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Are you a classic cars virgin? British museum has a day just for you


Virgins exposed to what’s beneath the bonnet at British Motor Museum seminar

The British Motor Museum will offer another of its “Classic Virgins” experience days on October 20. The program is designed for people who want to buy and own a classic car but who lack experience in the hobby.

“Experts will deliver guidance on the theory of car ownership and provide basic practical workshop-based maintenance sessions,” the museum said in its announcement.

The day includes rides in a variety of classic cars so newcomers can get a feel for how they are to operate.

The previous “Classic Virgins” day was held in April. Said one of the participants: “The day was a great introduction to classic cars, and a really good opportunity to meet experienced owners.”

The museum also plans workshops this fall on photography, creative writing and drawing, each focused on vehicles from the museum’s collection. For example: “Sketching and painting Land Rovers” on October 7, “Automotive Sketching in Perspective” on November 24-25, and writing “Motoring Memoirs” on October 20.

For information, visit the museum’s website.

This 1903 Panhard et Lavassor Type a was a fixture at Beaulieu and is returning to cross the auction block | Bonhams photo

Former Beaulieu star going to auction

1903 Panhard et Lavassor takes part in London to Brighton Run in the 1960s

After serving as a star exhibit in the collection of the Montagu Motor Museum before it became the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, a 1903 Panhard et Levassor 7hp Type A will be offered up for bidding when Bonhams stages a collector car auction during the museum’s International Autojumble on September 1, the museum has announced.

Car on museum brochure

The car, originally purchased at auction for his new museum by Edward, Lord Montagu, was featured at the museum until the 1970s, when it was sold. Now it is back on sale and expected to bring as much as £200,000 ($255,000).

The museum’s Autojumble, which runs September 1-2, is an amazing swap meet-style event featuring more than 2,000 vendors with everything from part to entire vehicles. The Bonhams docket includes 130 vehicles. 

The scene at a Beaulieu Autojumble

Special events this weekend

America on Wheels will organize a car show for vehicles at least 15 years old in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Queen City Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where the events take place August 25.

The Kansas City Automotive Museum stages its fourth annual Cruiseum Poker Run on August 25 from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The LeMay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, will stage its annual car show on August 25 with more than 1,500 vehicles available for viewing, along with antique dolls, pin cushions, radios and more. The Lucky Vehicle Auction Fall Classic begins that same day and runs through the 26th.

Mark your calendar

The Simeone Foundation Auto Museum in Philadelphia has added a third session to its Race Car Engineer Summer Camp for boys and girls aged 10-16. The third session runs from August 27-31.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento offers a Talking Shop program August 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. featuring John D’Agostino, who will talk about Sacramento’s history of customizing and hot rodding cars.  

The National Corvette Museum celebrates its 24th anniversary August 30-September 1. The weekend includes the induction of Burt and John Greenwood, Tom Wallace and Mike Yager into the hall of fame.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento hosts a Drive-In Movie Night on August 31 featuring Back to the Future. Only 15 “watch from your car” tickets are available. To get one, visit the museum website.

Britain’s Beaulieu museum hosts its International Autojumble on September 1-2, with more than 2,000 vendors offering spare parts and assorted automobilia for sale (autojumble is the British version of a swap meet).

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island will host a “Hoods Up” weekend September 8-9 with the engines exposed on more than 70 automobiles.

Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, is the site of the 68th annual old Car Festival, September 8-9. The event features cars produced through 1932 with a special display this year of vintage pickup trucks.

“Riverside Revisited” is the theme of a special tribute celebration of the historic racing circuit scheduled for September 8 at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California, just south of the runways of LAX. During the event, mechanic, fabricator, car builder, crew chief and Indy racing team manager Jimmy Dilamarter will receive the Peter Bryant Challenger Award for Excellence in Engineering.

“Chrome and Glass” is the theme September 8 for America’s Automotive Trust’s annual Wheels & Heels gala at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, where Dale and Leslie Chihuly will be honorary chairs and where the Nicola Bulgari award will be presented to Amelia Island concours founder Bill Warner.

More than 400 classic (as early as 1970) and modern trucks of all categories are expected for the Retro Truck Show to be held September 8-9 at the British Motor Museum. 

An IMSA race and the Corvette Racing banquet take place September 8-9 at Laguna Seca and the National Corvette Museum’s Museum In Motion will launch a tour of Northern California on September 10 through the 16th with travel on the Pacific Coast Highway, visits to car collections and other points of interest.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts a “meet the designers” event from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on September 12, with members of the League of Retired Automotive Designers participating in an Artist’s Talk about the nearly 50 works of their dream-car art in a special exhibit. 

America on Wheels museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has rescheduled its Classics and Cruisers on Hamilton car show for the afternoon of September 15. 

The Simeone Foundation Auto Museum in Philadelphia’s Demo Day on September 15 will carry this theme: “1948, The Day They Stopped The Trains,” and will focus on the first serious attempt to revive sports car racing in the United States after World War II in Watkins Glen, New York. The museum is looking for some “guest” cars to participate. See the museum website for details.

The Kansas City Auto Museum will be among the participants in the American Royal BBQ Car Show, scheduled for September 15 at Kansas Speedway.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, will participate in the Danville d’Elegance weekend September 15-16 and at 6 p.m. on September 20 will offer a screening of Tucker: The Man and His Dream.

The Beaulieu museum in England launches its annual Autumn Lecture Series on September 15 with Steve Fenwick of Renault Sport Racing discussing “F1 Cars: An Engineering Challenge.” On October 12, it’s Steve Waddingham, historian at Aston Martin Lagonda, talking about “Aston Martin: A History.” November 12, Petere Williams will discuss his motorcycle racing career. On December 8, Chris Keith Lucas, managing director for Jaguar specialist Lynx, will present “If I had known then what I know now.”

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will host the Road Map Collectors Association show on September 21-22 and the Matchbox toy show on September 23.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, is doing a road trip by coach on September 29 to the Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI at Laguna Seca. 

The British Motor Museum, located on the grounds of the former RAF Gaydon base, hosts the third annual Gaydon Military Show on September 30.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento stages CruiseFest on Fulton Avenue on October 6.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, celebrates its 30th anniversary with a Gala scheduled for October 14. In addition to dinner and silent and live auctions, the evening will feature music by Franc d’Ambrosio of Phantom of the Opera fame.

The Simeone Foundation Auto Museum in Philadelphia plans “An Evening with Hurley Haywood” featuring the sports car racer on October 26.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email [email protected]

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. I was lucky enough to spend the day at the British Motor Museum not too long ago and I have to agree with your article, I thought the museum is well worth a look around. I don’t think you have to be a car fanatic to enjoy it either. The cars in there are stunning, <p><a href="https://www.number1plates.com">classic car</a></p> at their best.


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