Beaulieu- Much More than a motor museum

 photo IMG_6539_zps1af37576.jpg

 photo IMG_6349_zps617a85d2.jpg

 photo IMG_6406_zps5480dbfe.jpg

 photo IMG_6300_zps8f112f7a.jpg

Sometimes mottos are over-exaggerated. Unecessary claims are made about how grand something is.

 photo IMG_6352_zps6711f8dd.jpg

Beaulieu has been one of those places that we have wanted to visit for a long time. It has a reputation of being one of the top car museums in the world. We discovered that Beaulieu definitely lives up to its motto…it is much more than a motor museum.

 photo IMG_6353_zps1adb9164.jpg

With its Abbey ruins and Chapel house the whole complex lies in one of the pretiest villages in the New Forest area of England. Not only does Bealieu musueum contain cars with calibre, it also importantly tells the social and historical narrative about the impact of the car on our lives.

 photo IMG_6366_zps7fa54325.jpg

In our world of high power and efficiency its important to not loose sight of where we have come from.

 photo IMG_6418_zps8cb8c96d.jpg

You shouldn’t dismiss cars for simply being old. What was initially an experiment has changed the way we live and societies function. Beaulieu puts a lot of emphasis on the Automotive pioneers.

 photo IMG_6419_zps4ab5b653.jpg

One man’s passion has ensured the legacy of Beaulieu will continue for generations to come. John (the second) Lord Monatgue of Beaulie (1866-1929) inspired the foundations of this brilliant musuem. His son, the third Lord Montagu opened the collection as a tribute to his father, a pioneer of motoring in the UK.

 photo IMG_6302_zpsd47e16b9.jpg

Established in 1952, it serves as a memorial to the achievements on the behalf of motorists and the once prosperous and innovative British motor industry.

 photo IMG_6361_zps70e65a1b.jpg

When first opened by the 3rd Baron Montagu Of Beaulieu the museum had only five cars. The number of exhibits expanded rapidly, was relocated and by 1964 over half a million car-lovers were visiting every year.

 photo IMG_6403_zpse5846c71.jpg

The best of British, exotics and classics are all displayed here and its all thanks to one man’s vision.

 photo IMG_6543_zps3dec2561.jpg

The 1920’s-1930’s street scene was period correct adorned with signage and superb details.

 photo IMG_6311_zps1dcf552b.jpgAuthentic motoribilia filled the walls.

This 1899 Daimler 12hp was bought new by Lord Montagu’s father: it was the first car to enter the House Of Commons Yard at Parliament in London and the first British entry into a overseas race (the arduous Paris-Ostend trial, where it came third in the Tourist class). The 3,053cc, 4-cylinder engine produced a slight top speed of around 30mph.

 photo IMG_6545_zps6bea522d.jpg

One of the brightest car stars of the big screen. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from 1968, is one of six versions built for the memorable classic.

 photo IMG_6400_zpse4d2bead.jpg

Every car at Beaulieu tells its story in an automotive timeline.

 photo IMG_6266_zpsdab0a728.jpg

Being the national Motor Museum there is a strong emphasis on British vehicles. Here a proper Mini sits alongside a 1960 Triumph Herald saloon.

 photo IMG_6416_zpsb83042fe.jpg

Coachbuilt elegance of a bygone age.

 photo IMG_6391_zps8366491e.jpg

 photo IMG_6392_zps85e81354.jpg

Intimidating presence of this 1930 Bentley 4 1/2 litre. Noticed something missing? A sign that this Bentley is driven, the screaming supercharger was undergoing a rebuild.

 photo IMG_6393_zps53b6c6fe.jpg

A vintage patina.

 photo IMG_6394_zps36450518.jpg

 photo IMG_6371_zps1e2b639a.jpg

One of 168, this 1970 TVR Vixen S3 looked very original. Like so many British marques, what a shame it was that TVR had to shut its doors on manufacturing a couple of years ago.

 photo IMG_6530_zps31a686c6.jpg

Bikes also featured prominently at Beaulieu

 photo IMG_6535_zpse2e57765.jpg

 photo IMG_6536_zps1bd46b63.jpg

 photo IMG_6398_zps4a2e8d0d.jpg

 photo IMG_6268_zpscbb3f3b4.jpg

American glamour oozes from this 1935 Auburn 851.

