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Donington Collection closing (Merged)


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#101 nicanary

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 11:16

OT quite a bit, but by chance I just saw this is in the September 1958 issue of Motor Sport, in the "wanted" section of the small ads.

 

"Wanted: Mercedes-Benz 1908 or 1909 model. Reply Wheatcroft, "The Firs", Leicester Road, Wigston Fields, Leicester. Telephone Wigston 2726."

 

The very man or just a coincidence?


Edited by nicanary, 17 October 2018 - 11:16.


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#102 Tim Murray

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 11:39

The very man indeed. Tom mentioned The Firs in his autobiography; it was his family home for some eighteen years, until the early 1970s.

#103 RicardoF1RST

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 15:04

Hmmm ... just got back from a final walk around the museum. No Panzer IV or Sherman, although there is a (Kevin) Magnussen McLaren. If you’re thinking of dropping in be quick as it’s emptying as I type, if my final tour happens it will be brief. For me, it’s already dead and buried unfortunately.

#104 cooper997

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 15:42

Another from 1994 visit

 

Donington-1994-03-TNF.jpg

Just half of the Alfa Romeo Bimotore's 16 cylinders

 

Stephen

 



#105 Peter Morley

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 15:46

I just received an email telling that there's a new book coming out called Donington Park - The Pioneers, apparently the definitive history.

It's due to appear in November, just in time to celebrate the closure of the museum no doubt...



#106 Tim Murray

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 15:57

Here’s the book’s blurb on the Chaters site - publication date is 24th October:

https://www.chaters....rk-the-pioneers

I wonder if it’ll answer our Starkey’s Bridge questions.

#107 RicardoF1RST

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 18:30

Also see here regarding the book.

 

Frustrating, but I am sure someone, probably Tom, told me who Starkey was... but can I remember!



#108 ensign14

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 21:06

Hmmm ... just got back from a final walk around the museum. No Panzer IV or Sherman, although there is a (Kevin) Magnussen McLaren. If you’re thinking of dropping in be quick as it’s emptying as I type,

 

45342325592_42ab20cc43_b.jpg

 

45342324892_789f0df268_b.jpg

 

MP4-29, with the penis nose looking like Jar Jar Binks.



#109 BRG

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 21:09

Also see here regarding the book.

 

Frustrating, but I am sure someone, probably Tom, told me who Starkey was... but can I remember!

Think, damn it, think!!  There are many here greatly frustrated by our failure to uncover the identity of Starkey.



#110 Steve L

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 21:25

It would be interesting to know where some of the sold cars have gone?

I think the Bugatti T73 went to America (having 'orrible cycle wings fitted), the "Auto Union" and Cisitalia to Germany (but weren't C&G meant to be building the latter at one point?).

But the Alfa Bimotore and Ascari Ferrari...?

Edited by Steve L, 17 October 2018 - 21:26.


#111 kayemod

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 22:06

Think, damn it, think!!  There are many here greatly frustrated by our failure to uncover the identity of Starkey.

 

Wasn't he the drummer in some 60s pop group? At the moment though, their name escapes me.



#112 PCC

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 22:10

Wasn't he the drummer in some 60s pop group? At the moment though, their name escapes me.

I think it was Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.



#113 cooper997

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 00:05

The front 8 cylinders of Bimotore

Donington-1994-04-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#114 cooper997

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 05:45

By my 1997 visit this monument to Senna and Fangio was erected towards the entrance to the collection.

 

Donington-1997-03-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#115 alansart

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 07:40

The Collection in 2007.

https://www.flickr.c...157630466351458



#116 MCS

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 13:14

Great pictures - thanks Alan. :up:

 

So will the Wheatcroft owned "vehicles" be kept by the family or sold off, do we know?  Or did I miss something along the way - in which case my apologies.



#117 kayemod

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 13:53


Anyone here familiar with  Le Manoir de l' Automobile museum about 20ks south of Rennes in France an amazing place also the work of one man.

 

Yes I've been, and The Manoir d l'Automobile place raised an interesting point that hasn't been discussed so far.

