Home Uncategorized Bicester sets master plan to be auto-oriented tourist destination

Bicester sets master plan to be auto-oriented tourist destination


Bicester Heritage, the former Royal Air Force bomber training base that has become a vintage automotive and aviation center, will be enfolded into the proposed Bicester Motion, an “immersive automotive resort” which aims to become a top-20 tourist destination in England, organizers have announced.

Bicester Heritage, home to more than 40 vintage vehicle facilities and site of frequent car shows, occupies only 5 percent of the former base’s 444-acre footprint. Plans for Bicester Motion call for the addition of: 

Bicester Motion to include a place where people can experience the newest in vehicles and technology

 •  A “brand experience center” will include driving experiences for all ages on- and off-road, a driver training academy, and autonomous-vehicle area.

• The Future Automotive Speed Technologies hub for advanced technologies and “cutting-edge” businesses.

• The Motor Vaults, private car garages and entertainment spaces for car collectors.

•  Bicester Reserve, a health and well-being zone to include parts and lodges.

• Bicester Expo, an events and entertainment area.

Bicester Motion reveals expansion plan

All of that in addition to an already announced and approved 344-room hotel and convention center.

“This expansion will ensure that the historic airfield location it calls home will fulfill its original and continued purpose as a focal point for cutting edge technology,” Bicester Motion said in the news release announcing its new masterplan.

“Bicester Motion aims to be the first experiential automotive resort where visitors can become fully immersed in the breadth of our automotive culture, from existing on-site historic vehicle specialists through to future electric and autonomous technology.”

“The automotive industry is in a fascinating state of flux owing to changing customer habits and requirements, alongside the technology shift in drivetrains and autonomy,” Dan Geoghegan, chief executive of Bicester Motion, was quoted in the news release.  

“Bicester Motion will enable both new and existing manufacturers to interact more effectively with their clientele.  It will help build those relationships in a revolutionary way by providing an immersive environment that offers a lifestyle experience beyond just cars on tracks or visiting a showroom.  The automotive world is changing, and we plan to offer a first-of-its-kind resort that will have multi-generational appeal.” 

Mario (standing) and his twin brother Aldo | World of Speed museum photo

Museums celebrate Andretti anniversary

Mario Andretti won the Indianapolis 500 in 1969. On April 10, that victory will be celebrated with a 50th anniversary dinner at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, where the evening program includes a “fireside chat” with Andretti. 

Tickets are available through the Petersen website.

And the Petersen isn’t alone in remembering Andretti’s victory at Indy. 

“Mario Andretti: ICON” opens May 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. and on March 23, the World of Speed museum in Wilsonville, Oregon, will display 11 cars in a special Andretti exhibition, including the 1949 Hudson that Mario and his twin, Aldo, built and raced to a 1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV that he Mario drove to victory at Sebring.

Special events this weekend

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento opens a new exhibit, Micro Cars, on March 15.

March 16-17 is a hoods-up weekend at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island.

The National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park will be the site of BingeTokyo on March 16-17. Though it may sound as though only Japanese vehicles are welcome, organizers say all makes and models are welcome in what they believe to be “hands down the cheapest seat time you will get,” seven hours of track time over two days for $500.

LeMay Collections at Marymount participates in the Almost Spring swap meet and car show at the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup, Washington, on March 16-17.

Mark your calendar

The Miles Through Time Automotive Museum in Toccoa, Georgia, stages a car club cruise-in on March 23 and opens for the season on April 10.

The AACA Library & Research Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, continues its “Saturday Matinee” program at 1 p.m. March 23 with viewing of film footage featuring the Glidden Tour History. The series ends April 13 with A History of Motor Racing.

“RADwood: Cleveland Goes Rad” is the title for an exhibit/experience running through March 24 at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland. Staged in partnership with RADwood car shows, the exhibit will celebrate 1980s and ‘90s car culture and will showcase vehicles, clothing, music “and everything in between.”

The Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile in Torino, Italy, opens a new exhibit on the interaction of passion, graphics and design on March 28.

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland hosts a cars and coffee cruise-in from 8 until 11 a.m. on March 30.

LeMay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, hosts the LeMay Tea Party on March 30.

The Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild will stage a reunion and model car exposition April 4-7 at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, where more than 100 of the cars will remain on exhibit through October.

April 5 is the registration deadline for the teen driving day being held in conjunction with the Kentucky Safe Driver Program at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green on April 13.

