Motorsport exhibits

Jack French Garage

Jack French was an Austin 7 enthusiast who worked on aircraft for Rotol Propellers in Gloucester during WW2.

He was a founder member of the 750 Motor Club for Austin 7 owners and in 1949 he helped Holland Birkett draw up the 750 Formula for the ‘impecunious enthusiast’ to go racing Austin 7 Specials using disused airfields around the country – including RAF Silverstone.

In 1949 Jack built this garage out of an ex-WD canteen and in it he constructed an A7 Special at minimal cost and christened it ‘Simplicity’. It proved to be a very effective racer and Jack wrote regular articles describing in detail how it was built. Literally hundreds of A7 Specials were built by club members following Jack’s encouragement ….Simplicity is still competing today in the careful hands of Graham Beckett.

As a result, the 750 Formula has flourished and celebrates its 75th birthday in 2024 which makes it the oldest continuously contested formula in the World.

Many famous names from motorsport started their careers with Austin 7 Special, including John Cooper, Bruce Mclaren and Colin Chapman.

Jack’s garage was ‘discovered’ in 2013 and saved from the bulldozers by enthusiasts from the Austin 7 Clubs Association. It was carefully dismantled from Jack’s cottage and, following repair, moved here to the Atwell Wilson Motor Museum.

Information provided by the 750 Motor Club

Williams FW10

The Williams FW10 first appeared in the 1985 Formula 1 season and was raced by Mansell and Rosberg. Fitted with an 800bhp Honda engine this was the first Willams to sport the distinctive yellow, blue and white livery that the team would use until the end of the 1993 season. 

The Museum is fortunate to have this very special car on loan until June 2025. It is also featured in the February 2024 Edition of GP Racing.

Race image shows the FW10 driven by Keke Rosberg at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide on 3rd November 1985. Photo courtesy of GP Racing.

Downton Engineering Mini

Austin Mini Cooper S LBL590E was a BMC Competitions Department Works Raly car.

The car was driven in the 1967 Flowers Rally by Paddy Hopkirk and Ron Crellin and in the 1967 Acropolis rally by the same team followed by a series of rallies in 1967 and 1968.