 photo IMG_6412_zpsab7c2a4f.jpg

Technically advanced and utterly beautiful, this car was personally tested to exceed 100mph by record driver AB Jenkins.

 photo IMG_6399_zps010345a2.jpg

The supercharged Auburn was all art deco with a unique rear boat tail.

 photo IMG_6387_zps10d36d57.jpg

The Bugatti Type 35- A true champion.

 photo IMG_6408_zpsb6d2442c.jpg

Mike Hawthorn won the Ulster Trophy race in this 1936 Riley 1.5 litre TT Sprite.

 photo IMG_6296_zps7f6a683c.jpg

The chassis was later restored by him in 1959 shortly before his death.

 photo IMG_6405_zps21dba5e4.jpg

Of the same make, this Falcon epitomises saloon cars of the thirties.

 photo IMG_6309_zpsb88b4824.jpg

A real gentleman’s cockpit inside this BRM Type 15.

 photo IMG_6410_zps627e4e47.jpg

A classic line up of pre-war saloons.

 photo IMG_6411_zpsfcb90022.jpg

 photo IMG_6520_zps96756013.jpg

A highlight was seeing some standout F1 machinery in the flesh.

 photo IMG_6351_zps6dd7e6ce.jpg

True legends in all their glory.

 photo IMG_6282_zpscbc6ef40.jpg

This 2006 McLaren MP4-21 was the first of the V8 2.4 litre F1 machines. It was displayed in 2010 Jenson Button livery.

 photo IMG_6276_zps0263d107.jpg

The functional cockpit of a 1994 McLaren Peugeot MP4/9. This is chassis number 4 which competed in all but three of the sixteen races that year. Its best results were second places for Martin Brundle in Monaco and Mikka Häkkinen in Belgium. .

 photo IMG_6357_zpsd66e6a7a.jpg

 photo IMG_6279_zps3edf8a11.jpg

Added to the collection in 1985, this is one of 12 Lotus 49s ever built: only seven remain today. Chassis R3 is the sole surviving car from the 1967 season: it was built-up overnight for Graham Hill on the eve of the British Grand Prix that year.

 photo IMG_6407_zps2726f623.jpg

Between 1967 and 1970 this formidable machine took 12 wins and gave Lotus two drivers’ and constructors’ World Championships.

 photo IMG_6540_zps72cf74e5.jpg

The 1970 Tyrrell-Ford 001 was Tyrrell Racing’s first self-produced car after splitting from the French Matra chassis. Jackie Stewart, winner in ’69, drove this car 001 in three races towards the conclusion of the 1970 season, however it suffered from mechanical failures in all events.

The 001 used a Ford Cosworth DFV (Double Four Valve) 90-degree V8.

 photo IMG_6541_zpsd0336c41.jpg

The uncluttered design of this 1996 Williams Renault FW18 reminded us of how good no-fuss F1 cars can look.

 photo IMG_6542_zpsed017ac2.jpg

This car was used as a test car by Damon Hill. It was also the car in which Jacques Villeneuve made his successful debut.

 photo IMG_6283_zpsd17c7019.jpg

The Jaguar XJR-8 was raised high on a platform and unfortunately was hard to capture. In 1987 the model took on the World Sportscar Championship and smashed its rivals. Raul Boesel won at Silverstone, Brands Hatch, the Nurburgring and Spa claiming the WSC Drivers’ title. Another four of the ten rounds that year were also won by an XJR-8, giving them the Team’s title.

 photo IMG_6521_zps998b93cc.jpg

The land speed records display highlighted British success in attempting these daring feets. It all started with the Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Sunbeam 350hp- better known as ‘Bluebird’.The record-breaking car, which uses a traditional reached 146.16mph at Pendine Sands, a seven-mile stretch of beach at Carmarthen Bay, Wales in June 1924. A year later Bluebird hit 150.76mph which made Campbell the first person to break the 150mph barrier on land.

 photo IMG_6499_zpsa0460b2f.jpg

The presence of these speed machines is incredible. True record breakers, they were built with one goal to break the speed barrier.

