Saturday 6 May, 12pm – 29 May 2017

The art and beauty of automotive design, combined with the enduring genius of innovative engineering, will be celebrated at Messums Wiltshire throughout the month of May.

Messums Wiltshire will be showcasing an important collection of magnificent post-war, European sportscars that together demonstrate the dynamic ways in which sportscar design and manufacture has evolved throughout the post-war decades. Seven beautifully preserved classics will be displayed alongside two individual modern cars (one on display at a time, unveiled Friday 12 and 19 May) which demonstrate the engineering brilliance of modern-day pioneers of automotive design.

The seven cars to be showcased are:

  • 1950s/60s: Alfa Romeo 750 series SS low-nose
  • 1960s: AC Cobra 289 Mk II
  • 1960s: Jaguar E-type Series One roadster
  • 1960/70s: Lamborghini Miura S
  • 1970s: Ferrari Daytona coupe
  • 1980s: Ferrari 288GTO
  • 1990s: McLaren F1

Behind every classic car is an adventure in imagination, innovation, true grit and exceptional creative endeavour. Ground-breaking designers of the future have invariably been inspired by those who broke away from the design conventions of the past. With that in mind we are delighted to be hosting a series of talks and workshops led by automotive experts and inventors, to celebrate the best of the old and the brilliance of the new – hybrid, electric and hydrogen – technologies.

As important to the exhibition is the programme of talks that run through the month by some of the leading thinkers in automobile design and technology. From an introduction to the latest conceptual thinking on movement and propulsion by Professor Dale Harrow Chair, Intelligent Mobility Design at the Royal College of Art, to Hugo Spowers and the extraordinary reality and potential of the hydrogen-powered car that he has created. Mark Roberts, the Design Operations Manager at McLaren Automotive, gives a wonderful insight into the design processes and philosophies that have created all McLaren’s amazing road cars from the legendary F1 to the current P1 and 720S icons. And finally,  Stephen Bayley takes into the parts that other designers only allude to with his observations about the powerfully suggestive elements in car design. All talks are bookable in advance and space is limited. 

Displayed in Messums Wiltshire’s 6500sqft 13th Century monastic barn, only European sports cars are chosen: European, in order to align the cultural influences and aspirations of the creators and customers of each era, and sports cars because they are the artists’ most indulgent automotive media; devices defying pragmatism to prioritise and espouse the emotional.


Richard Sutton – CuratorRichard_Sutton

A founding member of the Classic and Sportscar editorial team in the eighties, Richard is well-known for his extensive knowledge of the history, design and value of classic and historic cars. Richard created the Cartier Style et Luxe automobile design competition for Lord March at Goodwood in 1995, before joining the Goodwood Racing Company, where he ran both the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival for a formative decade.

Richard was also writer and co-presenter for all of Channel 4’s record-breaking ‘Deals on Wheels’ series. He is passionate about the future of sustainable transport and championing those who are designing cars that allow us to travel with minimal damage to the environment.