Journal: Messum Wiltshire's Month-Long Gallery Is Dedicated To Influential European Sports Cars

Messum Wiltshire’s Month-Long Gallery Is Dedicated To Influential European Sports Cars

By Alex Sobran
May 10, 2017

If you find yourself in or near the UK before the month’s up, there’s an exhibition you owe it to yourself to see—as a patron of the car, or the arts more broadly. Since its opening not more than half a year back, Messums Wiltshire has already made for some memorable galleries within its expansive grounds, and once you look at the space, it’s not hard to see the draw, especially when it hosts things like Art in Motion: Knowledge and Design.

Messums Wiltshire, near Salisbury, is the UK’s largest tithe barn (tithes being more or less a Church-tax), which should give you some idea that this place has been around for some time. Built in the 13th century, the monastic barn’s interior embodies simultaneously a kind of rustic charm and a sense of smallness for those craning their necks up toward the vaulted beams. So is there any more fitting a stage for the display and celebration of Europe’s most significant sports cars?

Featuring seven remarkable machines spanning the gamut from the 1950s to the 1990s, the cars on display through the month have been carefully selected to represent at once a snapshot of what formative design looked like in each period, and taken as a whole, it offers a visual narrative of how one era and its products bled into the next generation. If the beauty’s left you with a loss for words though, there will also be a series of speakers in the coming weeks who have both the perspective and aptitude to convey it to those interested in a deeper dive into the automobile.

Talks occur on each weekend of the month, and one we’d make sure to see is the happening next Friday, the 19th. Why are we excited about this one? Well, it’s led by McLaren’s Mark Roberts, who was on the original design team of the F1. He’s bringing a P1 with him too, because why not? Each talk can be booked in advance for the same price as ticket to an awful pre-summer blockbuster movie, so why not learn a thing or two about supercar design instead?

The month’s display of cars includes the following, sorted by decade: an Alfa Romeo 750 SS (early Giulietta Sprint Speciale) “Low-nose,” an AC Cobra 289 Mk II, a series one Jaguar E-Type Roadster, a Lamborghini Miura S, a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona,” a Ferrari 288 GTO, as well as  the darling of the 90’s and beyond, the McLaren F1.

For further information regarding speakers, scheduling, tickets, and other details, please visit the exhibition’s site.

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6 years ago

thank you for this article. been there, it’s just beautiful.