New CN7 Book

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Pullman99
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by Pullman99 »

Went in to Beaulieu yesterday to wish CN7 well on the anniversary of the WLSR on 17th July 2010. Various conversations overheard seem to indicate that a godly proportion of visitors know what the Bluebird car is and were delighted to see it there. It is reputedly Beaulieu's most popular individual exhibit.

Sadly, this awareness was not carried over into the shop as I did ask, pointing out the significance of the date, if they stocked the recently published book on CN7. They said that they did not and seemed not to be aware of its existence. Does anyone have any contact with Veloce Publishing. I'd be fascinated to know if they have tried to merchandise it there.

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Last edited by Pullman99 on Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ian Robinson
Bluebird K7 - the restoration project of the Century.
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Pullman99
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by Pullman99 »

I was at Beaulieu last week and thought I'd take a look to see if anything much had changed. Not a lot really, although there was a model of Thunderbolt in the display case behind CN7 that I hadn't seen before.

Anyway, before Mr Bull tells me off again, here is the Bluebird directly related item. Again, I am not sure if this has been on display recently. It's a mounted dial from CN7 that shows the position of the air brakes as they are deployed. The original was presented to leo Villa by Donald - as per inscription - and left a hole in CN7's dash panel as a result. The late Ken Reaks of Smiths Industries - who had made the original instruments for Donald - was on a visit at my invitation to Beaulieu back in about 1981 and was aware of this so kindly made a copy of the original dial and mounted it back in its correct position. Should still be there hopefully! Ken Reaks is to be seen in many of the Blusebird photographs, espcially in Australia, and it was a great pleasure hearing him talk about these events.

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Ian Robinson
Bluebird K7 - the restoration project of the Century.
f1steveuk
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by f1steveuk »

I had the supercharger boost gauge from K4, similarly mounted (it now resides with Mr Benjamins).

Beaulieu, sadly not a museum anymore, just a business, they ceased being interested in it as a "museum" about the time Michael (Ware) left.

We were going to launch Leap Into Legend there, as invited by Lord Montagu. It was all going fine until, he gave it to the office to arrange. In the end it would have cost £5000, so much for "loved to have it here Steven, with all the Bluebird stuff". Oh then they wanted to sell me catering on top, no choice, had to have it!!! The shop manager would then contact me about stocking the book. Still waiting!!
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................
ace_chris
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by ace_chris »

Having visited The National Motor Museum a few times it really looks tired and dated in a number of places.

It would benefit from a freshen-up exhibit wise, doesnt seem to have anything significant from the last 10-15 years (all seems to stop circa 1995!). Hopefully the new 'Rusty K7 wing' will not be allowed to go stale once K7 moves in. Chris
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by f1steveuk »

The real shame is what they have in storage. They could rotate the exhibits every month, but it's juat easier to leave it!

The last time I went (not Ken's memorial thing, the opening of the "Grand Prix" display), I got there early, and my missus asked me what a particualr car was, that a young lad in a Beaulieu polo shirt was dusting. I told her, and then suggested she asked the lad, to see if he knew.

He reply? "I don't know, not interested, I'm just paid to be in here", which really rather sums it up!!
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................
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Pullman99
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Re: New CN7 Book

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[quote="f1steveuk"]Beaulieu, sadly not a museum anymore, just a business, they ceased being interested in it as a "museum" about the time Michael (Ware) left.quote]

I would have to agree in general with Steve's comments although the curatorial staff are well qualified in a museological sense (not trying to upset Bill here you understand) but they do seem to lack direction. They possibly need someone like the recently appointed Director of the National Railway Museum, Col. Steve Davies, who is hugely respected both within the museum and railway presrvation worlds. That role at Beaulieu was of course amply provided by Lord Montagu and Michael Ware over many years.

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Richard Hammond's "Escape to the Country" Land Rover

It is noticeable that since Top Gear came to Beaulieu it is this that has become the core of their marketing effort. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, although the Lotus 49 was there too, this aspect was very much to the fore. At the NEC last weekend too, I don't think that they brought any vehicles apart from a selection of Top Gear ones. They have also had a James Bond Experience at Beaulieu for a few years but it does not feature any of the really well-known cars and is a bit second rate.

