FROM the baby shoe of Mini designer Alec Issigonis to recipe cards from the canteen at Longbridge.
The British Motor Museum’s newest exhibition – The British Motoring Treasures; the British Motor Car in Fifty Objects – is nothing if not wonderfully eclectic.
Charting history through objects has become increasingly popular since the British Museum did the entire history of the world in 100 objects.
The curators at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon have produced a fascinating exhibition spanning 1860 to the present day, with a particular emphasis on the development of the motoring industry in the West Midlands.
The archive material on display includes everything from artwork to publicity material, signs to tools, together with three cars, including an 1899 Wolseley Voiturette, the first four-wheel car that Herbert Austin designed, and a 1965 sectioned Austin Mini, which was a revolution in motoring terms and a triumph in automotive packaging.
Curator Stephen Laing said: “This exhibition celebrates the rich history of an industry that has dominated the economic and social development of the West Midlands region for more than a century.
“The curatorial and archive teams have worked together to find 50 objects which they feel give visitors a flavour of the many hidden treasures within our collection.”
And the public are also being given the opportunity to play their part.
‘The People’s 50’ has evolved through community projects at the museum this year.
People, including past motor industry employees, volunteers and youth groups have had the chance to talk about, and in some cases donate, objects or ‘motoring treasures’ they feel represent an important part of the story of the motor industry.
A selection of the objects will be displayed during the exhibition, funded by Arts Council England, which runs until next March.
An online blog will also be featured on the Museum website recording memories and contributions.
Visit www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk for further details.
* The British Motor Museum hosts The National Metro & Mini Show on Sunday June 4. Over 500 of the iconic vehicles will be on display at the one day show.