The National Motor Museum

There are many motor museums in Great Britain, one of the largest of which is at Beaulieu on the edge of the New Forest west of Southampton. It was founded in 1952 by Lord Montagu, whose ancestral home is in the remaining buildings of the Cistercian Beaulieu Abbey. The collection grew to more than 100 vehicles within 10 years, and in 1970 was renamed the National Motor Museum. It now comprises more than 250 motor cars and motorcycles, the majority of them made by British companies. The collection includes examples of the most important mass-produced cars, but also some that broke records, such as Donald Campbell’s “Bluebird”, and some that famously appeared in television programmes or films, amongst which the Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond in the 1960s is pre-eminent. There are also examples of British racing cars, and an innovative presentation called ‘Wheels’, inaugurated in 1985, presents the history of motoring by means of a ride-through experience. One of the outstanding historical features is Jack Tucker’s Garage, a replica of a motor agent’s premises of the 1930s including a repair shop. While the building is a replica, the hundreds of tools and fittings are genuine artefacts. The Motor Museum is one of several visitor attractions on the Montagu estate that are jointly marketed. Others include the buildings of Beaulieu Abbey and Buckler’s Hard, a shipbuilding community on the Beaulieu River, 3 km south-east, which includes a small maritime museum.


The National Motor Museum
John Montagu Building
SO42 7ZN Beaulieu
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 159061 - 2345