After a spell of really hot weather, the morning of Thursday the 12th July was looking good; some of the Iconic Transport Group from Leonardo Southampton had taken the day off especially be part of a unique ‘Behind the scenes’ tour of Beaulieu Motor Museum. What better way to start the day than with a trip to the local Harley Davidson Motor Bike shop for a ‘small’ breakfast. Adam (the chef) looked after us well and had us all fed and ready to leave at 09:20 as planned. We took off in our collection of Icons, some less iconic than others with a run of excuses, all perfectly valid. Edward Matthews should get a special mention as he had been up until late the night before and rose at 04:30 to finish his car, he fixed it, but as often happens there was a knock-on issue that needed fixing, bad luck. The drive through the forest was lovely, arriving at Beaulieu felt really special, there was a proper road sign ‘Leonardo Iconic Transport Group ‘ directing us down to the arena, right in front of the museum, our treasures were getting an audience, the Datsun Bluebird getting a lot of attention.
Here we were treated to coffee before a most animated introduction to some of the museums historic vehicles, then into the workshop, oh the smell, the engineers inhaled deeply and felt right at home, I think they wanted to stay and be put to work! We were moved on, all too quickly, there is so much work that goes on behind the scenes. It was fascinating to learn about all the different types of video tapes from years gone by the effort that went into repairing the glass prints and making these digital. The stock of memorabilia was very varied and the archives of original paper based memorabilia was fascinating. The Motoring Research Service will certainly come in handy for investigations, there is a small charge but the information will be sound and trusted.
We learnt so much and were looked after so well. We would all like to extend our thanks to Heather and her team, and we are delighted that we have been able to help in a small way to sponsor the BRM’s continued restoration.