The Story of Motoring in 50 Objects to celebrate golden anniversary of the National Motor Museum

Posted  29.03.2022
Comments  (00)

In celebration of the landmark golden half-century of the National Motor Museum, an anniversary exhibition telling The Story of Motoring in 50 Objects will be launched at Beaulieu on July 3rd.

Crown Staffordshire hand-painted porcelain model of an Edwardian car

The considered selection will be made from a wealth of more than 1.7 million items from the internationally-acclaimed collection cared for by the National Motor Museum Trust. Curators have so far whittled the choice down to a shortlist of 150, and the final 50 objects will include the most historically important vehicles, motoring artefacts, film footage, images, documents and books from its archives.

1908 Shell ‘Votes for women’ postcard

National Motor Museum Trust Chief Executive Jon Murden said: “The history of motoring has had many twists and turns, but the mobility it provides has been central to our lives for over a century. Our final selection of 50 objects will tell this vitally important story in all its diversity.

“From illustrating motoring’s technology and progress, its achievement and endeavour, to transforming leisure activities and inspiring art, our final selection will be an exciting and important one to make.”

1911 Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy

The National Motor Museum is an Accredited Museum and all of its collections have been designated by Arts Council England as being of national and international importance. Inspiration for the museum came from motoring pioneer and transport visionary John 2nd Baron Montagu. His  son Edward, Lord Montagu first displayed five cars in the entrance hall of Palace Hall as a tribute to his father, before opening the museum on July 4th, 1972. Together, their legacy resulted in the foundation of the first permanent national motor museum in the world.

1920s children’s charabanc book

Lord Montagu with the car that started the collection, the 1903 De Dion Bouton

To perform the original opening, trumpeters from the Royal Horse Artillery heralded the entrance of HRH The Duke of Kent – whose great-grandfather King Edward VII had been  introduced to motoring by John Montagu. Historic cars and their owners gathered outside to take part in a cavalcade through the grounds of the attraction.

The opening of the National Motor Museum on July 4th 1972

Fifty years on – to celebrate the golden anniversary and opening of The Story of Motoring in 50 Objects – owners are being invited to join a special display of vehicles from the 1970s at Beaulieu on July 3rd. More details about how to register interest in taking part will be shared soon.

Director of Collections Andrea Bishop with her 1979 Mod Revival fishtail parka

Beaulieu’s summer visitors will be the first to discover the exhibition’s 50 chosen objects. From record-breaking racing cars to crash test dummies, Edwardian motoring costumes to Mod parkas, Shell postcards to road signs, factory footage to motoring inventions . . . all are in the melting pot for the final selection.

Taximeter c.1907

Visitors will be able to use the Smartify app to scan the objects in the exhibition and uncover additional content and stories from the museum’s collections.

From July 3rd, explore The Story of Motoring in 50 Objects in the National Motor Museum as part of a marvellous day out to Beaulieu that all the family will enjoy together. Buy your tickets by clicking here.