Curator's Choice: the National Motor Museum
Wednesday 20 October 1993
The range of road cars on display stretches from a replica of the first ever road car, built by Benz in 1886, a Knight built in 1895 in Farnham when a speed limit of 4 mph was in force, right up to a Jaguar XJ220, built in 1993 and with a top speed of over 220 mph.
My personal favourite is the Vauxhall Prince Henry, a four-seater built in 1915. This is my favourite for the simple reason that it was the first true British sports car, with a top speed of 80 mph. It is enormous fun to drive, having very thin, beaded tyres and only back wheel brakes, which make rather a mockery of modern-day stopping distances. This car is a perfect example of the museum's desire to concentrate their collection on cars for their innate quality and performance, rather than on anything they represent in a social or historical context. Having said that, one of our top attractions is the famous Bluebird, in which Donald Campbell managed to achieve the record speed of 429 mph in 1964.
The most regrettable element about the modern car industry is that the sports car is out of most people's financial reach, unlike such cars as the mass-produced MGs which continue to give drivers such a wonderful experience. For this reason, my favourite modern car is actually 25 years old, the Morgan, although unfortunately I rarely have the opportunity to drive anything other than the company car.
Michael Ware is curator of the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst (0590 612345)
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 2 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils