Formula E
27 Feb
-
29 Feb
Event finished
R
Berlin E-prix
20 Jun
-
21 Jun
Next event in
92 days
Formula 1
R
Azerbaijan GP
04 Jun
-
07 Jun
FP1 in
77 days
11 Jun
-
14 Jun
FP1 in
84 days
MotoGP
R
Spanish GP
30 Apr
-
03 May
Next event in
41 days
14 May
-
17 May
Next event in
55 days
NASCAR Cup
06 Mar
-
08 Mar
Event finished
R
Martinsville
07 May
-
09 May
Next event in
48 days
IndyCar
07 May
-
09 May
Next event in
48 days
22 May
-
24 May
Next event in
63 days
WEC
22 Feb
-
23 Feb
Event finished

Donington Grand Prix Collection to close

shares
comments
Donington Grand Prix Collection to close
By:
Oct 11, 2018, 9:21 AM

The Donington Grand Prix Collection, once the most outstanding assembly of racing cars in the world, will close its doors on November 5.

The collection was developed by the late Tom Wheatcroft, who started buying Grand Prix cars in the 1960s. In 1971 he bought the site of the former Donington Park circuit and set about rebuilding the circuit.

However, before he brought racing back to the venue in 1977, the Leicester builder opened his purpose-built museum on land at the track.

The official opening in March 1973 was attended by Raymond Mays and displays of BRMs and Vanwalls were at the heart of the museum.

Wheatcroft continued to expand his collection of famous racing cars and when the circuit was opened some of them were used in demonstrations.

For more than 40 years, the museum was an important visitor destination and featured many land mark exhibits including a tribute to Ayrton Senna, the cars raced by Wheatcroft's protege Roger Williamson and the Lotus 18 used by Stirling Moss to win at Monaco in 1961.

In 2007, the ill-fated bid to bring Formula 1 back to Donington pitched the venue into turmoil and the track was closed for many months after the deal collapsed.

Wheatcroft died in 2009 and it was left to his son Kevin to regroup and bring Donington Park back into action.

Key cars from the collection were sold to help fund restoration work, while Wheatcroft junior introduced a collection of military vehicles into the museum.

More recent Grand Prix cars on loan from manufacturers packed out the halls as many of Tom Wheatcroft's treasured cars from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were sold.

Now, with the circuit being operated by Motor Sport Vision, the Donington Collection is considered unsustainable and will close in November. The remaining exhibits are being returned to owners or sold.

"Closing the museum after 45 years has been a really difficult decision, but family responsibilities simply make it the right thing to do," said Kevin Wheatcroft.

 

Next article
Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams, 1938-2018

Previous article

Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams, 1938-2018

Next article

Live: Watch the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Live: Watch the Goodwood Festival of Speed
Load comments

About this article

Series Vintage
Author Paul Lawrence