On the way up to a conference in Manchester I dropped into Donnington Park, Leicestershire, to take a look at the largest collection of Grand Prix racing cars in the world. I had been to Donnington before but that was many years ago when founder of the collection Tom Wheatcroft was still alive. I wanted to see whether his son, Kevin, had put his own stamp on the place. He certainly had!

A visit now begins with a walk brought two halls full not of racing cars but military hardware. One of Kevin’s passions is military vehicles and he has an amazing collection of immaculate and rare tanks, half tracks, lorries and bikes. Whilst I like that sort of thing too I’m not sure it should be displayed with the racing cars. Indeed some of the most famous cars from the collection were not on show. Where was the 3 litre Sunbeam, the Alfa Bimotore, the Lancia D50, the Rob Walker ex Moss Monaco winning Lotus 18/21, the ex Ickx Ferrari 312B, the JPS Lotus 72 and the ex Stewart Tyrrell 006? Maybe the carsĀ are being fettled for the beginning of the season? But I would have liked to see them rather than a load of brooding German half tracks..

Still there was a lot else to see…

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Jackie Stewart’s exquisite Matra Tyrrell

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Pure 70s kitch – Penthouse sponsored Hesketh

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Damon Hill’s 1996 Championship winning Williams

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Red Five! Mansell’s Championship winning 1992 Williams

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Jaguar’s inappropriate attempt at F1 – which ended in failure..

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New Zealand Racing Orange! Part of the fantastic McLaren collection

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Fine selection of Vanwalls including streamliner designed for use (like the equivalent Merc – see below) at the fast circuits such as Reims and Monza. It was not, however, a success.

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