Coventry's supersonic show

A very significant British museum development is the opening of its Spirit of Speed Gallery by the Museum of British Road Transport in Coventry. This is a reminder of LSR history and that Britain currently holds the record with Thrust SSC at 763.035mph, set by Andy Green, OBE. Prior to that, Richard Noble had held the LSR at 633.468mph, in Thrust 2, both cars very much his work.

Both these accomplishments by British drivers, engineers and technicians are the theme of the new gallery, made possible by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £510,000 towards the purchase of Thrust SSC. In total, this Fund has allocated £999,000, and the European Regional Development Fund £1,465,000, towards the £4m which the Museum is to spend on improvements by the autumn.

Malcolm Oliver, Deputy Director of the Museum, hopes that the new gallery will do credit to the two high-tech cars and their drivers. Richard Noble notes that since Thrust 2 has been displayed in Coventry it has attracted 38,000 visitors.

This latest project will emphasise Britain's ability to regain the LSR after 19 years of American intervention and then raise it to over 763mph (Mach 1.02). Using sophisticated simulation technology, visitors get a sense of what driving Thrust SCC at full blast was like. There are also video recordings, with the sonic booms of the Black Rock run and interviews with some of the teams.

So here is good news amid all the present gloom and despondency; the entire Museum is open every day from 10am to 5pm. Moreover, admission is free. Marvellous!

If LSR history has gripped you after visiting the Spirit of Speed Gallery, the NMM has the 1920s Campbell Sunbeam, Segrave's 'Golden Arrow', and Donald Campbell's advanced 403mph Bluebird-Proteus CN7.