 

I love a good car museum, and I've visited places all over Europe, though almost always with the non-UK ones, on holiday trips with my dear wife Anne in tow. We went to Le Manoir and loved it, partly because it's close to a pleasant small French town in Loheac, and partly because it appeals to people other than car enthusiasts, we spent a few hours in there, and Anne enjoyed the whole experience as much as I did. A few years ago we went to the Schlumpf place in Mulhouse, my number one of all time, and I had to prise her away from it after 6 hours, though that included lunch in their excellent restaurant, and only last month we were at the Louwman Museum near The Hague in the Netherlands. We arrived at 11am, and only left when they started closing the place at 5pm, so six hours. I didn't have time to see the last two halls at all, and we agreed that we could have done with another hour or two, so we plan to return. The reason that neither of these places sowed even a trace of marital discord is that they've made a conscious attempt to appeal to non-dedicated people, audio tours that tell of past owners and similar topics, intelligently written descriptive placards etc. Anne is very far from being a car devotee, but she was presented with plenty to hold her attention in all the places I've mentioned. The Wheatcroft Museum on the other hand has never made any attempt at this, not really a criticism, as I can't immediately suggest ways in which they could, but while the place in its prime was heaven to people like us, it had effectively distanced itself from about half of the World's population. Kevin's Military vehicles would have lessened it's appeal even further. As the place was largely an expensive hobby for Tom, I doubt if this was something that would have bothered him too much, but I'm sure that it would have been possible to do things that might have helped to overcome this very obvious deficiency and widen the appeal of the place. With Tom no longer around, maybe even that wouldn't have helped very much though, upon inheriting the place, Kevin should at least made attempts to build on its car fan attractions and widen the appeal.



#118 Glengavel

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 17:16

I was at Donington in July or August 1983, timed to coincide with a classic car race weekend.

 

pcVIw9pm.jpg

 

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pjDSKfim.jpg

 

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#119 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 19:14

Because we're on some varied subjects relating to the Donington collection...

Some time, I would think in the seventies, Jumbo Goddard did a deal with Tom Wheatcroft. Jumbo had a large collection of older cars, among other things, and got together with Tom with a lot of Wheatcroft cash changing hands in return for a lot of Goddard cars.

But the unique aspect of this deal was that the vehicles remained Jumbo's property until he died. Effectively Jumbo had his cake and ate it, at least until his death in 1983.

Tom Wheatcroft, on the other hand, got the collection at the prevailing prices. And many of them were to be stored at Donington anyway.

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#120 PCC

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 19:37

I was at Donington in July or August 1983, timed to coincide with a classic car race weekend.

 

pcVIw9pm.jpg

 

v0BqHf3m.jpg

 

m172LOlm.jpg

 

fMB4Yk2m.jpg

 

pjDSKfim.jpg

 

orTrqAem.jpg

 

s06mhAWm.jpg

Thanks for these pictures; I was there around the same time and they jog some very happy memories. Looking at your pictures, I can see why I loved the place - but I can also see with much greater clarity than I did at the time why someone who was not racing-obsessed would not.



#121 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 19:43

Tom told the Jumbo Goddard story in his autobiography. He and Jumbo had become great mates over the years, and the deal for Tom to buy Jumbo’s cars was ‘a private gentlemen’s agreement between the two of us, something that he didn’t want anyone else to know about - not even his wife Katy - so my claim to many of these cars was disputed after his death from cancer in the early eighties and I never did manage to take possession of all of them.’

#122 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 19:55

That's strange...

I knew the story before Jumbo died.

#123 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 20:01

It wouldn’t be the first time something Tom wrote in his autobiography turned out to be inaccurate.

#124 LittleChris

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 21:08

By my 1997 visit this monument to Senna and Fangio was erected towards the entrance to the collection.

 

Donington-1997-03-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen

 

Shame they didn't get the year of JMF's death right.......  I noticed this when I visited about 10 years ago but there was no one around to mention it to !



#125 StanBarrett2

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 21:57

Excellent photos, Ens - thanks. The green Matra is the one and only MS9. I’m puzzled by its green front suspension - I don’t recall it looking like that in the 1968 SA GP.

I agree , Never as green as the exhibition model, which to me is a ridiculous interpretation of what MS 9 looked like that day

 

I feel like opening an MS9 thread about this.


Edited by StanBarrett2, 18 October 2018 - 21:59.


#126 elansprint72

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 23:46

45342325592_42ab20cc43_b.jpg

 

45342324892_789f0df268_b.jpg

 

MP4-29, with the penis nose looking like Jar Jar Binks.

Chinese penis... Shirley?



#127 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 05:53

Pages from brochure when the Collection originally opened in 1973 (your work, Doug?). I grew up about eight miles from Donington, so was lucky enough to attend often. I really miss some of Wheatie's early exhibits....

