Austin and Morris united!

Austin’s office showing the museum viewing window from which visitors will be able to view an AV display featuring actors playing the part of Austin and Morris in their respective offices.

by classic-car-weekly |
Published on

Two motoring pioneers’ offices have finally been brought together – and you’ll be able to see them both for yourself later on this week. A bid to bring Lord Austin’s office – which was under threat following redevelopment at Longbridge – to the British Motor Museum has succeeded.

Staff at the attraction in Gaydon, Warwickshire were determined that it should stay in the UK and be displayed with Lord Nuffield’s office from the Cowley factory. The museum has also created avatars of each of these pioneers to ‘inhabit’ their offices once again and take visitors back in time.

The BMM’s head of collections, Stephen Laing, said: ‘Gary Egan from MG got in touch during lockdown and said that it was time for the museum to become the office's home and things started to fall into place. The Patrick Foundation was crucial in helping to fund the project and I’d like to thank them for their support.

‘We then worked hard to present both offices in a way that would engage visitors because I just love that in real life these two great leaders, who you would think would have known each other and moved in the same sort of circles, rarely actually did and were very different people, although their business achievements were obviously quite similar. Hopefully we have been able to reflect that and bring their story to a new generation.’

'The drawers were still full of drawings'

Austin ex-Apprentices Association president, Ivor Vaughan, was pleased to see the office preserved. He told CCW: ‘When I was working on the O-series-engine development programme my office was next door to Austin’s office and I used to go and sit in it if I wanted to have some quiet time to think or get some inspiration. In those days the drawers were still full of drawings the old man had done for the Austin Seven!

So, it’s great the office has been preserved for forthcoming generations to see and hopefully help them appreciate what we achieved at Longbridge. John Lakey

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us