Day Five (Wednesday 20th August)

Posted by Chalky on Aug 21, 2008 in Driving, Holiday |

Today, I took the Mother and the Sister out to where Faith works so that they could go off and do yet more shopping, cue sigh. I’d decided that I’d already endured more than enough shopping for one holiday so I was just happy to drop them off. However, this did mean that I was left with the task of entertaining Colin for the rest of the day. Whilst I was taking Mum and Jill to meet Faith, I’d left him shooting targets, birds and cans on Wii Play on Jill’s Wii. On the way back, I had the brainwave that maybe I should treat him to taking him somewhere. When I got back to the house, I told Colin to get ready because I was taking him somewhere, but I didn’t elude as to where we were going. In the car, Colin kept asking me where we were going, he isn’t a lover of surprises so I enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t going to tell him. I was in fact on my way to the Seaton Tramway Fleet Air Arm Museum Haynes Motor Museum.

My original idea was that I was going to take Colin down to Seaton and take him onto the miniature Tramway that they have got down there. This was mainly because it was the only thing that I could think of that he might be remotely interested in off the top of my head. I’d already been to the Seaton Tramway on two occasions so it wouldn’t have been that interesting for me. However, when we got onto the M5 I saw a sign for the Fleet Air Arm Museum. I’ve nearly been to this museum but never actually gotten around to it. I thought that this would be more interesting for Colin because he’s into old planes and is always watching them on UKTV History. So I asked him if he’d rather go there instead, which he did. So we headed off the M5 towards the Fleet Air Arm Museum.

On the way to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, we saw a second sign for the Haynes Motor Museum. Again, I asked Colin if he would rather go there instead, which he did. Unfortunately, the Haynes Motor Museum haven’t spend quite as much money on advertising as the Fleet Air Arm Museum. The Fleet Air Arm Museum was signposted all the way from the M5 to the museum itself. The Haynes Motor Museum on the other hand had one random sign (the one that we saw) which looked like it has just been Blu-Tac’ed on the side of the sign for the Fleet Air Arm Museum. We kept following the signs for the Fleet Air Arm Museum hoping that they were both in the same general direction, however we soon passed the Fleet Air Arm Museum. We carried on going, looking in vein for a sign.

Luckily, we saw a sign for a Tourist Information place so we decided to pull up and see if they had some information for the Haynes Motor Museum, which they did in the form of a leaflet. Whilst we were there, we decided to get some nosh from the burger shed that was situated in the lay-by. A Cheese and Bacon Burger and a 7UP later, we headed off in the right direction, finally! We arrived only an hour before the place was due to close so we were a bit worried that we wouldn’t get round it all.

When we first walked into the museum, I thought I was going to be thoroughly disappointed. Whilst I do like cars, I’m not really that interested in the really old ones. When first walked in, I thought that I was going to be bored senseless because it was exactly what I was expecting:

However, I was pleasantly surprised after we walked through the ‘Olden Days’ setting and straight into the Supercars exhibition. Here we were greeted with a Ferrari Enzo, McLaren F1 and a Ferrari F40:

What I found most interesting was that the Ferrari F40 that was in the exhibition was the very same F40 that feature on an episode of Top Gear that I had watched on Dave the previous day so it was nice to be able to see a car that I’d seen on the TV in-the-flesh.

Going through the museum it was clear that it wasn’t like any other Classic Car Museum, which is probably why it isn’t advertised as one. It wasn’t just cars either, they had quite a ride variety of classic and modern motorcycles:

This included an old Triumph model that Colin had in his Motorbiking days:

Also in the non-car department was one of my personal favourites. I had a ride on one whilst I was in Sri-Lanka nearly two years ago (the photo of which relies on the Wikipedia page for them). It is of course the Tuc-Tuc aka. the Auto Rickshaw. A Rickshaw being the old carriages that used to be pulled along by people known as Coolie’s. These amazing(!) 150CC machines are found in abundance in Sri Lanka and other Asian countries. I was amazed to discover that over 800,000 of these things are manufactured every year.

Going around the museum, Colin got to re-live some of his younger years. We saw a Ford Anglia, which was of the same year as the first car he ever hired, also a Ford Anglia. We also saw a Ford Popular (Pop), which Colin had three of which he bought for a tenner each! I imagine they’re worth a bit more than that these days.

Whilst walking around the museum, it made me wonder whether these cars were the ones that they had used for the Haynes Workshop Manuals that are available (although not for my Seicento or my C3) where they strip the car down part-by-part and then rebuild it. I then realised that some of them were indeed the ones that feature in the manual because there are some Haynes Manuals for ‘Chavving-Up’ you Citroen Saxo and Peugeot 207, both of which feature in the museum post-Chavved!

The also had a Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, but unfortunately, not from the 80’s era which would have had me in my element, instead it was a 1994 but it still did look quite stunning:

Of course, no car collection would be complete without a DMC DeLorean and this Motor Museum didn’t disappoint. I’m always interested to see this car because it’s the only car I’ve ever come across that doesn’t have any paintwork whatsoever. It certainly was innovative in its time, imagine a car that never rusts! Unfortunately however, the DeLorean had more than enough problems in other areas, most notably in the electrics. Still, you can’t help but hear the Back to the Future theme in your head every time you see one!

It’s hard to pick a favourite in such a wide selection of cars (the brochure cited that there was over 350 vehicles on display). However, I did really have a soft spot for the Silver Ferrari 430 Spider:

Last but not least, something that I would never have expected to see. An old American Ambulance, just like the one they based the Ectomobile on for Ghostbusters:

In the shop, Colin bought a Haynes manual to add to his growing collection. This one is for Household Applicances…. Dyson BEWARE!

More photos from the Haynes Motor Museum can be found here.