 

Don3.jpg

 

Don9.jpg

 

Don5.jpg

 

Don6.jpg

 

Don7.jpg

 

Don8.jpg

 

Don9.jpg

 

Don10.jpg


Edited by Jon Saltinstall, 19 October 2018 - 12:22.


#128 john aston

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 06:55

Jo Marquardt?



#129 2F-001

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 08:31

I have that brochure too, Jon; though my next task is to find it...

#130 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 10:49

Thank you for sharing this brochure. Am I right in concluding that several cars had left the collection by 2000? 

 

The Ferrari 500 is shown with #15, yet on dark borranis also later it appeared with #5 yet wrongly depicting the British GP winner with white roundels on the tail. Model car makers copied these errors, testifying that they used the collection form many their (limited) research.



#131 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 11:03

It would be interesting to know where some of the sold cars have gone?

 

 

The De Beaufort F2 went here, a good home I guess yet restored and out of his orange jacket....

 

http://www.prototyp-...felrennen-2012/

 

BTW I missed the Porsche in the brochure Jon posted. Was it added later to the collection? This was one of the two F2's De Beaufort used, difference being the height of the roll bar.

Actually this car was his accident car...

 

The Cisitalia also moved to Hamburg, displayed ... ehm unassembled.


Edited by Arjan de Roos, 19 October 2018 - 11:10.


#132 Jon Saltinstall

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 12:24

Just corrected the "invisible" page.

 

An yes, Arjen, as I recall it a few of these had gone by 2000.... Doug would be the best person to confirm which ones, of course!

 

I have a couple of later brochures which I will try and scan / upload next week.


Edited by Jon Saltinstall, 19 October 2018 - 12:26.


#133 Peter Morley

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 13:10

It would be interesting to know where some of the sold cars have gone?

I think the Bugatti T73 went to America (having 'orrible cycle wings fitted), the "Auto Union" and Cisitalia to Germany (but weren't C&G meant to be building the latter at one point?).

But the Alfa Bimotore and Ascari Ferrari...?

 

A few years ago while I was visiting H&H, Dick Crosthwaite also dropped in and he had the Cisitalia in the back of his van, so yes they were going to (re)build it.



#134 Alan Cox

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 13:49

It would be interesting to know where some of the sold cars have gone?

The Scarab is with Julian Bronson, the Clark Lotus 21 is with Tony Best, the Moss Lotus 18 with Adam Lindemann, the Ferrari 312B and McLaren M2 and, I think, the M7 with Richard Mille, the BRP-liveried P25 BRM and the BRM P48 with Barrie Baxter, the McLaren Monaco-winning Cooper T60 with Richard Wilson and the March 701 with Roger Wills to list a few that I know of

Edited by Alan Cox, 19 October 2018 - 13:51.


#135 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 14:16

I had planned to go there in July but fell ill. Will never make it now

#136 alansart

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 14:57

The Scarab is with Julian Bronson, the Clark Lotus 21 is with Tony Best, the Moss Lotus 18 with Adam Lindemann, the Ferrari 312B and McLaren M2 and, I think, the M7 with Richard Mille, the BRP-liveried P25 BRM and the BRM P48 with Barrie Baxter, the McLaren Monaco-winning Cooper T60 with Richard Wilson and the March 701 with Roger Wills to list a few that I know of

Roger Wills had the March 701 but I think may of sold it on. Is this the car involved in the tragic Zandvoort crash? Wills also had the 6 wheeler Tyrrell but again I'm not sure if he still has it.


Edited by alansart, 19 October 2018 - 15:00.


#137 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 15:00

BBC also has news

https://www.bbc.com/...rshire-45823624

 

"Over 45 years, more than 2.5m people have visited the attraction." Anyone ever saw 150+ visitors on one day?



#138 Alan Cox

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 15:54

Roger Wills had the March 701 but I think may of sold it on. Is this the car involved in the tragic Zandvoort crash? Wills also had the 6 wheeler Tyrrell but again I'm not sure if he still has it.

Yes, I think you are right, Alan. Frenchman David Ferrer was the driver who crashed his March 701 fatally at Zandvoort last year

#139 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 17:50

The real name of the above-mentioned "Auto-Union" is Sokol 2000 (also known as the Sokol 650, although it seems to be rather fictional index than the real one).

 

BTW, I also had the fortune to visit Donington museum in 2012 (thanks to Ralph Colmar, who gave us a lift) and was really impressed both by the exhibits and by the almost total absence of visitors...


