The British Motor Museum is set to mark its 30th anniversary with a week-long event later this year.
It first opened its doors to the public at its site in Gaydon on 1 May 1993.
The origins of the museum’s collections date back to 1975 when Leyland Historic Vehicles was founded to look after vehicles which had been kept for historic or publicity purposes by several individual companies that made up British Leyland Motor Corporation.
By 1983, the archive and vehicle collections had grown to the point where it was decided to establish an independent charitable trust to safeguard them, and the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (BMIHT) was born.
The collections rapidly outgrew the Museum at Syon Park, London and the headquarters at Studley Castle.
With the help of an £8m investment from Rover Group, a new home was found in Gaydon.
The building was designed not only to house the cars and extensive motoring archive but also to offer educational and purpose-built conference facilities.
30 years on, the museum’s collections have Designated Status, recognising their national and international significance.
There are now also more than 400 cars on display, with vehicles from the Jaguar Heritage and Vauxhall Heritage collections adding to those belonging to the Trust.
The Mezzanine floor, opened by HRH Princess Anne, was added in 2007, followed eight years later by a new building - the Collections Centre – where the reserve collection is now accessible to the public.
The museum also has plans for the next few years, including a hotel, a glass ‘wrap’ around the front of the building, an EV super hub and an apprentice academy.
Jeff Coope, managing director at the British Motor Museum, said: “The history of Britain’s motoring industry is the heart and soul of the museum, and our vision is ultimately to become the global focal point of all Britain’s automotive history and culture.
"The next 30 years are sure to bring as much, if not more, change than the last 30, and we are excited to be along for the ride.”
The museum will be marking its milestone anniversary with a week-long 30th anniversary celebration from August 14 to 20.