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Heritage Motor Centre to celebrate its 21st birthday

The Heritage Motor Centre (HMC) in Gaydon, Warwickshire 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.

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