaguar E-type to Cat’s Eyes and iconic motoring figures like Alec Issigonis and William Morris.
For all, a highlight of the day was the chance to ride and drive in a selection of 21 of the HMC’s finest cars including the very first Land Rover, FAB 1 from Thunderbirds, pre-and-post British Leyland prototypes and racers including a Metro 6R4 and Austins 100hp Grand Prix car from 1908….what a treat! (Karen Wright, pictured enjoying a drive).
Following a delicious lunch and birthday cake, a presentation about the new £4 million Heritage Lottery funded Museum Collection Centre (MCC) took place. Peter Mitchell cut the first turf for the new building which will house the Trusts reserve car collection when it opens in spring 2015.
Pictured are the 21 cars which had been assembled into the shape of the number 21
Tim Bryan, Head of Collections & Interpretation at the Heritage Motor Centre stated “We were delighted to celebrate our 21st birthday – the event enabled our guests to see the collection in action. It was a fantastic celebration and everyone was very positive about our plans for the future, which, along with the new MCC, will enable us to make our collections far more accessible to the public”.
The Heritage Motor Centre is located in lovely Warwickshire countryside just off Junction 12 of the M40 at Gaydon.
Home to around 300 cars in its collection which span the classic vintage eras, the Heritage Motor Centre is a mecca for car and transport enthusiasts, with top car collections, a vehicle restoration workshop, an archive reading room and lively education service. Yet it also offers plenty for those not so passionate including celebrity and film cars, nostalgic film cinema, excellent Café and shop. Visitors can also enjoy a Land Rover experience and children’s go-kart track. Whether your groups are young or just young at heart, there is sure to be a car in the Museum’s collection that they recognize and reminisce over. Such as the Austin 7, Morris Minor, 1100 or perhaps that first sports car they owned, like the MGB or TR6. There is so much to see, do and enjoy, allow at least half a day and include coffee, lunch or afternoon tea.
- Coaching groups are most welcome and enjoy free, convenient parking, guided tours, group rates, discounted café prices and organizer and driver benefits.
If it’s just a quick refreshment stop you are looking for, passing groups are very welcome to use the fully licensed café, toilet facilities and enjoy a 15 minute taster tour of the Museum.
Visit this year, up to the end of December, and celebrate the Centre’s 21st Birthday and browse around the very special exhibition, 21 Years, 21 Icons.
- For more information and pre-bookings contact John Bishop on Tel: 01926 645029