A number of the vehicles from the National Motor Museum can be seen out and about at classic motoring events during the show season. This isn’t limited to the most prestigious and glamorous cars and motorcycles, with some of the more unusual examples making appearances at this summer's shows.
Visitors to the 2015 New Forest & Hampshire County Show were treated to one of the National Motor Museum’s most well-known – and attention-grabbing – exhibits on the Beaulieu stand. The 1972 Outspan Orange Mini is certainly an eccentric creation and received many smiles and questions from curious passers-by during the show.
This Mini was one of only six examples built with quirky orange-shaped bodywork between 1972 and 1974 by Brian Waite Enterprises, to promote Outspan. The Mini 998cc engine and automatic transmission were combined with a specially-made chassis frame, which shortened the wheelbase of the car considerably.The spherical fibreglass bodywork featured a single rear door to provide access to the wacky interior, made up of sideways-facing upholstered benches and a single forward-facing seat for the driver.
Another eye-catching machine is the 1972 Reliant Regal Supervan, which forms part of Beaulieu’s On Screen Cars display and was one of the examples used in the filming of the hit TV comedy Only Fools and Horses. Perhaps one of the most famous three-wheeled vehicles in the world, the ‘Trotters Independent Traders’ company van could be seen on the BBC stand at CarFest South, while Jeremy Clarkson’s Porsche 944 Turbo Ambulance from World of Top Gear featured on the Beaulieu stand.
Meanwhile, the long-term restoration of the 1936 Brough Superior 11.50 motorcycle and sidecar in the museum workshops has been completed. The motorcycle part of this impressive combination was ready for action first, with its two-cylinder 1096cc engine being kick-started into life in front of an assembled crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts, for the museum's Start-Up display during the 2015 Simply Bikes rally.
Since then, the bodywork of the Alpine Grand Sports sidecar has been refitted to the chromed chassis frame, before the re-upholstered seat was carefully lowered into place. With the motorcycle and sidecar reunited once again, this restoration project has finally reached its conclusion.