Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Moving Motor Museum

Being a bit of a transport geek I can’t resist either a heritage railway or a motor museum. Over the weekend I visited the Mid-Hants Railway or Watercress Line and the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Much as I love the Beaulieu museum I do wonder if motor museums could learn a thing from the steam railway.

From Beaulieu and Watercress Line

The great thing about these enthusiast-run railways is that you experience the trains running; not just as static exhibits. You get a flavour of what railway travel was like fifty years ago. It would be interesting to see the same model applied to cars.

Imagine a museum where some cars are in use either every day or, at least, at the weekends. The public could see and possibly even ride in old cars. To that end you’d need a short test track. Not a race track but somewhere with a variety of road surfaces, corners and gradients and maybe a long straight. Cars would not be pushed to their limits but I would want to give people an idea of acceleration, ride comfort and cornering; hearing the noise of the engines, the feel and smell of the upholstery.

What cars would go in the collection? You’d want cars that were interesting to look at and travel in.

Considering those factors the first cars I’d source for my collection would be:

From Model T Pictures

Ford Model T – A unique character with its strange controls.

From Haynes Motor Museum

Citroen SM – demonstrate the ride quality and general eccentricity of Citroen.

From BIMS 2008 Oldies

Lamborghini Countach – big on drama and spectacle whether in motion or standing still.

From Warwick Classic and Retro Cars

Mini Cooper – cramped and uncomfortable but fun.

From Gold Cup 2008

Jaguar XJ12/Daimler Double Six – Possibly the smoothest engine ever and a great ride too.

From Gold Cup 2008

Rolls-Royce Corniche – Or any Shadow variant, to sample Rolls-Royce craftsmanship.

From Luton Festival of Transport

Plymouth GTX – Feel the power of a big, American V8 as well as the comedy cornering behaviour of a car designed for straight roads.

What cars would you include?

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