The museum is closing because a family inherited their fathers collection, which has subsequently been splintered off over the last 10 years. MSV would never be interested in spending the money to maintain it, as its a cost not a business. Perhaps if the collection was as it was 15 years ago then maybe lottery funding could have enabled it to survive, but for a long time its been more of a storage facility.
The Bugatti Royale, Alfa Bimotore, Auto Union, Stirling Moss's Lotus 18, Jim Clarks Von Trips accident Lotus, the Cisitalia, Ascari's Ferrari, the Porsche F1 cars, P34, Brabham fan car along with many others all went years ago. Interesting cars have appeared since then, Villeneuve Ferrari's, lots of Matra's, couple of Schumacher's Ferrari's but they were all in transit on part time loan.
The bulk of the collection today consists mainly of Kevin Wheatcroft owned military vehicles, the team owned cars of McLaren, Williams and Force India, Hall & Hall cars which are there in transit plus odds'n'sods owned by individuals. There will be a few Wheatcroft cars but not many I imagine. So all exhibits will drift back to their owners I guess.
Even back in the day, all the Brabham's were owned by Ecclestone - including all the Parmalat branded cars that were stored in the workshops under the museum out of public view. They went a long time ago too.
I hope a few of the cars end up at Silverstone for their new "Experience" ... see https://silverstone-experience.co.uk. They know the Donington museum is closing, and what is in there potentially up for grabs because I told those that needed to know within 10 minutes of finding out about the closure.
As for visitors and location. There have been plenty of visitors from overseas, Donington might be north of Watford but you can fly to East Midlands airport from anywhere in the world indirectly and walk to the museum (just). I've given guided tours to bus loads of Australian's, South African's, Americans, German's (Bayern Munich VIPs who were old enough to have been around for WWII, but actually laughed when, as we headed down Craner in the coach, the translator suddenly said "Achtung Spitfire!") ... Rolls Royce and Toyota often brought foreign visitors for group tours too. Plenty of VIPs have been through there, Mr.Toyoda for one (the head of Toyota, the 'd' isn't a typo) he is probably the wealthiest person I have met, he didn't know that he didn't own Donington Park (think about that one!). But the museum has never had enough people through the doors to make a profit.
The real shame is what will happen to the little things that you only notice on close inspection. Like the old telegram from Mercedes to the race organisers asking if they can pay another £500 to enter another car for Seaman - dated August 1939 for a race that never happened. I always wondered if they paid the £500 and if they did, if they got it back. Then there is the photo of the car pulled up outside the old circuit office at Coppice with the tower thats still there in the background. The passenger appears to be asking for directions to the paddock for the 1938 Grand Prix. An innocent enough picture apart from the black uniform and red arm band!
I will miss the place, but its been dying for the last 10 years so RIP old friend.
Edited by RicardoF1RST, 17 October 2018 - 18:33.