Saturday, 23 November 2013


Last year SWLRC had a day out to the home of Land Rover, Solihull.

This year we decided to go to the Design and Engineering centre at Gaydon which is also the home of the Heritage Motor Museum

I had worried that this day out would not be half as interesting and fun as the Solihill trip, but my fears were unfounded because this was a wonderful day out.

The 1/2 day tour stated with a look at the the (in)famous DC-100 and included a visit to the 3D cave where we saw models at all sorts of angles and it's certainly a lot easier to maintain a car in virtual reality than in real life

After that the competitor tear down area where other cars are taken apart to see how they work and see if there are any innovative new ideas that can give "inspiration"

Then onto the rapid prototyping area where 3D printers are used to generate realistic parts for mocking up cars.

but the highlight of the day had to be the sessions on the proving ground. The first stop was the breaking straights where we took a 2.7 ton Discovery up to about 120 miles per hour and then threw the anchors on in emergency stop mode. I have to say it was impressive how short the stopping distance was. The ABS system did a great job of making us feel like we were stopping safely even if a few of us felt a bit of terror on the way.

Then, after a trip into the old conning tower, we headed off onto the main track and had the  into the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) allowed us to survive some full throttle cornering safely

And finally into the off road area where we sampled some rough road driving

All whilst looking out at the many prototype Land Rovers 

Unfortunately  we were not permitted to film or photograph any of the above, so all my pictures are from the heritage museum which included HUE166 which we saw at Eastnor

Here we are arriving back with Tim and Chris the nutters drivers who belted us around the tracks at well over a ton, both very knowledgeable about Land Rovers and their development and really nice hosts for the day

The original Tombraider Land Rover (sorry no Lara Croft / Angelina Jolie in sight)

Judge Dredd Taxi (no Sly in sight thank goodness)

Post Skyfall remains

And finally presentation of our club plaque to John Bishop – Heritage Motor Centre Clubs & Groups Co-ordinator and from our brief chat a real Land Rover fan. He said that many more events were planned for the museum and we really do look forward to going back

In addition to the stuff above the Heritage museum had the first and last Mini's and the last one was exactly the same trip as Rhian's (with the exception her's has the webasto Roof) which was fun.

This being a Land Rover Blog I Can't really go around just including pictures of random Mini's so here's Rhian's with a large bit of Katy in the foreground

It's well worth a visit if you are in the area and from the look of the planned expansion to display another 250 cars it's will be even better next year

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