Visitors to the Coventry Transport Museum over the last 15 months will have been aware that some exciting changes were taking place.
On Saturday June 20th, a celebration event was held to mark the completion of this major refurbishment project which has cost £9.5 million. No less than 13 of the museum's galleries have had a major makeover and some of the most popular attractions have been updated. This includes an all-new simulator where visitors can enjoy experiencing the Thrust SSC world speed record vehicle from the driver's seat (complete with an introduction by Andy Green filmed in 3D), as well as very special lap of the famous Le Mans 24 hours circuit in a 1956 Jaguar D-type with Mike Hawthorn at the wheel.
Over 200 VIP guests were invited to the relaunch event where Culture Coventry Director, Gary Hall, made a presentation outlining the key elements of the project. This was followed by a formal ribbon cutting ceremony performed by special guests Harry Metcalfe, EVO Magazine founder and famous for his 'Harry's Garage' website, and racing driver and motoring journalist Amanda Stretton. Harry and Amanda went on to compere an afternoon of fun-filled action that took place outside the museum entrance in Millennium Place. This featured well-known stunt driver Terry Grant performing his usual amazing tricks as well as a parade of ten ‘Trailblazing Cars of the World’ selected by Harry. Amongst the amazing cars in this line-up were two Jaguars separated by sixty years - a C-type from the Jaguar Heritage Trust collection and also one of the rare prototype Jaguar C-X75 models.
Terry Grant, Gary Hall, Amanda Stretton and Harry Metcalfe pose in front of the Jaguar C-X75, one of the 10 Trailblazing cars on display
The Heritage Trust's 1953 C-type makes its entry (in rather wet conditions!).
The Jaguar Heritage gallery at the museum that was opened in July 2013 has been integrated into the new layout and follows on from a gallery that focuses on advanced technologies and the future of the automotive industry. To read more about the Jaguar Gallery, click here.