The Collection

THE STORY SO FAR…

It was John Haynes’ love of motoring and business which formed the essence of the hugely successful Haynes Publishing Group. A collector of cars and most things related to them, John’s ambition to create his own Museum was perhaps inevitable. With limited storage of his own, and beginning to lose track of where they all were, he soon began to seek out a suitable building to house his cars.

The new home for John’s ever-increasing collection was, of all places, the remains of a Second World War American munitions dump in Sparkford, Somerset. The site was ideal; not only would the collection be available to the public in one place but, by gaining the status of a UK independent charitable trust, its future would be also protected.

The Museum was opened on 10 July 1985 by the then Land Speed Record holder Richard Noble OBE. Since then the collection’s international theme expanded as vehicles from around the globe were acquired increasing numbers from a humble 29 to nearly 400 in 30 years; an amazing feat by anyone’s standards.

Preservation by operation is key to the care of the collection; cars and motorcycles are made to be driven after all. At special visitor events we run an interesting and eclectic range of cars and motorcycles on our Test Circuit. Senses are truly engaged as one not only sees the cars and bikes but they can also be heard, touched and smelt.

This really is ‘The Story So Far...’ as the Museum and its collection are continually growing, changing and improving. We look forward to sharing the journey into the future with you, our supporters and visitors.