It claims to have the largest collection of British made vehicles in the world. Not that hard to believe since it's literally next door to Aston-Martin and Jaguar-Land Rover factories. Gaydon is also within 'walking' distance of Coventry, the historical centre of the British automotive industry.
What makes this museum unique is the fact that they display a sizable number of concepts, prototypes and test mules from various makes.
Here are some highlights:
|A Vauxhall, believe it or not.
|The obligatory E-Type at the entrance.
|Austin Zanda styling concept.
|A 'modern' take on the classic Mini.
|Vauxhall XVR - clearly inspired by a C3 Corvette.
|Wonderful curves, a real shame it never made it into production.
|My favorite from the entire collection.
|Road Rover - a Land Rover for the roads.
|Jaguar SS - not a concept but a fabulous motorcar.
|Large and luxurious Alvis from the 60s.
|Nissan Leaf cutaway - not a British marque but assembled in Britain.
|BMW Dixi - the first car built by BMW was a licensed copy of the Austin Seven.
|A luxurious version of the Seven - the Austin Swallow.
|It was built by the Swallow Sidecar Company that would later become Jaguar.
|A yee olde Land Rover and something called a Marauder.
|XJS Police car. Not a V12, only a lowly 6.
|The workshop where cars are restored and maintained.
|XJ Estate concept. A missed opportunity as Volvo flooded the British market soon after.
|Concepts that would inspire the production S-Type.
|The XJ220 prototype.
|A Swallow sidecar - Jaguar's first product.
|Defender 110 cutaway with the V8, no less.
|Early Phantom VII. What a machine.
|And finally a Defender 90 with plastic body panels. They should have kept this one in production.
In conclusion: an interesting place that's well worth a visit. It provides a sneak-peek into the secretive world of concepts and prototype development, albeit for long gone models and even makes.