A new exhibition showcasing Britain’s car artists is now open at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon. We took a visit

One of the hallmarks of a great museum is that even after repeated visits you always find something new and the British Motor Museum is the perfect example. Most of us at Classics World have been regular visitors since well before driving age, yet we always come away having seen something fresh and this month sees the opening of a new gallery of automotive art.

Curated by Rupert Whyte of Historic Car Art, the gallery offers something for all tastes – and if you expected whimsical watercolours of Morgans in Cotswold villages you’ll be surprised and delighted to discover the variety of styles in the exhibition.

One display which caught our eye was Chris Twitchell’s intricate wire-framed model of a Mercedes 300SLR, painstakingly brazed by hand over a wooden buck and looking for all the world like something which had escaped from a 1950s Stuttgart styling studio. Chris was also exhibiting similar models of a Porsche 911 RS and Ferrari 250 GTO, all of them having a perfectly judged level of minimalist details like the 3D-printed Mercedes badge and the Carrera lettering on the 911.

Seeming almost as three-dimensional as they almost jumped off the wall were Kevin McNicholas’s Formula One paintings, which owe their extraordinary vibrancy to the acrylic on canvas technique. Modestly, Kevin says he’s not had had any formal training but does admit that the paintings take over 1500 hours to complete.

Meanwhile, showing an almost photographic level of realism are Emma Capener’s pencil-on-board portraits, her side profile of Graham Hill particularly captivating.

Oh and we couldn’t overlook Diccon Dadey’s life-size sculpture of a Lotus 11 created using scrap metal and car parts. Looking as if it might even have been built on a real Lotus chassis, it’s a clever creation which even though it’s constructed from small pieces welded together incorporates a faithful level of detail right down to the bodywork curves and dashboard instrumentation.

Of course the nature of art appreciation being what it is, you might well find yourself entranced by the many other works on display and you’ve got until June 30 to make a visit.

More details at historiccarart.net and www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk

‘Lewis Lionheart’ by Kevin McNicholas


Mercedes-Benz 300SLR by Chris Twitchell


Lotus 11 by Diccon Dadey


‘Hill’ by Emma Capener

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