The Leicester Mercury reported last night that the Grand Prix car museum at Donnington Park is to close to the general public on Monday 5th November. No specific reason has been given for its closure. If you haven’t been it is worth a visit, or perhaps there are people that may wish to revisit, before it closes.
Not financially viable:
Seems like the actual collection had been run down for years, as bits of it were sold off to cover other costs. What was on display was increasingly loaned items.
NASCAR has an official museum, and hall of Fame, and we’ve seen on various TV shows how they commission buyers to scour the land for interesting artefacts lying in people’s shed.
Formula One; they are opening swish new offices in an expensive part of London. No museum though, celebrating their sport.
Its possible that the collection actually owned by Donington is of low historical worth. Ideally, unless the family is greedy, there is a case for the collection to be acquired by the BMIHT at Gaydon. There is a case that the Industry should fund this, wholly or in part.
I’m amazed Derbyshire Council hasn’t had anything to say about this.
Probably because it’s in Leicestershire although it has a DE (Derby) postcode.
Shame to see it go.
As I haven’t been there for about 30 years, and my son never has, he and I are going tomorrow (in the MX-5 of course) for my valedictory visit.
For anyone thinking of going -
The website was taken down yesterday, so I thought it wise to ring them just now. They are still open, with a planned closing date of 5 November as reported. I was told that “most” of the exhibits are still there, but there will prospectively be fewer as the closing date approaches.
It’s a great shame. Admittedly they haven’t had much support from me for the last three decades but I suspect the marketing has not been that good either.
It seems a lot of the exhibits are manky old ex-MOD vehicles now.
They aren’t Mod , but WW2 German stuff. Kevin Wheatcroft has a bizarre collecting habit in respect of this Nazi crap, which takes up far too much space in what was a superb museum . ‘Was’ because the exhibits are unimaginatively displayed and much depleted . The signage is dreadful too ,amateurishly written and strewn with errors .I’ve visited many times though , as it’s always special to get close to an old Grand Prix car , even more so when you have see it on track in period.
But , in other news about Donington (not Donnington) , MSV are doing a sterling job in recovering a circuit which was a basket case 5 years ago .
“MSV are doing a sterling job in recovering a circuit which was a basket case 5 years ago.”
Agreed - although I don’t think much of the new Garage 39 cafe/restaurant. Acoustics are dreadful. FAR too noisy.
The old place opposite, that’s now an MSV Gift shop was much better, with more ‘atmosphere’ and seemed to deaden the noise of the ‘chatter’ to a more sociable level.
A lot of restaurants are like that. Every few weeks we meet up with friends or daughter in town for a meal as an excellent way of keeping in touch, because living radially around London it takes too long to get to each other’s houses. So we’ve been to a lot of restaurants…
I asked one place about it (it was so noisy we could not communicate with the waiter and had to point to the items on the menu) and the manager came around to apologise, she said that newer fire regs made them take down their previous acoustic ceiling panels and those that met modern regs were too expensive. We’ve voted with our feet and not been back to that one.