What's new in the Museum 2020?

The Museum may be closed now but there has still been and continues to be, so much going on behind the scenes. Being closed has allowed us to look back on what we have done so far, and reassess what we are going to do in the future.

For some of you, you may not have been able to visit us before we closed our doors in March and others may not have come across some of the changes we have made yet. Here is an update on what we’ve been up to so far in 2020, and what we are planning to change up and refresh before your next visits!

New acquisitions:

We’re always on the lookout for new vehicles to add to our collection. We have a strict process for deciding what we can and can’t accept and normally it falls in line with how well-represented vehicles already are in our collection. So far this year we have been lucky enough to add three new cars to the collection already!

In January we were kindly donated a TVR Grantura. This is a British marque that until now, we didn’t have an example of within our collection. If you have been to visit us in March you may have seen it in with the sports cars in the museum. It will be there when we reopen so go and check it out!

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In February again, we were offered another car that filled a gap in our collections. We collected the Reliant Scimitar SS1. Since the end of February, it has been on display in the Reception of the museum – even if you visited before we closed you may have missed it. It will be joining the rest of the collection vehicles down in the museum just in time for when we reopen.

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You may have seen across our social media that we acquired a Triumph TR2 with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Again you will be able to find this record-breaking car with other sports cars in the Museum.

New Interactives:

Some of you may have seen our new sit in car at the Museum. We know many visitors want to experience sitting in our cars but unfortunately, this isn’t something we can ordinarily facilitate as it goes against the long-term care needs of the objects. Although they are cars and many people are very familiar with having and using them we must also remember that for us as the caretakers, they are first and foremost a Museum artefact and should be treated as such!

But still, we recognise that there is no better way to learn and relive than through experience so we have worked hard with an interactives company Unusual Projects to create a new ‘sit in car’, which can be enjoyed by adults and children alike!

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On top of the new interactive we have installed, we know some of our older games and interactives need a little attention. We have put some plans in place to review some of the other interactives in the museum throughout this year, adding to what already exists and refreshing some of what is already there. Make sure you pop back in to give them a go.


New Exhibitions and displays:

As you may have seen from the previous Curator’s blog, we opened a Range Rover exhibition to celebrate its 50th Birthday in March! The exhibition opened just days before we closed so many visitors will yet have seen this. Never fear! Our intention was to swap this exhibition over in June, however, we are planning to extend the run of the exhibition across the summer holidays and later into the year to give people a chance to check it out.

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If you want a sneak peek – check out our Facebook Page for a video walk-around just before it opened.

We’re also working hard to refresh and update our temporary exhibition The Car. The Future. Me. We are looking at getting some more visitor involvement in creating new content, again keep an eye on our Facebook Page over the next few weeks for more information.

Whilst the Museum is closed, we are also working hard at reviewing some of the displays and cases. As we have temporary exhibitions, the collection's vehicles move around frequently. Just before the Museum closure, the workshop and curatorial teams were working hard to reassess and reorder all the vehicles in the collection following the Mini’s returning from the Mezzanine and a few of the Range Rover disappearing for their 50th birthday celebrations.

We’re hoping to continue this project soon, and have some fresh new layouts, in the Museum – you may see some vehicles out on display that you’ve never noticed before! We’re also hoping to change up some of our display cabinets. Working with Dave, our exhibitions officer, we are scouring our stores for more small artefacts to bring out into the museum and show off the great materials we have!

We look forward to getting back in and doing some more things in the Museum – and of course to welcoming you back soon! In the meantime, keep an eye on the Facebook Page and blogs for more updates.