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Classics The Red Room is the crimson jewel of the Haynes International Motor Museum

20:01  27 july  2020
20:01  27 july  2020 Source:   hagerty.com

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a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Hagerty Photo by Haynes International Motor Museum

You probably know ex-RAF officer John Haynes (1938-2019) as the man behind the popular repair workshop motor manuals. He once said that his book publishing was very good to him, and that Haynes International Motor Museum was his way of giving something back. (The museum is an educational trust.) Opened in 1985 under the direction of Richard Noble, who is known for breaking the land speed record in 1983 at a velocity of 633.468 mph, the Haynes International Motor Museum is located the village of Sparkford in the heart of rural Somerset, U.K. It is a living and working environment with over 400 superb cars, bikes, and motoring memorabilia from around the world in collection displayed in 19 individual exhibitions. Staff call it a “Museum in Motion.”

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Of these exhibitions, the most famous is “The Red Room,” displaying more than 40 red sports cars from around the world. Most vehicles are owned by the museum but it accepts donations and long-term loans for the collections.

a car parked in a parking lot: Howard Koby © Provided by Hagerty Howard Koby

As you enter the sea of red steel you are bathed in a crimson hue of royalty. “The Red Room exhibition began when museum founder John Haynes realized the growing collection of sports cars in the museum were primarily in red, a color he felt expressed the passion, dynamics and soul of a sporting vehicle,” says museum curator Chris Marsh. “What began as an instinctive selection process became a key gallery within the museum.”

The Red Room is stocked with cars in varying shades of striking and passionate red, which the museum says helps you focus on the shape of each car instead of just the paint. The whole concept of the room is a kind of cleaver to your vision, with the red so overwhelming that it disguises the cars in such a way that you are forced to walk each row to identify the different models.

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a car parked in a parking lot: Haynes International Motor Museum © Provided by Hagerty Haynes International Motor Museum

Among the collection of cars in The Red Room when I visited the museum a number of years ago is the all-aluminum 1965 AC Shelby Cobra (above). It’s still on display in the new building that was completed in 2014 with increased exhibition space, a new frontage and conference facilities, a new restaurant, improved test track, and a children’s playground. This car was John Haynes’ favorite sports car and is now presented proudly in the foyer of the museum.

Some of the other cars on display and leading the red pack is the striking ’95 Jaguar XKSS replica built by L&R Roadsters. The car was based on a “67 Jaguar 3.8 type saloon and incorporates real pieces of Jaguar engineering. The XKSS was a road going version of the ‘50s racer the D-type; you can find the ex-Steve McQueen XKSS on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California.

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a row of parked motorcycles sitting on top of a car: Jaguar XKSS replica built by L&R Roadsters Howard Koby © Provided by Hagerty Jaguar XKSS replica built by L&R Roadsters Howard Koby

Want more red? A 1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider and the 1966 Lancia Flavia are on display in The Red Room, too. The Alfa Spider was basically an upgrade for the old 2.0-liter cars, and only 2255 were produced. A big high-revving six-cylinder twin-cam of cast aluminum block and head power the car. The Lancias were renamed after Roman roads throughout Italy, built by Carrozzeria Vignale, and had rear-facing red lights on the door which illuminated as they were opened.

The first Haynes owner’s workshop manual came together in 1965, when Haynes helped an RAF friend rebuild an Austin Healey “Frogeye” Sprite. Haynes completely stripped and reassembled it, photographing the complete procedure and creating the first Haynes manual, which was published to great success in 1966. The example below in The Red Room is a 1959 Sprite; in concept it is based on the Austin A35/Morris Minor parts and semi-monocoque chassis-less body. In U.S. it was known as the “Bugeye.”

a motorcycle parked on the side of a car: Howard Koby © Provided by Hagerty Howard Koby

A 1956 AC Ace Bristol is a British open-two-seater sports car was produced according to the design of John Tojeiro. It had a lightweight tubular chassis with fully independent suspension, with a number of different engines that was fitted during the production. This beautiful example houses a 2.2-liter Bristol engine and is regularly maintained to keep it fresh. The Ace was a key foundational point for Carroll Shelby’s famous Cobra.

