Friday, December 6, 2013

England's Motor City

The U.S. has Detroit.  England has Coventry.

The automotive industry for Britain began and was centered in Coventry for almost a century.  Now it is suffering some of the many issues of Detroit, on a smaller scale, as the manufacturing of vehicles has moved elsewhere in recent years.

The Museum of Road Transport is located in Coventry's center city and is a wonderful place to spend a few hours wondering and appreciating all of its displays.  Mike was more interested in the engines and mechanics.  I loved the look of the vehicles. We were both happy.

Coventry was originally a center for the development and manufacture of bicycles from the penny farthing to the more modern models.  From bikes they moved on to making motorized cycle that eventually became full fledged motorbikes.  And those eventually morphed into larger motorized vehicles and then what we would think of as a car.

Triumph motorcycles began here. Mike admitted to a long held desire for such a motorcycle.

The Morris Mini was born here. A car beloved by many, including at one time Prince Charles and Princess Ann.

Coventry was home to Jaguar.  Need I say more?  (I wouldn't mind if Santa brought one of those.)

Daimler has its roots here. The traditional vehicle for British royalty who keep them for decades.  You can see Queen Mary's (grandmother of Elizabeth II) car in the museum.

For those into land speed records there can also be seen Britain's two land speed record holder vehicles, more like rockets with a seat than cars.  You can even experience how riding such a vehicle would feel in a simulator but neither Mike nor I tried that.  Chickens.

Oh, they also have a wonderful coffee shop that makes great lattes. 

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