When initially entering through the museum, i could understand why they called it the “Transport Museum” and not the “Automotive Museum”. that is until i walked up to and was presented with the wall of al the ‘transport’ companies that were born, lived and died in coventry. not only were there countless car and motorcycle companies but also cycle companies.
I couldn’t fathom living in a time where so many companies in one city producing so many of the same type of product. Some companies were never in existence with others. There are a select few where their life spans have overlapped. having lived here for only 2 weeks i just got used to picturing this city as it is. After having a look at this wall, I pictured coventry with wall to wall bike shops sprouting out of car factories and just as many motorcycle shops as pubs… i wish i had a time machine and a million quid to spend.
The whole museum is a gear heads wet dream. The models on display range from the ancient motor bikes to dinosaur like autos. If you happen to have the slightest interest in anything automotive it is very, very cool to see where the machine you drive or ride comes from. Not just the the machine as a whole but the individual components that make your transport of choice up.
tDuring my first visit to the museum, I was amazed at how far back some of the automobiles dated that the museum had on display. One of the first motor bikes along side an original Daimler… very ancient stuff. Moving forward in time, they had an original Mini on display against a backdrop of the tunnel chase scene from The Italian Job. Ironically enough that particular scene was actually filmed in the Coventry sewer system. In my second visit i got to see the area of the museum that housed two lands speed record breaking turbine powered cars. I never really thought they would be the size of a locomotive, but they are. Next to one of the land speed machines was a time line of all the records and the automobiles that accomplished them and also the listed time it would take to get to land mark destinations around the world at those speeds from Coventry. Very cool. My favorite to see was the Campbell BlueBird… no bias…
I was never one for museums. i think they can be incredibly and undeniably boring. The idea of just looking at motionless things on the wall bores me. The parts of history sitting in the Coventry Transportation museum however, you can see and feel the speed of them. Well most of them. The older pieces you have to compare to current technology. “…a hand held mobil phone that let’s me see the person I’m talking to AND surf the web?? holy S**T”…” a carriage without the horse and the mess??? my god!”
If you ever considered yourself a gear head, petrol head, car lover, etc., making it to the Coventry Transportation Museum is a pilgrimage you must make if ever in england. You’ll be surprised at what you do and do not know.