In the meantime, and as echoed by others on this thread, a visit nowadays can be a bit underwhelming (is that a word?). My personal gripe is the whole treatment of motorsport - including record breaking - as an integral part of the overall story of motoring in Great Britain. Rightly, what had always been known as "The Castrol Bath" in former days sought to highlight Britain's pre-eminent role in the World Land Speed Record. My first ever sighting of Bluebird CN7 "in the metal" was during a visit to the Autojumble in 1972. It really hasn't changed much in nearly 40 years and like all the vehicles, the display and the cars are in isolation with only a single monitor showing the story of the LSR.

The display is also lacking the current and most recent record holders of course. Not sure if they ever went after Thrust SSC seriously but as I had something to do with the fact that Thrust 2 is in Coventry today, I was well aware that only a fairly half-hearted effort went in to trying to secure that car for Beaulieu following its display over Christmas 1983. Coventry were not only determined to make Thrust 2 their principal exhibit at the time but had put in place a display to do it justice. It was, perhaps, inevitable that Thrust SSC shopuld follow and both cars have a considerable Midlands content. Ironically, the one car they really should have from a "local" perspective is Bluebird CN7 constructed just down the road at Motor Panels! I really believe, however, that these cars do need a special place and I think that Beaulieu could and should re-invent itself in this context. Space will be the determining factor. But at least try to arrange a changing display. It was refreshing to see Babs on show earlier this year and I would hope that this kind of loan could be arranged again. The Railton Special and/or Thrust 2 perhaps?

As for the F1 cars. A few years ago, someone had the bright idea of constructing some "decking" for them. A sort of progressive sweep from the earliest cars to the present day. Maybe they were influenced by Goodwood! All well and good except that it is obviously quite difficult now to clean them and the dust is now visible from some distance (unlike the cars themselves which are really hidden away). One of the most imporatnt F1 cars of recent times is the trendsetting Lotus 78 (see pics below). This was the car that introduced "ground effect" but its significance is a bit lost on visitors seeing as you can only get anywhere close to it from the Motorcycle Gallery. The car is Lotus 78, chassis JPS16, and is Gunnar Nilsson's 1977 Belgian GP winner and is also the chassis driven to victory in the South African GP in 1978 by Ronnie Peterson.

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Overall, I think that the way that all of the vehicles are presented leaves a lot to be desired. One of the criticisms of the "old" museum (pre-1972) was that "all that the visitor would see is a collection of radiators". I'm not sure whether they may have returned to that. Gaydon, and especially Coventry, does the whole thing much better.
Last edited by Pullman99 on Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
Ian Robinson
Bluebird K7 - the restoration project of the Century.
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Pullman99
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by Pullman99 »

f1steveuk wrote:The shop manager would then contact me about stocking the book. Still waiting!!
Steve, I had a similar experience trying to arrange a new Mini book to go on sale in connection with that car's 21st birthday back in 1980. Amazimgly - and skilfully back on topic - the CN7 book has never been on sale either! And yes, I did check last week.
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Bluebird K7 - the restoration project of the Century.
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by f1steveuk »

It's all rather depressing isn't it!!!??
Steve Holter, UK and France, and sometimes reality....................
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sheppane
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by sheppane »

f1steveuk wrote:It's all rather depressing isn't it!!!??
It makes you want to weep.

I hope with all my heart that someday, soon, CN7 can be pulled out of there, restored, and reunited with K7 and displayed properly. This car is an engineering icon. It deserves nothing less than to be treated as such
'When you go down into the arena, you know that sometimes, you're likely to get your nose punched. You do it with your eyes open. You take the risks'

Donald Campbell, Bluebird and The Final Record Attempt. https://www.facebook.com/bluebirdk7/
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Andrew453
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Re: New CN7 Book

Post by Andrew453 »

And while we're at it, let's bring the staggeringly beautiful 1935 car back from Daytona. It would appear to be missing a few of its mechanicals, but hey, it would fix!
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