Looking back over the past year, it occurred to me just how many car museums I’d managed to visit during 2016. Amazingly my wife agreed to visit them all with me as part of our holidays, apart from the first (horses are more interesting, apparently) and last one as she’s been before.
Vauxhall Heritage Centre - Luton
Starting in June and a rare opening of the Vauxhall Heritage Centre in Luton; it’s open on one or two days per year. It’s more of a large warehouse – there certainly isn’t a café or gift shop – crammed with historic Vauxhall cars and vans, mostly in fully working order apart from the concept cars.
More info: Vauxhall Heritage Centre on Facebook
National Motor Museum, Beaulieu
A few days after the Vauxhall visit, a return visit to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. It’s been a long time since I’d been, but it made a good stop-off point on the way to the New Forrest. The BBC “Top Gear” exhibit of some of the crazy cars they’ve devised over the years was eye opening. On the outside (viewers side) they looked fine, but inside it was surprising just how rough and ready many of them were.
More info: www.beaulieu.co.uk
On holiday in late September/early October we toured around Italy. On one day I managed the Ducati Motorcycle Museum in Bologna followed by the Ferrari museum in Maranello as well a spotting the oh-so famous Ferrari sites of the industrial town.
After lunch, it was off to Sant’ Agata Bolognese to visit the Lamborghini Museum and to also look around part of the factory where we were able to see Aventador’s being built. Yours for around £300K with a few options. A pity the green Huracan below didn’t have my name on it.
A few days later we found ourselves in Brescia, home to the Museo Millie Miglia, a museum dedicated the famous 1,000 Km road race of the past. For British fans the race will forever be associated with Stirling Moss and his famous win in 1955. Take a look on the internet and you’ll see why.
On to December and a few days based in Munich. In under 45 minutes by high speed train it’s possible to reach Ingolstadt, home of Audi. A short bus ride (on time obviously) to the Audi Forum (a vast complex including museum, bars, restaurants, shop and car sales and collection) enabled me to go around the museum (Euro 2 per adult) which is spread over three floors. Ironically, the temporary exhibition was made up of Ducati motorcycles (owned by Audi) some of which had come from Bologna.
Another day, another museum; back in Munich and a short tube journey from the city takes you to the Olympic park and the BMW Welt (a huge “experience” centre not dissimilar to the Audi one) and the BMW Museum (my fourth visit to that one).
So which was my top car museum?
Out of the Italian ones, the Lamborghini one was the most pleasantly surprising both in terms of layout and content. It was also a lot less busy than Ferrari.
The BMW one is an all-time favourite but the Audi one was extremely impressive in terms of size and content (several cars I’d never seen before, which is saying something for a committed petrol head like me).
So, what does all of this have to do with computer programming or the world of IT in general? Absolutely nothing but I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this all the same!
One of the Directors of Optima, Kevin is responsible for the day-to-day running of the company. He is also responsible for the company’s Corporate Governance, financial planning and budgetary control, resource planning and our compliance with Health and Safety laws. He is, to say the least, analytical and highly organised. More about Kevin.