Edited by Alexey Rogachev, 19 October 2018 - 17:52.


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#140 chr1s

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 19:38

The Scarab is with Julian Bronson, the Clark Lotus 21 is with Tony Best, the Moss Lotus 18 with Adam Lindemann, the Ferrari 312B and McLaren M2 and, I think, the M7 with Richard Mille, the BRP-liveried P25 BRM and the BRM P48 with Barrie Baxter, the McLaren Monaco-winning Cooper T60 with Richard Wilson and the March 701 with Roger Wills to list a few that I know of

There was also an ex Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312T there when I first went in the early 80's. Anyone know where that went?


Edited by chr1s, 19 October 2018 - 19:45.


#141 RicardoF1RST

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 19:47

Anyone ever saw 150+ visitors on one day?[/size][/font][/color]


Yup... on a few occasions, maybe 5 in the last 26 years :-)

#142 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 20:17

Sounds just like it should...

"The right crowd and no crowding."

#143 Bloggsworth

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 20:51

 ...the McLaren Monaco-winning Cooper T60 with Richard Wilson...

 

I don't believe it!



#144 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 22:35

I fear I last visited the Collection sometime in the early 1990s - and I have no idea today how many cars have already been sold.  I am indeed guilty as charged of writing that original catalogue, and I worked very closely with Tom from 1970-71 to around 1982-83, sometimes in the early days spending two or three days there each time I travelled north of Woking.  Over the years I found that the best - and safest - way to work with Tom was from 144 miles away.  He didn't really like younger enthusiasts disagreeing with him - and I have always tended to say what I think...often without really thinking (or caring) of the fallout... 

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 19 October 2018 - 22:37.


#145 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 23:13

Over the years I found that the best - and safest - way to work with Tom was from 144 miles away. He didn't really like younger enthusiasts disagreeing with him ...


Reminds me of my visit in 2004. I was wandering around an apparently completely deserted museum when I heard a booming voice in the distance. In time Tom hove into view, conducting a small group around the collection. I listened in at a discreet distance, to find that what he was telling his guests was hopelessly inaccurate. One of the guests obviously knew his history and several times tried to challenge what Tom was telling them, but Tom would have nothing of it. ‘No lad, this is how it was ... ‘.

#146 Peter Morley

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 12:15

The Scarab is with Julian Bronson, the Clark Lotus 21 is with Tony Best, the Moss Lotus 18 with Adam Lindemann, the Ferrari 312B and McLaren M2 and, I think, the M7 with Richard Mille, the BRP-liveried P25 BRM and the BRM P48 with Barrie Baxter, the McLaren Monaco-winning Cooper T60 with Richard Wilson and the March 701 with Roger Wills to list a few that I know of

 

I heard that Richard Mille also has the four wheel drive cars - Cosworth, McLaren, Matra. Presumably the Lotus and BRM as well.



#147 Peter Morley

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 12:21

I fear I last visited the Collection sometime in the early 1990s - and I have no idea today how many cars have already been sold.  I am indeed guilty as charged of writing that original catalogue, and I worked very closely with Tom from 1970-71 to around 1982-83, sometimes in the early days spending two or three days there each time I travelled north of Woking.  Over the years I found that the best - and safest - way to work with Tom was from 144 miles away.  He didn't really like younger enthusiasts disagreeing with him - and I have always tended to say what I think...often without really thinking (or caring) of the fallout... 

 

DCN

 

The original (only?) catalogue is still one of my favourite books, it's very informative and I'd be very happy to have pretty much any of the cars in it.

I've always found single seaters more interesting than sports cars (hence I've not made a fortune from them!) and the collection was truly unique from that point of view.

Nowadays there are a few people who have large single seater collections but they all tend to be pretty similar - like the Dutch collection of 70+ post 90s cars of which only a couple grab my attention.



#148 Alan Cox

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 13:22

BTW, I also had the fortune to visit Donington museum in 2012 (thanks to Ralph Colmar, who gave us a lift) and was really impressed both by the exhibits and by the almost total absence of visitors...

I remember that day well, Alexey. It was great to meet you and Mary, the new Mrs Rogachev. I recall Simon Arron and Roger Clark joined us, too.
IMG_0005-1.jpg

Edited by Alan Cox, 20 October 2018 - 13:27.


#149 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 15:21

We also remember it - a wonderful day indeed, as well as all our journey to the UK  :wave:



#150 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 15:46

I was under the impression that the 312B went to an American owner - has it gone from him to Mille?

 

DCN