When Mr. Wheatcroft’s £500,000 Collection at Donington Park, just off the M1 at Castle Donington and six miles south of Derby, was opened to the public on March 17th there were 50 single-seater racing cars on show as well as other interesting exhibits. Pride of place, as representing the beginning of the single-seater in Grand Prix racing, is taken by the Maserati 8CM (Ch. No. 3018) shown on the left. This car was driven into second place in the Coppa Acerbo in 1934 by Nuvolari, and has a classic Monoposto Alfa Romeo exhibited in company with it.
The range of the Collection is extremely wide and covers “voiturettes” such as the 1,432-c.c. Simca Gordini shown above right, the 2 1/2-litre BRM on the right which the Wheatcroft workshops have reconstructed from the remains of Hans Herrmann’s 1959 Avus crash, and one of the works Porsche flat-eight-cylinder 1 1/2-litre cars shown below, through to Tyrrell 003 and a 1973 GRD Formula Two car. There are many more cars in process of restoration such as ATS, Scarab, Ferrari, Cooper and, in the Entrance Hall, a Cooper-Bristol is shown “as found” being unloaded from the Collection’s smart new transporter. Nearby is the fabulous No. 2 Cisitalia 4-wheel-drive, twin-supercharged flat-12-cylinder of 1947 designed by Porsche engineers immediately after the war. This is shown in partly restored condition and when completed it will pass from the Entrance Hall into the main Collection buildings.
“The MOTOR SPORT Book of Donington” puts you right in the picture. Read about the Club races contested by Singers, Riley Nines and MGs. The important long-distance races—the TT, the Nuffield Trophy and the British Empire Trophy won by those wonderful Austin Sevens. Read about the Donington Grands Prix attracting Continental ace drivers and the Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union cars.