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13th November 2002

British Motor Heritage Museum announces plans for changes

A special press briefing was called at Gaydon on Wednesday 13th November at which the Management and Trustees explained to a small group of automotive journalists - myself among them - that BMIHT wishes to make changes to the Heritage Collection to better reflect the whole of the British Motor Industry.

This will also include making arguably more attractive, entertaining and efficient use of the generous but finite existing floorspace in the museum, but a key part of the whole process will be the pruning of the existing collection coupled with the acquisition of new representatives of marques and models that are presently missing from the collection.

At present, BMIHT are reluctant to specify the exact models they are either thinking of releasing or acquiring, not least because they don't want to send waves through the market but also because they claim to only be in the early stages of this project.

It seems most likely that the first targets will be either cars where they have some duplication in the collection (e.g. possibly 'too many' Land Rover 88inch) or where the car itself is still not seen as being particularly rare, and so could be replaced with relative ease. I personally cannot see them easily getting rid of unique prototypes or first/last of lines.

David Knowles

The official press release follows:


The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (BMIHT) at Gaydon in Warwickshire is to broaden its car collection, to reflect better the history of the UK car industry.

The BMIHT has established one of the world's outstanding museums and collections of historic vehicles over the past 20 years. However, the collection is somewhat limited in its appeal, as it consists mainly of marques that came together to form British Leyland. Following a recent review of the long-term objectives of the Trust, it was evident that the car collection needed to reflect more accurately the diversity of the British motor industry as a whole.

The Trustees have decided that BMIHT should dispose of a number of duplicate and similar vehicles within the collection, to make way for new vehicles, and widen the appeal of the collection to the public.

Trustee Peter Mitchell, who was primarily responsible for establishing both BMIHT and the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, said: "It has always been our aim to establish a collection which truly represents the British Motor Industry and this exciting new collecting policy is the first step in this direction."

Under the terms of the Trust, the vehicles selected for disposal will first be offered to other public museums. It is envisaged this initial process will take two to three months, after which selected vehicles will be offered to the public. All the funds raised from the sale of vehicles will be used to acquire good examples of cars not already represented in the collection, as well as to develop the Trust's archives.

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