Californian collector Peter Mullin plans Cotswolds classic car destination. Details here
Californian classic car enthusiast Peter Mullin, the world’s leading collector of Art Deco automotive masterpieces and chairman of The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, is planning to open a new car museum in Britain. The £150-million, 160-acre project is projected to draw about 200,000 visitors a year and it could open as early as Spring 2020.
Provisionally titled The Mullin at Great Tew, the project is being developed on part of the former WW2 Enstone airfield and in conjunction with the Great Tew estate, a Cotswolds jewel located about 20 miles north of Oxford.
UK director of the project, Kieran Hedigan, has given Octane a site tour and preview of the architectural sketches submitted for the planning application, and there will be a full description in the next issue of Octane, published 28 March.
The main museum will boast 60,000sq ft of floor space on four levels, plus a further 50,000sq ft of car storage, so that the 200 or so cars on display at any one time can be regularly rotated. It’s planned that other car collectors from around the world will loan their vehicles to extend the variety on show.
Peter Mullin explains: ‘I know from my experience with the Mullin museum at Oxnard [California] and the Petersen that there’s a tradition of lending vehicles to other museums for exhibitions, and I’m sure there’ll be opportunities for that here. It won’t just be about classics, however. We want to celebrate not just where we’ve been but where we’re going.’
Outside the main museum, there will be workshops and a demonstration track. In addition, to help fund the project, 28 landscaped lodges of varying sizes will be constructed which will only be offered for purchase as holiday accommodation by car enthusiasts who express a willingness to display their classics in the museum. Some £12-14 million will also be spent on restoring the Grade Two listed manor house at Great Tew Park House.
Naturally, plans to build in any part of the Cotswolds will always meet a certain degree of opposition and there have been a few complaints that this is an ‘elitist’ project. Kieran Hedigan responds: ‘This could not be further from the truth. One of the key objectives of The Mullin is to serve audiences of all ages, rich and poor, young and old. This project will transform an overgrown brownfield site into a destination for grandparents and grandchildren and everyone in between.’
Peter Mullin adds: ‘This is not a business venture for me, it is a legacy project, and it is my most sincere desire to share cars from my collection with the general public and to create a centre of learning to inspire future generations. All my collection is European and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring them home.’
Words: Mark Dixon