New CN7 Book

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Mike Bull
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by Mike Bull » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:40 pm

I've had the same experience of the RAF Museum at Hendon; the staff- when there are any- not knowing or caring two hoots about the museum's content.

Safe to say, we'll all be looking after K7 until we're old and grey- we're not going to abandon her to the dust!

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Pullman99
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by Pullman99 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:56 pm

[quote="f1steveuk"]Beaulieu, sadly not a museum anymore, just a business, they ceased being interested in it as a "museum" about the time Michael (Ware) left.quote]

I would have to agree in general with Steve's comments although the curatorial staff are well qualified in a museological sense (not trying to upset Bill here you understand) but they do seem to lack direction. They possibly need someone like the recently appointed Director of the National Railway Museum, Col. Steve Davies, who is hugely respected both within the museum and railway presrvation worlds. That role at Beaulieu was of course amply provided by Lord Montagu and Michael Ware over many years.

Image

Richard Hammond's "Escape to the Country" Land Rover

It is noticeable that since Top Gear came to Beaulieu it is this that has become the core of their marketing effort. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, although the Lotus 49 was there too, this aspect was very much to the fore. At the NEC last weekend too, I don't think that they brought any vehicles apart from a selection of Top Gear ones. They have also had a James Bond Experience at Beaulieu for a few years but it does not feature any of the really well-known cars and is a bit second rate.

In the meantime, and as echoed by others on this thread, a visit nowadays can be a bit underwhelming (is that a word?). My personal gripe is the whole treatment of motorsport - including record breaking - as an integral part of the overall story of motoring in Great Britain. Rightly, what had always been known as "The Castrol Bath" in former days sought to highlight Britain's pre-eminent role in the World Land Speed Record. My first ever sighting of Bluebird CN7 "in the metal" was during a visit to the Autojumble in 1972. It really hasn't changed much in nearly 40 years and like all the vehicles, the display and the cars are in isolation with only a single monitor showing the story of the LSR.

The display is also lacking the current and most recent record holders of course. Not sure if they ever went after Thrust SSC seriously but as I had something to do with the fact that Thrust 2 is in Coventry today, I was well aware that only a fairly half-hearted effort went in to trying to secure that car for Beaulieu following its display over Christmas 1983. Coventry were not only determined to make Thrust 2 their principal exhibit at the time but had put in place a display to do it justice. It was, perhaps, inevitable that Thrust SSC shopuld follow and both cars have a considerable Midlands content. Ironically, the one car they really should have from a "local" perspective is Bluebird CN7 constructed just down the road at Motor Panels! I really believe, however, that these cars do need a special place and I think that Beaulieu could and should re-invent itself in this context. Space will be the determining factor. But at least try to arrange a changing display. It was refreshing to see Babs on show earlier this year and I would hope that this kind of loan could be arranged again. The Railton Special and/or Thrust 2 perhaps?

As for the F1 cars. A few years ago, someone had the bright idea of constructing some "decking" for them. A sort of progressive sweep from the earliest cars to the present day. Maybe they were influenced by Goodwood! All well and good except that it is obviously quite difficult now to clean them and the dust is now visible from some distance (unlike the cars themselves which are really hidden away). One of the most imporatnt F1 cars of recent times is the trendsetting Lotus 78 (see pics below). This was the car that introduced "ground effect" but its significance is a bit lost on visitors seeing as you can only get anywhere close to it from the Motorcycle Gallery. The car is Lotus 78, chassis JPS16, and is Gunnar Nilsson's 1977 Belgian GP winner and is also the chassis driven to victory in the South African GP in 1978 by Ronnie Peterson.

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Image

Overall, I think that the way that all of the vehicles are presented leaves a lot to be desired. One of the criticisms of the "old" museum (pre-1972) was that "all that the visitor would see is a collection of radiators". I'm not sure whether they may have returned to that. Gaydon, and especially Coventry, does the whole thing much better.
Last edited by Pullman99 on Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
Ian Robinson
Bluebird K7 - the restoration project of the Century.

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Pullman99
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by Pullman99 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:59 pm

f1steveuk wrote:The shop manager would then contact me about stocking the book. Still waiting!!
Steve, I had a similar experience trying to arrange a new Mini book to go on sale in connection with that car's 21st birthday back in 1980. Amazimgly - and skilfully back on topic - the CN7 book has never been on sale either! And yes, I did check last week.
Ian Robinson
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by f1steveuk » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:40 pm

It's all rather depressing isn't it!!!??
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................

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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by sheppane » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:19 pm

f1steveuk wrote:It's all rather depressing isn't it!!!??
It makes you want to weep.

I hope with all my heart that someday, soon, CN7 can be pulled out of there, restored, and reunited with K7 and displayed properly. This car is an engineering icon. It deserves nothing less than to be treated as such
'When you go down into the arena, you know that sometimes, you're likely to get your nose punched. You do it with your eyes open. You take the risks'

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Andrew453
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by Andrew453 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:27 am

And while we're at it, let's bring the staggeringly beautiful 1935 car back from Daytona. It would appear to be missing a few of its mechanicals, but hey, it would fix!

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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by f1steveuk » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:41 pm

If you want to be thoroughly depressed, go and look at the state of the Napier Railton, that is criminal!
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................

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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by malcolm uk » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:01 pm

Two out of the three are in UK Museums so their condition reflects the way in which those responsible for the running of such places treat mechanical objects. Perhaps they are working to the same "rule book"?

I have seen pictures of (to my mind)the over - restored '35 car in the USA and whilst it would be good to have it back in the Country that vehicle is one of many examples where they now reside away from their origins.

Where LSR cars are in a dedicated display area (ie Coventry) their condition is being maintained to a much better standard. The line up in Beaulieu has never displayed the four at their best.

I doubt that we will ever see this (small) element of our heritage in one place, but that would be admirable if a lottery winner were to open a 'speed record collection'. The best we may hope for is the often discussed idea of a virtual speed museum where the cars, bikes, planes and boats are 'kept' in one place for as long as digital media last.

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Pullman99
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by Pullman99 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:57 pm

f1steveuk wrote:If you want to be thoroughly depressed, go and look at the state of the Napier Railton, that is criminal!
Hi Steve! Did you really mean the Napier Railton? This is, of course, at Brooklands and seems very well cared for with quite a few outings during any one year.

Brooklands Museum website:

http://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/

The Railton Mobil Special is, howver, supposedly a star exhibit at Birmingham's thinktank. Howevr, searching the website today, I could only find a one-line reference and no pics although, to be fair, they have crammed in quite a few other exhibits. I haven't been to thinktank since shortly after the museum moved from Newhall Street but I'm in Birmingham next Tuesday so I'll try to get some pics.

Edited to include this link (hidden away in the thinktank website)!

http://www.birminghamstories.co.uk/stor ... ge=1&now=0
Ian Robinson
Bluebird K7 - the restoration project of the Century.

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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by f1steveuk » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:45 pm

Hi Ian

Yes your right, and so am I!!! According to the drawings, and Reid Railton, both cars are Napier Railtons. Any other title has been created by sponsors (Mobil or Gilmour) or simply to identify the two cars to prevent confusion, which I have just created, sorry!

The twin engined Napier Railton is not well looked after which is a real shame, although it is pretty original. I was horrified a few years ago when there was talk of restoring the Golden Arrow. Why? Fairly original, and why add miles to a car that has never had many put on it, and which has only been driven by one man?
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................

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