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A very rare red racer is the 1951 Turner 196, established by Welsh engineer Jack Turner. About 670 cars were produced and were also available in kit form, with the prototype housing a rear mounted Hillman IMP engine. This Turner is one of the earliest, rarest, and looked like the Ferrari 166 Barchetta—with a much cheaper cost of entry.

a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room AC Ace Bristol front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room AC Ace Bristol front three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room 1951 Turner Sports front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room 1951 Turner Sports front three-quarter

The color of passion is fitting for the 1969 Marcos in the collection, powered by a 3.0-liter Volvo straight-six for the American market in order to pass exhaust emissions regulations. Jem Marsh and Frank Costin founded Marcos in Bedfordshire, England in 1959. While Costin worked on the De Havilland Mosquito fighter-bombers he got the idea to build a chassis out of marine plywood with an outer shell of glass-reinforced plastic.

In early 1960s, the Daimler SP250 “Dart”—built on a Triumph TR3 chassis and powered by an Edward Turner 2.5 liter V-8 engine and three-speed auto—went into service for London’s Metropolitan Police. The Dart was meant to keep up with cafe racer motorcycles and “encourage courtesy on the roads,” but the program ended allegedly because the policemen were have way too much fun.

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a car parked in a parking lot: Daimler SP 250 Dart Howard Koby © Provided by Hagerty Daimler SP 250 Dart Howard Koby

Some of the more recently added red performance cars in the new building now include a 1968 Rochdale Olympic coupé of mainly glass-fiber body produced between 1959 and 1973, a 1971 Gilbern Invader Estate powered by a Zodiac 3.0-liter V-6 engine with an overdrive gearbox as standard and an automatic gearbox option, and a 1970 Ginetta G15 which was produced from 1968 to 1974 and initially available only in kit form. (Later, some factory built examples were available.) The powertrain was a rear-mounted 875-cc Coventry Climax 14 linked to a four-speed manual with independent coil springs at the front and rear.

Finally, for a taste of American flavor, the 1966 Ford Mustang (200 hp) is a timeless symbol of the 1960s.

Aside from the Red Room, the Hall of Motorsports is of particular interest; the Hall was opened a number of years ago by the late Sir Stirling Moss, a true British icon said that it “represents motoring through the ages from all over the world, concentrating not just on the great and glorious but also the popular and simple,” according to the museum catalogue.

The Haynes International Motor Museum remains closed to the public until further notice to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Museum now plans to possibly reopen in mid-October 2020 although the Workshop and Restoration Centre remains open to customers.

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a car parked in a parking lot: Haynes International Motor Museum Red Room © Provided by Hagerty Haynes International Motor Museum Red Room a car parked in a parking lot: Haynes Museum Red Room Pedal Cars © Provided by Hagerty Haynes Museum Red Room Pedal Cars Richard Noble et al. sitting in a car posing for the camera: John Haynes Richard Noble crouching © Provided by Hagerty John Haynes Richard Noble crouching Haynes Museum Cafe 750 rendering © Provided by Hagerty Haynes Museum Cafe 750 rendering a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Gilbern Invader Estate front © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Gilbern Invader Estate front a close up of a car: Red Room Ginetta G15 front © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Ginetta G15 front a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Ford Mustang front © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Ford Mustang front a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Facel Vega HK500 front © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Facel Vega HK500 front a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Porsche 356 front © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Porsche 356 front a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Triumph Spitfire rear © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Triumph Spitfire rear a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Jaguar XKSS Replica rear three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Jaguar XKSS Replica rear three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room 1969 Marcos rear three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room 1969 Marcos rear three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room AC Shelby Cobra front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room AC Shelby Cobra front three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Daimler SP 250 Dart front © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Daimler SP 250 Dart front a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider front three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Ferrari GT Cabriolet front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Ferrari GT Cabriolet front three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room TR3A-67 TR4A front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room TR3A-67 TR4A front three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room AC Ace Bristol front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room AC Ace Bristol front three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room 1951 Turner Sports front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room 1951 Turner Sports front three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room BMW 3-Litre CSi Coupe front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room BMW 3-Litre CSi Coupe front three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Austin Healey Sprite Mk1 rear three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Austin Healey Sprite Mk1 rear three-quarter a motorcycle parked in a parking lot: Red Room Morgan SS 3 Wheeler front three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Morgan SS 3 Wheeler front three-quarter a car parked in a parking lot: Red Room Alvis Speed Car © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Alvis Speed Car a motorcycle parked on display in a store: Red Room Alfa Romeo Grand Turismo and Marendaz © Provided by Hagerty Red Room Alfa Romeo Grand Turismo and Marendaz

The post The Red Room is the crimson jewel of the Haynes International Motor Museum appeared first on Hagerty Media.

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