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RAY MASSEY: Because the famous motor museum turns 50, be on display throughout the celebrations

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The world renowned National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire celebrates its golden half-century next week. And to mark the anniversary, it’s opening an exhibition on Sunday, July 3, telling The Story Of Motoring In 50 Objects.

On that day, additionally it is inviting owners of Seventies classics to affix the fiftieth anniversary party at a Nineteen Seventies Classic Automobile Drive-In Day. Owners of cars registered in 1972 — when the museum opened — go free.

The Beaulieu collection was founded by Edward, Lord Montagu, who began it as a tribute to his motoring pioneer father John, 2nd Baron Montagu, before opening the museum on July 4, 1972 because the world’s first everlasting national motor museum. The present Lord Montagu, Edward’s son, is overseeing the anniversary celebrations.

Birthday celebration: The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is marking its fiftieth anniversary with an exhibition charting The Story of Motoring in 50 Objects.

The chosen 50 objects were whittled down from greater than 1.7 million items cared for by the National Motor Museum Trust.

And here our readers have an exclusive glimpse of a few of the final selection.

Industry pioneers

Modern motor cars trace their roots back to the fragile-looking motorised tricycle developed by Carl Benz over the winter of 1885 and 1886.

In 1888, Benz’s wife Bertha became the world’s first motorist when she took their two sons aboard the Benz Patent-Motorwagen on a 50-mile journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim in Germany. A duplicate stands within the museum today.

Bertha’s journey was barely less daring than Luigi Barzini’s epic tale of his 10,000-mile adventure within the 1907 Peking to Paris endurance race.

The book, which was a favorite of museum founder Edward Lord Montagu, can be on display.

One other publication which will probably be shown is the 1896 Redletter issue of Autocar magazine which celebrates the Emancipation Run from London to Brighton — removing the requirement for a person to walk in front of cars with a red flag and increasing the speed limit from 4 mph to 14 mph.

There will probably be loads of cars, too, resembling the 1903 De Dion-Bouton which cost £200 and hit a whopping 30 mph when it arrived at Beaulieu estate in 1913. The vehicle has been on display since 1952.

Bentley fans will enjoy the ‘Blower’ which has a 4.5 litre supercharged engine and is an example of 1920s engineering excellence

Bentley fans will benefit from the ‘Blower’ which has a 4.5 litre supercharged engine and is an example of Nineteen Twenties engineering excellence

Bentley fans will benefit from the ‘Blower’ which has a 4.5 litre supercharged engine and is an example of Nineteen Twenties engineering excellence.

Other objects include a gentleman’s motoring coat, made out of wool and fur, from 1910; the 1912 Norton BS ‘Old Miracle’, a bike which holds 112 records; an 1899 Daimler, Britain’s first automotive manufacturer; the BRM V16, Britain’s first F1 automotive and a ‘Votes for Women!’ Shell postcard produced in 1908.

Breaking records

Percy Lambert’s racing silks are on display and he was the primary man to drive a automotive greater than 100 miles in a single hour — at Brooklands on February 15, 1913. Sadly, he died a 12 months later attempting to regain the record after promising his fiancee it could be his last attempt.

And there are many other exhibits dedicated to those in motoring who’ve pushed the boundaries.

There will probably be displays on the exploits of Major Henry Segrave who broke the land speed record in 1929 on Daytona Beach by hitting 231.45 mph in Golden Arrow; Mike Hailwood’s Honda RC162 which he rode to victory within the 1961 Isle of Man TT; and the Bluebird CN7 which attempted to hit 403 mph on the Lake Eyre salt flats in South Australia.

And it is not just men either: Surgeon Morna Lloyd Vaughan and her medical student co-driver Charlotte Nash participated in several Monte Carlo rallies in a Triumph Nine Coupe, winning the Coupe des Dames (for best performing women drivers) and setting the broken legs of crashed competitors.

Other races on display are the 1900-1903 Gordon Bennett Cups during which nations competed, hence the famous British Racing Green.

Design classic: The Austin Seven (Mini) from 1959 marks the beginning of Britain’s best-selling car which was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis

Design classic: The Austin Seven (Mini) from 1959 marks the start of Britain’s best-selling automotive which was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis

Moving forward

The motor industry, naturally, has at all times been happy with its technological advancements.

One in every of the primary of those was the motorwheel attachment in 1899 which allowed cyclists to convert bikes into 18 mph motorcycles.

Other objects on display at Beaulieu include a Halda taximeter, compulsory in London cabs from 1906; Percy Shaw’s cat’s eyes developed from 1935; a pre sat-nav road guides navigator which was a series of rolled-up route maps; and a crash test dummy.

Visitors may even have the option to look at a silent home movie of Edwardian London showing the transition from horse to mechanical power, in addition to peruse a 1907 brochure from the Van, Wagon and Omnibus Company promoting the usage of electric power.

