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The Heritage Motor Centre Is 21 Years Old

Stephen Laing, Curator at the Heritage Motor Centre

Gaydon, Warwickshire March 31, 2014; The Heritage Motor Centre (HMC) will celebrate its 21st birthday in May by hosting a special exhibition “21 Years 21 Icons” featuring products and people that represent the very best of British motoring.  Since the Museum opened on 1 May 1993, its collection has been renowned as one of the finest selections of British motor cars.  The museum tells the story of the people that have shaped Britain’s love affair with the motor car and also houses some of the world’s best known examples of automotive design and technology. 

The exhibition, which will run from 2 May to the end of December 2014, will feature 21 iconic automotive products including 7 motoring icons, 7 motoring inventions and 7 motoring innovators. From the elegant Jaguar E-type to the black taxi cab to tyres and Cat’s Eyes and iconic motoring figures like Alec Issigonis and William Morris, all embody the pioneering spirit of Britain’s contribution to the motor industry. For each of the 21, the exhibition will explore their history and why they are so important to Britain’s automotive evolution. The exhibition will tell the stories of some of the talented people that have shaped the industry including racer Stirling Moss and Lotus boss Colin Chapman plus it will highlight some of the inventions where Britain led the way including the pneumatic tyre and disc brake. 

There will be hands-on interactive fun for all the family as they tour the exhibition plus there will be an opportunity for visitors to make suggestions for their own favourite British designs and personality icons from the motoring world.

As part of the Centre’s 21st celebrations it is also offering the opportunity for residents from neighbouring villages of  Gaydon and Lighthourne Heath to visit the HMC on the 2, 3, 4 & 5 May for just £5 per person, the original price when the Centre opened 21 years ago. Residents need to bring a utility bill and photographic I.D. showing where they live.

Stephen Laing, Curator at the Heritage Motor Centre stated "The Heritage Motor Centre has been celebrating the best of Britain’s car industry for 21 years. It has been a difficult task to choose just 21 products, people and pioneering inventions that represent motoring, the motor car and its industry in Britain. Of course our exhibition showcases only a small selection of Britain’s contribution to motoring. We hope visitors will enjoy this exciting new exhibition and celebrate with us the very best of British motoring”.

To add to the 21st celebrations, the HMC was delighted to announce last week the news of its new Heritage Lottery funded Museum Collection Centre. The £4 million project will see an entire new two story building opening in 2015 which will house the Trusts reserve car collection along with a viewing gallery into a new workshop and a lifelong learning education zone.

Tim Bryan, Head of Collections & Interpretation said: "It will allow us to make our collections far more accessible and will enable people to learn more about the motor industry which has played such an important role in the West Midlands".

Entry to the “21 Years 21 Icons” exhibition is included in the Museum entry fee which is Adults £12, Child £8 (5-16 years) under 5 free, Concessions £10 & Family £34 (2 adults & up to 3 children). Buy one day and get 12 months free if you Gift Aid your entrance.

For more information about the Heritage Motor Centre please visit or call 01926 641188.


Notes to our readers

  • The Heritage Motor Centre is home to the world's largest historic collection of British cars and draws together the collections of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust.  The car collection boasts over 300 cars which span the classic, vintage and veteran eras and includes iconic cars such as: Austin 100 HP, Land Rover No1, Morris Minor No1, the first and last Mini, MG old No1, and the Thunderbirds Fab1 car.
  • The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust displays some of its iconic racing heritage collection at the Heritage Motor Centre including a 2002 Jaguar Formula 1 car.
  • There are a number of exciting exhibitions taking place in 2014 including the Centre’s 21st Birthday Exhibition featuring 21 British Motoring icons, not just cars but the inventions, the innovations and the people that form part of the fabric of today’s motoring industry - 7 motoring icons, 7 motoring inventions, 7 motoring innovators. In addition the Aston Martin Century of Craftsmanship Exhibition will run until the end of 2014.
  • Each year the Centre organises a number of highly successful motoring events from the UK Slot Car Festival to the Classic & Vintage Commercial Show, as well as many other marque events and rallies. For full details please visit the website at
  • The HMC is a not for profit organisation which donates all its profits to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, an educational charity which preserves and cares for the vehicle collection and an extensive motoring archive.  Registered Charity No.286575.
  • The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a number of projects over the past decade including the Nick Baldwin Collection, Longbridge and Solihull exhibitions and in 2007 a HLF grant of £1.7 million enabled the Centre to re-develop its museum, constructing a new mezzanine floor and three interactive exhibitions. Last year, the Centre was successful in securing a further £50k Heritage Lottery Fund grant, to design a new Collection Centre, which will display its reserve collection.   
  • The Centre is situated in Gaydon, Warwickshire just off junction 12 of the M40.
  • To find out more information about the Heritage Motor Centre, please visit the website at