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Little Classics News: 20 June 2015

Coventry Transport Museum Reopens in Classic Style

Terry Grant, Gary Hall, Amanda Stretton and Harry Metcalfe

Coventry Transport Museum celebrated its official and complete re-opening in style today (20th June), following its extensive £9.5 million redevelopment.

The automotive world gathered to watch a stunning display in Millennium Place from multiple world record holder and supercar stuntman Terry Grant. This was followed with a unique parade of ‘Trailblazing Cars of the World’, curated by Harry Metcalfe (of Evo magazine, and Harry’s Garage), and hosted by television presenter and racing driver, Amanda Stretton.

The Trailblazing Cars of the World included models from all over the globe, representing a collection that changed the automotive landscape forever.

crowds gather for the re-opening of Coventry Transport Museum

Harry Metcalfe said: “I was asked to get involved with the re-launch of the museum following a visit I made here a few weeks ago. I was very impressed, and delighted to get involved. The idea of the Trailblazing Cars collection is that they, in my opinion, are all examples that changed the car world forever. Many of the cars I have brought along today have definitely achieved that, and many of these were designed, engineered and built right here in Coventry and the Midlands.”

Harry Metcalfe’s Trailblazing Cars of the World:

Lamborghini Miura

Lamborghini Miura (above): Widely recognized as the world’s first supercar.

Mini: Pioneered front wheel drive packaging and compact economy car design.

Jaguar C-type: Pioneer of disc-brakes, developed initially for racing at Le Mans, but ultimately adopted in production cars all over the world.

Land Rover Series I: One of the world’s first commercially available 4x4s.

Porsche 911 Turbo: The world’s first commercially successful Turbo offering.

Bugatti Veyron

Range Rover: Introduced in 1970, it established a whole new sector of all-terrain vehicle for Europe, and remains in production today as the pinnacle of luxury SUVs the world over.

Ferrari F40: The first road-legal production car to break the 200mph barrier and the fastest and most expensive Ferrari of its time.

Audi Quattro: The world’s first performance car to adopt four-wheel-drive, very successfully marketed through victorious rally campaigns in WRC and Group B during the 1980s.

Bugatti Veyron (above): In its time the world’s fastest car, the first ‘hyper’ car, world’s most expensive car, and most powerful car with 1000bhp.

Jaguar C-X75 (below): The world’s first hybrid-electric supercar – followed by many of the world’s supercar manufacturers.

Jaguar C-X75

Amanda Stretton said: “What we have here is one of the world’s finest, and indeed the largest in public ownership, collection of cars, motorbikes, push-bikes, vans, trucks, buses and a whole lot more. And I’m told that more car manufacturers have come out of Coventry than Detroit. This really is our very own Motown, and that’s what Coventry Transport Museum celebrates so brilliantly. It is a really fitting, world-class tribute and attraction to this great motoring city.”

The museum has been completely transformed and provides a world-class showcase for Coventry’s rich transport heritage - from the 19th century to the present day.

Following its 15 month-long redevelopment programme, Coventry Transport Museum offers discovery for visitors of all ages in an iconic city-centre building. Through its re-energised exhibitions, visitors are taken on a journey through Coventry’s vast transport history; from being a bicycle capital of the world in the 19th century to producing vehicles for the war efforts, to contributing to the UK’s car-making and exporting success, and everything in-between.

The car collection includes the world’s fastest cars ThrustSSC and Thrust2, the oldest Coventry-built car, more than 3,000 toy car models.

Culture Coventry chief executive Gary Hall says: “Re-launching the museum is the culmination of seven years of hard work by the team. It marks yet another landmark for Coventry’s transport heritage, but also preserves its rich history. We are extremely grateful to the European Regional Development Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and all of the other organisations who have supported this project throughout.”



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