Haynes Motor Museum Guided Tour – Thursday 21st March 2024

Questers Haynes Motor Museum Guided Tour – Thursday 21st March 2024

A small group of U3A members met up at Wickes car park at 09:00 and as previously arranged and we travelled to the Museum in Sparkford, Dorset in 3 cars arriving at about 10:15am. It was a venue that none of us had previously visited so we were all interested in what it would be like.

On arrival, just a short distance from the A303, we found a modern building clearly indicating the Haynes name above the entrance. The building had been redeveloped in 2014 to extend the facility and to provide a distinctive façade and enhanced facilities.

After coffee and a comfort break we were met by our 2 guides Stewart and Nick, who welcomed us and asked in particular what people were interested in as the collection of over 350 vehicles was too large to be completely covered during an hours tour. Specific items that were of interest to members were Jaguar and MG’s along with Morris Minors and a request to pick out cars that were “gamechangers” those that increased the take up of motoring by the wider public.

On entry to the museum there is a small exhibition about John H. Haynes who was the person who started the car collection. John Haynes had passion for building and driving racing cars and during the 1960’s when helping a friend rebuild his Austin Healey “frog eyed sprite” and finding the factory manual little help he hit upon the clever idea of creating a manual of the process of dismantling and rebuilding of the engine. From this the Haynes Publishing Group was created and went on to create car manuals for all makes of cars. John became a successful businessman and this enabled him to become a prolific collector of cars. He established the museum in Sparkford in 1985 and in 2014 an extensive redevelopment was opened to provide a large reception area, café, conference and hospitality facilities along with Haynes Workshop Services which carry out work on modern and vintage cars.

Moving on through the museum you pass through the Veteran & Vintage area with the oldest of the cars in the collection. There were some beautiful examples of early Rolls Royce’s. This leads into area for which the collection is most know the “Red Room”. John Haynes favourite car colour was red and this room has 50+ cars of all types in a similar shades of red. It makes for an impressive display.


Following this we were then shown Model T Ford the earliest assembly line-built car and a car that made motoring more affordable to the masses. The next few areas contained many cars that members were either very familiar with or had owned themselves. Thes included early Morriss, Jaguars, Anglia’s and Triumphs, a trip down memory lane.

The American section contained some enormous car from the 1960’s along with a 1931 Model J Duesenberg that was in John Haynes opinion the best car in the world.  We then saw John Haynes personal car which was a Bentley with number plate CAR 800K which looked like BOOK on the plate and was very appropriate to John.

There were sections on the Ferrari, Morris Story, Minis, Motor Sport and Williams F1 room. Outside there is a track with go karting which also doubles as an area where the car collection is driven by the team who looks after it.


The volunteers who showed us around were informative and knowledgeable and added to the day’s enjoyment. On completion of the tour we had lunch in the Café followed by a more leisurely look at the areas that interested individuals most.  At 15:00 we met up in the car park and returned to Andover.

Kevin Barter


Posted in Questers Group.