Friday, 17 March 2017

A day at the Museum



IMG_1429When you are out and about in Coventry the one thing you have to do is visit The Coventry Transport Museum which is only a short distance from the canal basin .Coventry Transport Museum houses the largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles in the world, and tells the fascinating story of Coventry and its people through the rise and fall of its biggest industry. The best thing about this museum apart from what’s in it of course is that entry is free.

IMG_1391The museum house’s all modes of transport including these early cycles.

IMG_1398A lovely and well restored 1932 Alvis 12/60 . The back of this car has the beetle shape which gave it a better aerodynamic shape. I bet it turned some heads when it went zooming down the road.

IMG_1400This magnificent vehicle was the personal property of HM Queen Mary, the Queen’s Grandmother, from 1935 until her death in 1953.It was acquired by the National Motor Museum in the mid-1950s, and was then placed on loan to the owners of the liner ‘Queen Mary’, which by then, was a floating hotel in Long beach, California. The car was exhibited for over ten years on the deck of this once great liner, yet during this time suffered from the sun, rain, and in particular, the damp salty air.Following a conversation in 1984 between Michael Ware, Curator of the National Motor Museum, and Barry Littlewood, then General Manager of this Museum, the vehicle was purchased for the Coventry collection and returned to the City of its making in July of that year.Since that time the vehicle has been totally restored to its former glory and now takes pride of place amongst the other Coventry made exhibits in the Museum.

IMG_1402Three’s also a mock up of an old garage housing an Austin 7 car. This is the same as the car my parents owned when I was born back in the late 50’s.

IMG_1404This was their next car and like the one my Mum passed her test in back in the early 60’s .It is of course a Standard 10 and made at the Standard factory in Canley lane Coventry. This 1953 model cost £581 when new and had a 948cc over head valve engine . At about this time Standard had to export most of the cars they built to pay off the War debt.

IMG_1411We had one of these amongst the many other cars we had. The Hillman Imp was asmall rear engined car .It was the first mass-produced car with the engine block and cylinder head cast in aluminium .Being a direct competitor to the BMCs Mini, it used a space-saving rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout to allow as much luggage and passenger capacity as possible in both the rear and the front of the car. It used a unique opening rear hatch to allow luggage to be put into the back seat rest. But to be honest it wasn’t one of the cars we look back on with any fond memories.


IMG_1408We had one of these as well and it was the first car we had when myself and Carolyn got married back in 1981 . Its a mark 1 Triumph 2000 estate and we went on to own a mark 2 as well which had overdrive and for us at the time it was a luxury car. Next to it was a very desirable Triumph Vitesse which was a car I always wanted but never had.

IMG_1409This Triumph Bonneville is one of a special limited edition in celebration of The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 and it’s a bike that I would love to own.
When the Bonneville was first released in 1959, Triumph promoted it as “the Bonneville T120 offers the highest performance available today from a standard production motorcycle."
In the 1970s came management changes at the BSA Group and, more significantly, Japanese competition. In 1973, with the involvement of the British government, a new company was formed: Norton Villiers Triumph. it was also funny that every Triumph motorcycle on display had an oil drip tray underneath the engine.

I will have to speak kindly to Carolyn and see if she will let me have one. Or I could just go out and buy one and face the consequences later, that sounds like a better idea.

IMG_1414"That's the way to do it" . Now then where’s my swozzzle ? Oops I think I just swallowed it.

IMG_1427I remember this bit of kit from my days as a mechanic over 35 years ago . It used to clean a spark plug by blasting grit at it then it would test the spark plug by sending a spark through it and you would then look in to this small mirror to see what the quality of the spark was like. But what we used to do for a laugh was to wire it up to another mechanics toolbox and when they went to get a tool out or lift the tool box up we would press the tester button and give them a shock.

IMG_1426Thrust SSC is a British-designed and built World Land Speed Record car.Thrust SSC holds the current World Land Speed Record which was set on October 15, 1997, by accomplishing a speed of 763 mph. By doing so, the supersonic car became the first land vehicle to officially break the sound barrier.Designed by Richard Noble, Jeremy Bliss, Ron Ayres and Glynne Bowsher, Thrust SSC was driven by the RAF fighter pilot Squadron Leader Andy Green in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, USA. It is 16.5 m (54 ft) long, 3.7 m (12 ft) wide and weighs 10.5 tons (10.7 t).Noble was also the driving force behind the car's predecessor, Thrust 2 which broke the World Land Speed Record in 1983.The car was powered by two Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines, as used in British F-4 Phantom II jet fighters. The twin engines developed a thrust of 223 kN (50,000 lbf) and burned around 18 litres of fuel per second.

We ended up having a very enjoyable few hours in The Coventry Transport Museum . I thought Carolyn might not be that excited ,but she thoroughly enjoyed it and we would both suggest that if you are ever in Coventry give it a visit.




                                                                                                                   Happy Days


  1. Gordie and stevie L had a lot to answer for on your training young man. Me and Minty were well behaved. But proper good times

    1. Hi Ray , Doesent it seem like a long time ago ? .It was good times and I was only saying the other day how we both went through School together and then ended up doing our apprenticeships together.

  2. Glad you got to the museum. I hope your coconut counting is going well :- Caroline.

  3. Loved the museum and enjoying Coventry . Didn't see many coconuts ,maybe they are out of season Haha.