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Top 10: Cars from the British Motor Museum

The British Motor Museum re-opens to the public on Saturday, 13 February, following a £1.1m refurbishment. Formerly known as the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, the new museum promises to be visually more exciting than its predecessor – with more interactive displays and more than 500 cars on show.

There'll also be more space to show off the cars with a new collections centre, which allows public access for the first time to an extra 250 cars from the reserve collections of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Jaguar Heritage Trust.

For prices and opening times visit the museum website at or call 01926 641188.

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1936 Rover Speed 14 ‘Streamline’

Under the direction of the Wilkes brothers, Spencer and Maurice, the Rover company was one of the leading independent car manufacturers in Britain by 1939. The backbone of the Rover range was a series of three models introduced for the 1934 season - the 10hp and 12hp models which had a newly designed four-cylinder engine, and the 14hp model which inherited its six-cylinder engine from the Rover ‘Pilot’.

Throughout the 1930s, most Rover cars had restrained but elegant styling, well suited to the requirements of professional upper-middle class people who bought most of Rover’s products. At times, however, even Rover would bow to fashion as they did during 1935-36 when they offered fastback ‘Streamline Saloon’ and ‘Streamline Coupé’ aluminium bodies on the 14 and Speed 14 chassis. The vehicle on show is the latter model, which featured a tuned three-carburettor engine.


dimdip    on 13 February 2016

Thanks for this interesting and informative article. It's nice to see a piece focussing on the ingenuity and innovation within the British motor industry. Hope to make it along to Gaydon again to see the new developments and new vehicles on display.

Lotus Rebel    on 16 February 2016

What engine powered the Alvis GTS?

Though the likely answer is the 3.5 Rover V8, it would have been interesting to see the Alvis GTS make use of the 220 hp 3.5-litre OHC 6-cylinder from the Alvis TA30 project, especially since Rover developed the related P7 prototype that was already capable of accommodating a straight-6 engine.

bobber    on 2 October 2017

Regarding the Triumph Acclaim - this car was assembled at Cowley (North Works), where Austin Maxis, and Princessses were built. The Acclaim was indeed a Honda Ballade, with Honda supplying all the components - even fixings. The fact that this car was so reliable when Austins were not is down to the fact that Honda's designers made sure that the car could be built on a moving assembly line. Austins were, in Cowley vernacular, "NDH" (not designed here). So the poor quality of BL products could not be blamed on the workforce.

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