 photo IMG_6501_zps3b63d9c5.jpg

The 1927 1000hp Sunbeam. With Major Henry Seagrave behind the wheel it was the first care to reach 200mph.

 photo IMG_6505_zps24768676.jpg

With a bit of marketing over-exaggeration, power was actually closer to 900hp from its two 22.5 litre V12 aero engines.

 photo IMG_6318_zps249b5d13.jpg

This golden batmobile captures the imagination of young and old. The Irving Napier Special, better known as the ‘Golden Arrow’ of 1929 is one of the exhibits that really grabs your attention. Power came from a Napier W12 Lion Aero engine used in Submarine Seaplanes. On the 11th March 1929 this mighty machine broke the speed record with a speed of 231.446mph, exceeding the previous record by 24mph.

 photo IMG_6500_zps77b3b13b.jpg

There is an Aussie connection with the aerodynamic and free-flowing lines of the 1960 Proteus Bluebird CN7. This photogenic beast was the first car to reach in excess of 400mph and the last to be wheel driven. Despite many failed attempts, including a serious crash, Donald Campbell achieved this feet on the 17th May 1964 reaching a mind-bending 403.10mph at Lake Eyre, South Australia.

 photo IMG_6512_zps382381bf.jpg

At Beaulieu, every period in the motoring narrative was covered.

 photo IMG_6389_zpsec40dc3c.jpg

A rally legend if ever there was one. This 1983 Quattro A2 has had great success in rallies in the far east piloted by Stig Blomqvist. Later victories included wins in the Hong Kong to Beijing rallies in 85 and 86.

 photo IMG_6364_zps0fc4b425.jpg

 photo IMG_6533_zpscbe81163.jpg

Ari Vatenen drove this 2-litre, 255bhp RS to victory in the Acropolis, Brazil and 1000 Lakes rallies, plus finished second in the British RAC round. The result was 1981 World Champion.

 photo IMG_6285_zps705dfbae.jpg

Recognise this famous livery? Ofcourse it’s JPS.

 photo IMG_6369_zps38efc982.jpg

This is one of 100 1973 Lotus Europa’s in this special edition and iconic livery to celebrate the lotus F1 World Championship success of 1972.

 photo IMG_6372_zps9f274a5a.jpg

One of our favourite modern classics. This ’86 RS Cosworth was standard in appearance but has a BRB racing fettled engine capable of 280bhp. The RS’s initial run was 5000 to comply with group A Homologation, 6021 were actually produced.

 photo IMG_6415_zps43ec1e7c.jpg

 photo IMG_6404_zpsc55b6f8b.jpg

Size does matter with this eye catching top fuel dragster.

 photo IMG_6409_zps550bce50.jpg

1964 Peel P50. Check out our past content for more on the Peel Story.

 photo IMG_6485_zps3b9e835d.jpg

 photo IMG_6486_zps58765ad5.jpg

There’s something about an original Land Rover- undeniable nobility and purposefulness. Being the forth pre-production example built this Landy is one of the oldest surviving in the world.

 photo IMG_6490_zps0f8c9b63.jpg

This makes your realise the impact of the war on everyday life including motorists.

 photo IMG_6492_zpsa139b9f0.jpg

Now highly sought-after, 204,279 wood-framed Moris Minor Travellers were built by Austin-Morris in Oxford.

 photo IMG_6482_zps619e1cd4.jpg

Yes…it is true. Beaulieu is much more than a Motor Museum.

 photo IMG_6417_zps2f6c9071.jpg

Please stay tuned to Driven threads- shortly we will be bringing you coverage of the Spring Autojumble from the grounds of Beaulieu.

 photo IMG_6355_zpsc373ac4b.jpg

 photo IMG_6356_zps50219322.jpg

With ever rotating displays…we just might need to pay Beaulieu another visit.

 photo IMG_6312_zps391169a6.jpg

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of Bealieu Motor Museum. Thanks so much for reading.

 photo IMG_6358_zpsc5c6ef77.jpg


 photo IMG_6273_zpsa1d481d3.jpg

 photo IMG_6367_zps4548f45f.jpg

Have your say! Leave a Reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: