The Car. The Future. Me.
Ann Evans reports on the latest events at The British Motor Museum, Gaydon.
There’s always so much going on at The British Motor Museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire, so if motors are your thing here’s some of the events you won’t want to miss.
July 12th saw the official opening of the new exhibition exploring the future of the car, The Car. The Future. Me. The exhibition which runs until July 2020 was opened by Chairman Kevin Timms who spoke about the future of the car in today’s world with all the developing technology, including the impact of electric and autonomous cars.
The exhibition shows how over the past 100 years, the motor car has made a big difference to social mobility around the world as well as being a significant contribution to climate change. This, coupled with rapidly moving developments in technology, means that the car as we know it is changing; fast.
The exhibition begins by looking back at the inventors of the first cars – some of which were powered by electricity – and their visions for the future. Visitors can discover what designers in the 20th century thought cars would look like in the 21st century and whether their predictions have come true. The exhibition explores the latest car technology, looking at how electric cars work and if they are the best solution for today’s roads and travel. Visitors will also discover the world of autonomous vehicles, how much technology is in our cars today and how connected, shared transport systems might be closer to reality than we think.
Included in the exhibition are visions of the future from times past, such as the Triumph XL90 conceived in 1967 as the car of the year 2000, right up to the latest Aurrigo PodZero autonomous pod, which is built in nearby Coventry and is playing a crucial role in the first international trials of driverless vehicles for communities with reduced mobility.
Stephen Laing, Curator at the British Motor Museum said, “We are delighted to be hosting this thought-provoking exhibition which we hope will spark debate amongst our visitors. Will there still be cars in 100 years’ time? How we will drive them? Will we drive at all? As visitors journey through the exhibition they will be asked a series of questions about how they think the car might change in the future and how it may affect them. For example, do they like the idea of being a passenger in a fully automatic pod and would they miss driving? Finally, they will be asked to decide how they feel about the future, as it has many unknowns!”
Admission to The Car. The Future. Me. is included within the Museum entrance fee.
National Metro & Mini Show
The ‘National Metro & Mini Show’ takes place at the British Motor Museum on Sunday 4th August as part of the Museum’s Mini 60th celebrations. Attractions include ‘Stunt Drive UK’ who will be performing a tribute to The Italian Job with three ‘Britannia Job’ live stunt shows featuring three classic Minis in red, white and blue.
The Fab Beatles tribute act will be adding to the festival feel performing live throughout the day. Hundreds of Minis, MINIs and Metros will be on display including ‘621 AOK’, the first Mini produced in 1959 and ‘X411 JOP’ the last ever classic Mini to be produced at Longbridge in 2000. Also, the ’33 EJB’, ‘AJB 44B’ and ‘LBL 6D’ the Monte Carlo Rally winning Mini’s of 1964, 1965 and 1967. With 2019 also marking the 25th anniversary of Rover’s 100, visitors can also see the last Rover 100 produced.
Tom Caren, Shows Manager at the British Motor Museum said, “We are planning a fantastic show to celebrate the Mini’s 60th. We have some great entertainment laid on for our visitors, as well as the chance to see hundreds of these iconic marques!”
For visitors wanting to camp and make a weekend of it, the Museum is also organising entertainment for the Saturday evening and is pleased to announce that Peter James Insurance will be supporting the show in addition to a number of other key shows this year.
Tracey James from Peter James Insurance said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the National Metro & Mini Show, especially in this landmark 60th anniversary year for the iconic Mini – a marque that is so close to the hearts of so many motoring enthusiasts across the world.”
Campers arriving on the Saturday can wander around the Museum & Collections Centre and explore the temporary exhibitions: ‘Mini: Great Little Cars’ and the new ‘The Car. The Future. Me.’, the Collections Centre will be open until 5.30pm. There will be live music from The Barn-Ettes, a trio of female singers. The Horsebox Bar and Fat Larry’s will be serving drinks and kebabs.
Also, in the evening, vehicle owners are encouraged to light up their cars with fairy lights and glow-sticks for the fun ‘Glow Show’ with prizes for the most eye-catching vehicles!
BMW Car Club National Festival
BMW fans will be able to see over 1,000 BMWs when the British Motor Museum hosts the BMW Car Club National Festival on Sunday 11th August. Regarded as one of Europe’s largest gathering of BMW’s, the festival is organised by the BMW Car Club GB and promises to be even bigger than last year.
New for 2019 is a Show Arena featuring Grandstand seating, new Display Ramp and all major activities! Vehicles on display will include M Power, ALPINA, Z’s and i’s, as well as modern, classic and modified BMW models including MINI’s.
The ‘New Car Village’ will be showcasing the latest models from BMW, ALPINA, AC Schnitzer and MINI. Visitors will be able to see the pre-launch of the new BMW 1 series, the 3 series Touring (1st public viewing) and the fabulous new M8 together with fully accessorised M2 & M4 models.
The Car Club displays will include a wide variety of vehicles from various regions and model registers. Visitors can also enjoy the popular Car Club Concours and see some of the cleanest BMW’s trying to outshine their fellow competitors with classes from Pride of Ownership through to Elite and Masterclass.
Entertainment will be provided by Steve Deeks, a professional presenter and raconteur. There will also be musical entertainment from Fat Cat Brass, a modern, funky brass band who play their own quirky twist on great tunes from the last five decades.
Trade stands will offer a range of products from brakes, exhausts, tuning packages, detailing products, leather care and restoration plus accessories and goodies. The ‘Car Club Village’ will offer a place to sit, chat and meet fellow enthusiasts. Staff and Directors from the BMW Car Club will be on hand to answer questions and enrol new members. There will also be a traditional tombola with prizes donated from the trade stands and winner’s prize draw.
Tom Caren said, “The BMW Festival attracts thousands of visitors and is a brilliant family day out. There are plenty of additional activities for everyone including children’s entertainment and an archive cinema. Anyone with a historic, classic, ALPINA, E-series, F-series, G-series, I series, M series, X-series, Z-series or MINI are encouraged to come along and enjoy the day!”
The nostalgic ‘Buses Festival’ will return to the British Motor Museum for a sixth year on Sunday 18 August. Organised by Key Publishing, publisher of Buses Magazine, visitors can step back in time and see an impressive display of around 100 restored, vintage and modern buses and coaches from various decades and fleets.
Visitors can also enjoy free bus rides on modern and vintage buses around local scenic routes and the Museum’s internal roads. There is also a free courtesy bus running between Leamington Spa Upper Parade, Leamington Spa Train Station and the British Motor Museum. A full timetable is available online. Visitors can also pick up a free festival programme, subject to availability. There will also be a number of indoor and outdoor traders selling a variety of bus related items including books, DVDs, models and more. It offers a great place for visitors to buy a gift or for a new addition to an existing collection.
Entry to the Museum is included in the ticket price where there are over 300 historic British cars to explore within the Museum and Collections Centre.
Show Manager, Tom Caren stated, “Now in its sixth year the Buses Festival is a fantastic day out and a great opportunity to travel for free in some amazing nostalgic vehicles! It is one of the best classic and modern bus events where there is such a diverse range of models on display to enjoy.”
For full details and admission prices to all events, please visit: https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk or call 01926 641188.