Automotive museums

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
We are planning our next trip to Europe and was wondering if there are any automotive museums that you would recommend. In June we visited the Porsche museum and loved it. If you are a fan of the 917, you HAVE visit it. The other place that sticks in my mind is the Donnington collection. We went there 10 years ago and found it to be truly amazing. I don't even know if it still exists.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
If you are looking to spend a bit of time in the UK, I can recommend the following:

http://www.beaulieu.co.uk/ - Good selection of cars from across the years and as you can see from the pictures, a few F1 cars as well. I've been here once, many years ago and it was pretty good. There is plenty of stuff for all ages as well.

http://www.haynesmotormuseum.com/ - Well worth a visit and just undergoing a major referb as well. A bit difficult to find being as it is in the middle of deepest darkest Somerset but well worth a visit. It's owned by the same company who produce the Haynes motor manuals.

http://www.classicteamlotus.co.uk/content/tour.aspx - Not sure if you can book on to tours as individuals or if you have to arrange a whole tour for a group but it may be worth enquiring about this.

http://www.heritage-motor-centre.co.uk/ - I've not been here but if British Cars are your thing then you could do no worse than going to Gaydon. Some of the biggest piles of crap ever to roll off the production lines at British Leyland (The Austin Montego for example) are here plus many other classics.

And yes, the Donnington GP collection is still open.

http://www.donington-park.co.uk/about-donington/the-donington-grand-prix-collection/
 

Josh

Champion Elect
Beaulieu is amazing...

If you are in the Netherlands (small chance but you never know:

http://www.automuseumschagen.nl/index.php - I've never been there myself so no idea what it's like, but it's free! It's in Schagen though, which I personally never heard of which probably means there isn't much else to do there.

http://www.louwmanmuseum.nl/asp/appmain.asp?appactie=museum&taalcd=nl - This is in the Hague. They have a very nice collection, including Spyker cars and some automobile related art.
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
Having been to the Haynes Museum, I can vouch for it - I didn't have any problems finding it, either.

They have some beautiful Alfa Romeos, and even a few F1 cars, including an Embassy Hill. There was a Duisenberger that was about the size of a locomotive engine, that was the most remarkable shade of blue.

I was also quite surprised to see a T34/85 parked outside next to a London Bus - a very incongruous pairing!
 

Pyrope

Podium Finisher
Supporter
Sorry to say but Donington isn't what it was. Wheatcroft Jr. has sold off an awful lot of cars in the last couple of years and given over one entire hall to his rather dull collection of military vehicles. Seeing as there are a whole heap of other guns'n'tanks museums out there (I live down the road from the Canadian national one...) this is a huge disappointment to me. Ok, so the old layout was a little haphazard and crowded, but at least the cars were there to look at.

Haynes is a good one, and although it has been quite a few years since I last went there I do remember enjoying it.

The Cars of the Stars museum (http://www.carsofthestars.com/) was also a fun couple of hours if you happened to be in central Cumbria on a wet weekend, although sadly it appears that they are currently closed pending a move to new premises.

On two wheels there is of course the National Motorcycle Museum (http://www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk/museum/) near Birmingham airport. As someone only a little interested in 'bikes it is a little overwhelming but if you are of the two wheel tribe then it's unmissable as there are some ultra rare things stowed in there. Being of the age I am, the ****el-engined GP Nortons were definitely to be drooled over...

Anyway, hope that helps a little?
 
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