“USAC Stars: From Dirt Tracks to the Brickyard” is the theme of a panel discussion at 6 p.m. April 9 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum featuring U.S. Auto Club racing champions Brady Bacon, Tyler Courtney, Dave Darland, Justin Grant and Kody Swanson.

The Miles Through Time museum in Toccoa, Georgia, opens for its 2019 season on April 10. The museum will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.  

The National Corvette Museum’s NCM Motorsports Park will stage a special “Drive Toward a Curve Day” program on April 12 to fight Parkinson’s Disease. The track in Bowling Green, Kentucky, will off an all-day, lead-follow lapping program with $50 of the $125 entry going toward the charity. The track stages its teen driving day being held in conjunction with the Kentucky Safe Driver Program at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green on April 13.

SEMA’s CuS.T.E.M. Car Experience visits the LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, on April 19. The program introduces middle school students to the automotive customization hobby through STEM education experiences. 

Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu hosts its annual “Simply Audi” car show on April 21.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is organizing a bus trip to the New York International Auto Show on April 27.

“Mario Andretti: ICON” is a special exhibit that opens May 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The exhibit is designed as a comprehensive 50th anniversary celebration of Andretti’s victory in the 1969 Indianapolis 500 race.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, opens a special “RCR 50: Only in America” exhibit featuring 50 years of Richard Childress Racing in May. 

“My dream is longer than the night,” a radio play about Bertha Benz and her influence on the early motorcar, will be performed May 3-5 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany. 

The Simply Ford gathering May 5 at Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu will feature the 60th anniversary of the Ford Anglia 105E and the 50th birthday celebration for the Ford Capri.

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California opens its new Fireball Gallery of automotive art with a special event from 6 until 10 p.m. on May 11. 

917 concept study among the cars to be featured at the Porsche Museum in Germany

“Colors of Speed — 50 Years of the 917,” a special exhibition of 10 of the famed Porsche racing cars, opens May 14 and runs through September 15 at the Porsche Museum in Germany.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, opens two new summer exhibits on May 18 — Studebaker Cool: 114 Years of Innovation, and Harley-Davidson: History, Mythology and Perceptions of America’s Motorcycle. Both exhibits run through October 20.

Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu hosts both its silver-anniversary spring autojumble (swap meet) May 18-19 and a 60th anniversary celebration of the Mini. 

LeMay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, offers Model T drivers education classes May 18, June 8, July 7, August 4 and September 8.

The IMS Museum presents the 21st annual Indianapolis Historic Racing Exhibition on May 23-25 when around 70 Indianapolis 500 racing cars are expected to return to the track for exhibition laps and to be displayed in the museum parking lot inside Turn 2. The event is open to cars that raced at Indy between 1911 and 1994.

‘Spitfire’ sculpture by Richard Cresswell

Britain’s National Motor Museum and the Montagu home at Beaulieu will host a major exhibition of sculpture from May 25 through July 14. “Sculpture at Beaulieu” will feature more than 350 works by more than 60 sculptors.

LeMay Collections stages LeMay Motorcycle Days from June 13-23 with 200 motorcycles on exhibit and with rounds of motorcycle soccer.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, will stage its annual Father’s Day car show on June 16.

The Miles Through Time museum in Toccoa, Georgia, hosts its second annual car show from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on June 22. 

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, hosts its seventh annual vintage trailer show from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on June 29, with more than 40 vintage trailers and campers on display.

“The Car. The Future. Me” is the title of an exhibit scheduled to open July 13 at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, UK, to explore “futuristic car design and (to) challenge your idea of how we will interact with the cars for the future,” the museum said. 

The Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan, inducts new members Sergio Marchionne, the late chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Janet Guthrie, the first woman to qualify as a driver in the Indianapolis 500; Richard “Dick” Dauch, co-founder of American Axle Manufacturing; and Patrick Ryan, creator of the first auto dealership finance and insurance department, on July 18 in Detroit.

On August 3, the British Motor Museum will be the site of the Classic Mini Mosaic world-record attempt that is expected to draw more than 600 classic Minis. The following day the museum will be the site of the National Metro & Mini Show.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, inducts racer Briggs Cunningham, Corvette designer Tom Peters, and Dollie Cole, Corvette enthusiast and widow of former GM president Ed Cole, into its hall of fame on August 30.

“Legends of Speed,” a showcase of nearly two dozen historic racing cars, opens November 2 at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts