Motoring Archives

A volunteer inspecting a historic document from the National Motor Museum Trusts archives
Malcolm Campbell Archive material

The Motoring Archives hold a range of collections connected with the history of motoring in Great Britain and the wider world. They are largely paper-based and include correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, diaries, blueprints and even menus.

Inside a Lotus car factoryThe main subjects covered include:

  • Early Motoring
  • Motoring businesses, including commercial garages
  • Manufacturing
  • Motoring personalities
  • Motorcycles
  • Record breaking
  • Motorsport
  • Vehicle design
  • Motoring organisations and clubs

Material is held in support of the National Motor Museum’s wider collections, as well as providing a rich resource for the Motoring Research Service. There are approximately 300 collections, an estimated 100,000 items housed in over 1,000 boxes, equating to 253 linear metres.

Several key collections held by the Motoring Archives can be found on the Archives Hub, a national online database for archival collections.

Highlights include:

  • Carless, Capel and Leonard collection of clippings, account books, company records and advertisements for the distilling and oil refining business.
  • Bradley collection containing artwork produced as part of an AA survey of the London to Istanbul International Highway.
  • The papers of motorsport personalities Peter Collins, John Gott, Eddie Hall, Goldie Gardner and Morna Lloyd Vaughan.
  • The papers of speed record breaking personalities such as Malcolm and Donald Campbell, George Eyston, Henry Segrave and Percy Lambert.
  • Technical papers relating to 1960s Bluebird CN7.
  • Material from a variety of motor manufacturers including Jowett, Ford of Britain, Sunbeam and Thornycroft.

For further information please contact the National Motor Museum Trust.

If you would like a copy of any of our images, please visit our dedicated Motoring Picture Library website