22 August 2023

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon

 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.

Vauxhall SRV.

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.