Around 150 Friends of the NMMT and their guests enjoyed a wonderful evening in the National Motor Museum getting an insight into many of the exhibits. Museum Manager, Doug Hill introduced the evening in the entrance hall of the Museum, pointing out the 100,000th Volkswagen Beetle imported into the UK, the 1903 De Dion Bouton 6hp which was the first car in Edward, Lord Montagu’s collection and the Hispano Suiza with a chipped steering wheel, reputedly hit by the bullet which killed its driver in the Irish rebellion in 1916.
Museum apprentice mechanic, Tim Edgerton, delighted us by starting up the replica 1986 Benz. Doug then gave the history of the 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. The car’s first owner was killed in the First World War and the garage where it was stored took the car in payment for the storage. It was then converted to a hearse, then a breakdown truck and finally a pick-up truck. The Rolls-Royce was then acquired by Edward, Lord Montagu in the 1950’s and restored to its present glory. It was Edward Montagu’s favourite car and was used as the hearse for his funeral in 2015.
After exploring more of the museum everyone gathered around for the start up of the 1914 Rolls-Royce Alpine Eagle. This seemed to involve a variety of processes including slowly turning the starting handle but the engine then appeared to start on its own when the magneto was activated. Tick-over was almost silent but was followed by very enthusiastic applause.
The evening ended at the back door of the museum where the recently restored Sunbeam 350hp Bluebird was being prepared for demonstration. Under the watchful eye of Doug Hill, the workshop team soon had the 18.3 litre V12 spitting blue flames into the darkness, a fitting end to a most enjoyable evening.
Review by David Marklew, NMMT Member
Most of us know Chris Barrie as Mr Brittas or Rimmer from Red Dwarf, but how many knew of his love of motor vehicles, from motorcycles to trucks which turn into bridges and charabancs (literally meaning a carriage with benches) to tanks? I for one didn't!
This evening was a photographic trip through some of the many vehicles Chris has come across during the filming of his TV series Massive Engines and a few he actually owns. Starting out with trip in a vintage Rolls-Royce and finishing off with a small armoured vehicle which he has recently acquired, and many others in between. We found ourselves thoroughly entertained throughout the evening with the stories he had to tell.
Review by Peter Brewer, NMMT member
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