News : The Dunsfold Collection launches its Museum Fund Appeal

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

The Dunsfold Collection of Historic Land Rovers

The world-renowned Dunsfold Collection of historic Land Rovers has recently achieved Charitable Trust status and is launching a fundraising campaign to secure a suitable museum building that will allow regular public access to its collection of Land Rover vehicles.

The Collection was started in 1968 by Brian Bashall, who realised that his love of strange prototype and pre-production Land Rovers was of interest to others. These irreplaceable prototypes which are part of Britain’s transport heritage, over the years, required a home to preserve the history of the iconic marque and without Brian’s foresight and enthusiasm many of these vehicles could have been lost forever. The Transport Trust, which is the UK’s only national charity established to promote and encourage the preservation and restoration of Britain’s unique transport heritage in all its forms, recognised the importance of Brian’s work in 2003 when it awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Over the years, the Dunsfold Collection has expanded to include not only prototype and pre-production vehicles but examples of almost every model made by Land Rover from 1948 to the present day, including military vehicles, record-breakers, Royal cars, Limited Editions and display vehicles.

The Collection now has over 130 unique Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles which are housed in a number of barns and can only be seen at the biennial Open Weekend when they are all put out on display on a local estate. During the weekend, visitors come from all over the world to view this unique Collection.

The trustees of the Dunsfold Collection want to ensure the vehicles, the wonderful collection of over 2,000 model Land Rovers and the Dunsfold archive of Land Rover engineering drawings, marketing and promotional material, manuals and handbooks are safeguarded for the enjoyment of future generations.

Jaguar Land Rover CEO Dr. Ralf Speth said: “I am delighted that the Dunsfold Collection has achieved Charitable Trust status and this important development is a major milestone in preserving this unique collection for the future. We at Jaguar Land Rover are delighted to continue to support the Dunsfold Collection going forward.”

The Trustees are inviting Land Rover enthusiasts everywhere to help raise funds to secure a museum building. More details may be found on the Collection’s website including an application form to become a Friend of the Collection for just £35 per year and further information on a range of sponsorship opportunities that will ensure your support of this important collection is recognised among Land Rover enthusiasts everywhere.

Clive Goldthorp

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

7 Comments

  1. They’re going to need a lot of donations to have enough money store them in what will have to be a bloody big building. Then there’s the running costs of said building.

    The trouble with large collections like this is that each car simply can’t be cared for properly. Sell the lot at auction so that they at least get used and enjoyed by individual owners. I’ve never seen the attraction of a spartan old Land Rover myself.

    • I disagree, most of the vehicles in the collection are unique or have interesting stories attached to them. Whilst it’s better for enthusiasts to “get out on the roads” with their vehicles, surely a collection of such vehicles is worth keeping together, instead of scattering it to the four winds.

      I don’t know why JLR don’t just “buy up” the collection and put them in their own dedicated museum, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche etc etc all have massive collections of vehicles and charge good money for the public to visit.

      Even Ford UK, with its long association with motorsport has barely kept any of the more important cars and has a “big shed” with interesting cars in, but no museum. Why spend all that money traipsing around the world taking part in rallying (for example) and then not keep the public interested by opening a museum???

      The UK based manufacturers have missed a (at least one) trick here, prestige and binding your customers by creating an “experience” for their past and potentially future customers…

  2. Good luck to ’em, is what I say. I driven Land Rovers and although I have not been in the fortunate position to buy one myself yet, I do see the appeal of them, even if Kev does not. Some of the special edition models, such as those based on the P38 Range Rover were only ever built in relatively low numbers (often using bespoke elements from the Autobiography personalisation programme), so it is certainly worth trying to keep pristine, original examples in a collection for others to appreciate.

    Sadly the Heritage Motor Centre only has a limited space to store and display vehicles representing so many different marques, so the efforts of the Dunsfold Collection to save some of the engineering development cars and low volume variants, which the BMIHT has not chosen (or been able) to house, should be welcomed. The Dunsfold Collection is not just about the vehicles but also about some of the archive information they have also been able to save and maintain for future historical reference.

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