October 02nd, 2013 | Tags: Coventry, Coventry Transport Museum,

Coventry – the motor city

Britain’s first car was produced in Coventry in 1896, which often leads to the city being considered as the home of the car. Coventry has no fewer than five museums dedicated to the motor. The famous London black cabs were first built here. Also, the infamous scenes of Minis driving around Italian sewers in The Italian Job were filmed here!

The Coventry Transport Museum is home to one of the largest collections of British road transport, with 250 cars, 120 motorcycles and 300 cycles on display, plus over a million archive and ephemera items. The museum is one of the most intriguing spots for any automobile enthusiast to visit on a trip to Coventry. It encompasses much of the historical developments of road travel and celebrates the work of some of the innovators who we must thank for today’s thriving transport technologies. The museum is not just about the past and present of motoring; it also opens the mind to what the future may hold.

The museum shop offers a wide range of items to suit general visitors and avid collectors, from oven gloves to teapots shaped like VW camper vans. There is also a wonderful little café called Esquires which is open daily for tourists to enjoy coffee, sandwiches, or cake.

Next up is the Jaguar Heritage Museum, a veritable testament to Coventry’s high status as one of Britain's foremost important motoring city's. For people who want to know the entire history of the classic car, this is the place to come and find out more. The museum houses ten of the most iconic sports and racing cars ever made. Their Jaguar Heritage Vehicle Collection comprises over 140 historic vehicles, many of them original and fully operational. The museum also has a rather sophisticated 360 degree virtual tour available for guests to experience online. Much of the display has been moved from Browns Lane to the Heritage Motor Collection in nearby Gaydon. Within this museum is the biggest collection of British cars in the world and some brilliant rolling exhibitions.

For those who are more interested in two-wheeled vehicles, there is a phenomenal bike spectacle at the National Motorcycle Museum. Their display is considered one of the best in the world with more than 350 bikes to marvel at.

Coventry is also the location for one of the most renowned transport festivals in the country. The Festival of Motoring was held on 24-25 August this year at Stoneleigh Park. Owners of vintage cars had the opportunity to take part in competitions and to show off their vehicles. The festival was free of charge to visitors and was highly regarded as a fun weekend by all who attended.

City pics