By Simon & Janet Wright.
The City of Coventry in the middle of England has always been the heart of the British Motor Industry with giants like Jaguar, Triumph, Standard, Rover, Hillman and even Peugeot all having had manufacturing plants in the city. In fact up to 70 vehicle manufacturers have been based in Coventry over the past 100 years. The city now boasts a fabulous Transport Museum in the city centre, with free admission at the time of publication. The museum has a fantastic permanent collection of motor vehicles on display and has a large room for special exhibitions. Currently there is a Hot Rods & Kool Customs display running from 28th January to 14th May 2017, which features a display of cars from the American and British custom car scene including a classic 1932 Ford Roadster and a 1957 Ford Popular. During the summer months, the museum also holds monthly Cars & Coffee mornings on a Saturday. Pre-registered car owners can display their classic cars outside the front of the museum in Millennium Place. The first of these meetings was held on Saturday 11th march and was a special Hot Rods Cars & Coffee day in honour of the exhibition in the museum. It was probably one of the largest turn outs for these events, with over 70 cars and vans on display between 9:30am and 4pm. Many had travelled long distances to attend.It drew in a large crowd of interested on-lookers and passing shoppers, as the museum is located right next to the city bus station. Motoring TV personality Mike Brewer from the Wheeler Dealer programme, who is also president of Coventry Transport museum Patron scheme, arrived in a stylish blue Porsche 911 and immediately drew a crowd of enthusiasts round him for autographs and ‘selfies’. The range of cars on display outside was impressive. The oldest vehicle on display was a 1932 Ford Model B, and possibly the loudest was an American 1970 Mercury Cougar with its 5.4 litre V8 engine making a lovely deep sound as it drove in to Millennium Place. Other ‘modern’ American muscle cars included a convertible Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, a couple of Ford Mustangs and a mammoth Ram SRT10 pickup truck, which must have been twice the size of the 1946 flat bed Ford pickup truck Rat Rod, with its open V8 engine. There were several Ford Populars together. This British Ford model has always been popular with the British Hot Rod and Custom car crowd.
A large area was used by a selection of American Camper vans, many with custom paint jobs, though the best art work was actually on a Citroen camper van with scenes from the latest Star War movies painted on the sides and rear, Of course no selection of camper vans would be complete without the iconic Volkswagen camper van.
More information on the museum and the Hot Rods & Kool Customs exhibition can be found on the museum web site at www.transport-museum.com