The British Motor Museum has been selected as one of three finalists in the Collection category in this year’s Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards. The annual Awards recognise outstanding achievements within the British historic motoring and motorsport world. The judges had an impressive and diverse list of candidates across all 8 categories to scrutinise and will announce the results on 28 January 2021.
The Museum was shortlisted for a number of reasons, namely hosting three exhibitions during a difficult year and through two lockdowns. These included a major exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Range Rover and “Metro at 40” which celebrated one of Britain’s best-selling small cars. The exhibition, which went live on 9 September, is free to view from the Museum’s website and gives everyone the chance to celebrate this iconic car’s special birthday.
In October the Museum opened a new exhibition from the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (JDHT). “When Jaguar Bought Daimler” tells the story of when Jaguar bought the Daimler Company from BSA in 1960. The Museum has also remained very active online throughout this unprecedented year with its #historybeginsathome social posts and a lively blog. On 13 October the Museum also held its first ‘Gaydon Gathering’, an informal socially-distanced evening for enthusiasts and their classics, with the opportunity to see the Museum's collection in action.
Stephen Laing, Head of Collections at the British Motor Museum said “Despite the challenges of the past few months, we know that museums like ours are an important part of the community. When the Museum has been allowed to open, we have tried to maintain as much of the normal experience in the safest possible environment for our visitors. When we have had to close, our superb team has found creative ways to keep in touch with our visitors. From fun at home activities for families, updates from the archive, to our first online exhibition celebrating the Metro's 40th birthday, we've really enjoyed the feedback from the public. We have loved hearing everyone’s Metro memories, proving that the much-maligned little car really did help transport a nation through their daily lives and still has a faithful following today. Being a finalist in the Collections category is a great testimony and recognition of the hard work the entire team undertakes”.
Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club said, “There has never been a better time to be rewarding excellence and achievement in what has been an extraordinary year. From keeping businesses active to producing events when all the odds were stacked against the organisers showed such determination. There was also an impressive line-up of online activities within the entries, which just reinforced how resilient and innovative the industry has been in keeping the wheels turning. The standard of entries this year has been overwhelming and the judges, who I’d like to thank, had a tough time honing them down to the finalists”.