Hop on a local train at Paddington and you’ll soon find yourself at Hayes & Harlington station. Get off, walk around the corner onto the local industrial estate and you’ll come face to face with what is one of London’s most unusual attractions, the London Motor Museum.
I should start by saying that this is no Heritage Motor Centre or National Motor Museum – you won’t find neat ranks of Minis, Ford Cortinas or Morris Minors carefully organised by model and year, but what they have will delight pistonheads of all kinds…
The main focus of the London Motor Museum is on muscle cars and classic American vehicles – there are several examples of the glorious Ford Mustang in old and relatively new versions, a genuinely breathtaking Pontiac Firebird with the most elaborate phoenix on its bonnet and flames erupting from its wheel arches, and slick low-slung Cadillacs with vibrant paint schemes and white wall tires.
There’s also a long list of famous cars to see – an original Herbie, a Batmobile from one of the 1980s movies as well as an example from the 1960s TV show that starred a rather campy Adam West. You can also feast your eyes on a beautiful Gran Torino sporting the red and white colours of Starsky & Hutch and an orange Dodge Charger with an Old Glory flag on it’s roof that will be familiar to all those old fans of the Dukes of Hazzard.
These shiny vehicles can’t hold a candle to my two favourite vehicles in the London Motor Museum however – both cars which have captured my imagination since my early teens, namely a fine example of the brushed aluminium DeLorean DMC-12 with a red leather interior and an admittedly rather threadbare but clearly genuine Knight Industries 2000, or K.I.T.T from David Hasselhoff’s famous TV show. Sadly K.I.T.T. wasn’t in the mood for chatting on my visit!
The other big draw at the London Motor Museum are the modded vehicles, which are a particular speciality of Mansory and TKO London, who have a workshop directly behind the museum. You can check out a Rolls Royce with rather uncharacteristic gullwing doors, a finely reupholstered Cadillac Escalade and other vehicles in the museum before wandering through to a viewing gallery that looks out on the space where the team work on their current projects. Who knows which cars you might see, because these guys spend all their time creating modified cars for Premiership footballers and movie stars amongst others!
If you’re planning on a visit the London Motor Museum I would really suggest booking online, otherwise it’s a rather steep £30 for adults on the door, which I don’t think represents very good value. The online price is a more reasonable £22.50 for adults and £15 for students.
There are more photos of my visit late last year online here.