A year or so back, the excellent Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon closed its doors in order that it could enter some chrysalis like state, finally emerging as the British Motor Museum after a comprehensive rebuilding and expansion and as much as we loved the old Heritage Centre Museum, the new British Motor Museum is simply amazing! Located just off the M40 and adjacent to Jaguar Land Rover factory, the museum is home to the worlds largest collection of historic British cars. But it’s not just cars as there is so much more from scale models to period signage and many, many motoring artefacts and you could happily spend a long time in there in rapturous amazement at the many and varied Jaguars, Minis, MGs and the like andthats without mentioning the Cortina, Hillman Imp or DeLorean located within its walls.
But its outside the main museum that the fun for a petrolhead really starts. You see, the newly constructed building adjacent to the museum hosts two rather wonderful things – the reserve collection on the upper floor and some of the Jaguar Heritage fleet downstairs. We went upstairs first… The reserve collection is, as you might imagine home to everything that there isn’t room for in the main museum. First Derby built Toyota Carina? Yup, thats here. Austin Metro saloon prototype? Yep. First and lasts of many a Land Rover, MG and Rover. They’re all here and you can spend a happy hour wandering around and having a really good look at the treasures within.
After you’ve spent a few minutes peering down into the workshop – where on our visit a modern Ford Focus shared space with a Group C Jaguar racer – you should probably head downstairs. Here you’ll find a pretty magnificent Jaguar collection where F1 cars, prototypes, last of lines and Group C endurance racers all fight for your attention. In short its magnificent.
But hang on, we’re here to trade at a car show aren’t we, not look around a museum?
Erm, yes. So lets do that.
The BMC & Leyland show pretty much fills the outdoor space at Gaydon. In truth theres far more there than just BMC & Leyland era cars with more modern Rovers and MGs parked next to period Austins, Morris, Triumphs and everything else the sprawling British Leyland produced. The variety and quality of cars was immense and combined with great weather meant we had a pretty good day. As ever it was nice to see a few familiar faces as well as meeting so many new people and we’re hoping to be back there in 2018.
Theres a selection of photos below and you can find more on our facebook page!