Electricity was surprisingly popular within the early twentieth century and was utilized by Harrods for its delivery vans — one is on display at Beaulieu. There is a 1917 Fordson tractor on display too, one among 135,000 produced throughout the war years alone.

Perhaps Beaulieu’s most famous export is The Spirit of Ecstasy - created by Charles Sykes in 1911 and believed to be based on John Montagu’s mistress Eleanor Thornton

Perhaps Beaulieu’s most famous export is The Spirit of Ecstasy – created by Charles Sykes in 1911 and believed to be based on John Montagu’s mistress Eleanor Thornton

Art and crafts

Perhaps Beaulieu’s most famous export is The Spirit of Ecstasy (above) which was created by Charles Sykes in 1911 and believed to be based on John Montagu’s secretary and mistress Eleanor Thornton.

There’s loads of artwork too, including a Crown Staffordshire model automotive; the Pratts branding on the American petrol pumps that first appeared in Britain throughout the Nineteen Twenties; Ron Hickman’s early designs for the Lotus Europa dating from 1963; and a glass automotive radiator mascot by artist Rene Lalique.

A 1981 Ford Escort RS1800 with its ‘Win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ slogan, in consequence of its rally success, will probably be side by side with a 1955 Shell TV commercial narrated by John Betjeman.

Boom times

The first issue of Practical Motorist & Motor Cyclist magazine

The primary issue of Practical Motorist & Motor Cyclist magazine

The Story of Motoring exhibition may even display technology — from Victorian road builders’ clogs to a demo of the 1913 Ford production line; early indicator lights; an AA callsafe cell phone in a bag from the Nineties; the primary issue of Practical Motorist & Motor Cyclist magazine; the inexpensive DRH automotive radio and camouflage on Ford’s Dagenham factory that had produced 500,000 army trucks, ambulances and tractors by 1945.

The Austin Seven from 1959 marks the start of Britain’s best-selling automotive which was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis — globally greater than ten million have been built.

A 1935 Datsun Type 14 from Japan, which was inspired by one other Austin, will probably be on display too, as the corporate was rebranded to Nissan within the Nineteen Eighties and opened its huge plant in Sunderland in 1986.

And a British Intelligence Service report looking into whether Hitler’s Beetle could help Britain’s postwar recovery may be of interest.

British automotive bosses deemed it had no future, but after being saved by Major Ivan Hirst, the Beetle went on to turn out to be the world’s best-selling automotive.

Having fun

Families are crucial to the motor industry as practical runarounds dominate the market. There is a family photo-graph from 1923 —when motoring was still a hobby — of a family stopping for a picnic.

The youngsters pictured may possibly have read the Nineteen Twenties book on display which captured the recognition of charabancs — open-topped coaches with rows of bench seats.

There are carriages each royal and practical, too. A baby-sized caravan which took a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne across the grounds of Buckingham Palace will probably be exhibited alongside the AC 70 three-wheeled carriage that gave individuals with disabilities independence from the Nineteen Forties onwards.

Ralph Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 4th Baron Montagu of Beaulieu

Ralph Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 4th Baron Montagu of Beaulieu

Fashion and music fans may benefit from the 1979 fishtail parka utilized by Mods to guard their suits within the late Nineteen Seventies and today worn by the likes of rock star Liam Gallagher.

There’s also a England football supporters’ automotive pack from 2013 including flags — and the obligatory fluffy dice. 

  • The Story of Motoring in 50 Objects on the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Hampshire. For details, visit beaulieu.co.uk or call 01590 612345.

Industry women atone for men 

Key role: Alison Jones (pictured) is senior vice-president of circular economy at Stellantis

Key role: Alison Jones (pictured) is senior vice-president of circular economy at Stellantis

In terms of deciding future cars and fashions for showrooms, the motor industry remains to be a person’s world.

But women are moving into the fast lane and beginning to overtake.

That is my take from the most recent annual Brit List 2022 which ranks the highest 50 strongest Britons in the worldwide motor industry.

Stuart Rowley, who was earlier this 12 months appointed to the worldwide role of chief transformation and quality officer for Ford — along with his existing position as chairman of Ford of Europe — emerged in the highest slot of automotive movers and shakers.

Nevertheless, there are only eight women in the highest 50, with the best placed woman, Alison Jones — now in a worldwide role as senior vice-president of circular economy for Stellantis — just outside the highest ten in eleventh place.

There are other welcome signs of top women bosses moving up quickly within the rankings, as more female executives ascend the company ladder in any respect levels. The primary Brit List — published in 2012 — featured no women in any respect.

Pipped into second place overall is Jaguar Land Rover’s chief creative officer Gerry McGovern who’s accountable for the look of the brand new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

He can be playing a pivotal role within the reinvention of Jaguar.

Third place is Scottish-born consumer electronics expert Jim Rowan who shoots straight into the highest ten as president and CEO of Sweden’s Volvo.

Auto Express’s Brit List is chosen by an independent panel of industry experts. And here I have to declare an interest. I’m one among them.

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