Motor Memories: Coventry Transport Museum needs your motor manufacturing stories

When it comes to nostalgia in Coventry, there is nothing that quite compares to the heady days of the city’s time as a worldwide motoring giant, and a new gallery at Coventry Transport Museum is inviting visitors to look back on that golden age of automotive manufacturing.

Coventry’s heyday as a thriving industrial city in the 1950s, 60s and 70s is looked back on with fondness and pride by many who lived and earned their keep either on the assembly line or in connected roles at its numerous factories. It’s this rich history that the museum is seeking to celebrate in its Behind the Scenes: Wheels and Workers gallery.

Launched in September, the Behind the Scenes gallery has been temporarily closed while the museum prepares for the return of its popular Vintage Sleigh Experience over Christmas, which is expected to sell-out.

Showcasing rarely seen highlights from the museum’s extensive reserve collection, Behind the Scenes: Wheels and Workers brings together a wide variety of vehicles, from Victorian cycles to the iconic Barbie Jaguar XJS. As well as more familiar models, visitors can also expect to encounter unique prototype cars and examples of different vehicle body types constructed from metal, fabric and even wood.

January 2023 will then see the gallery reopen with even more to see, and as part of this extended display, the museum team are hoping to use real memories from the people of the city with interesting tales to tell about the industry.

A spokesperson for Coventry Transport Museum said: “Ahead of the reopening of Behind the Scenes: Wheels and Workers in January, we’re looking for interesting stories from people who worked in Coventry’s motoring industry, which could be featured in the gallery.

“You might have built cars, sold them, driven them professionally, trained people or been involved in some other way. Or perhaps you’ve got a great story to pass on that you heard from a parent or grandparent.

“If you’ve got funny, unique or insightful tale to tell, we want to hear from you. Please email a short summary (no more than 500 words) and we’ll get in touch to follow up!”

Creative Director Marguerite Nugent said of the gallery: “This is a really exciting moment for Coventry Transport Museum and means visitors now have the opportunity to see even more vehicles that are part of the city’s and wider region’s heritage.

“There are some incredible names that will resonate with the people of Coventry as so many people have historic family links to the factories in the city, and we have no doubt that it will attract people from across the region.”​​​​​​​

If you or someone you know has memories of working in Coventry’s motor industry, please get in touch by emailing

Article written by Danny Thompson.