by Paul Sweeney.
The Ian Hope Collection - now Online
I recently posted just a few of the hundreds of photos I took over a period of years at Ian Hope's British Car Museum in New Zealand and was pleasantly surprised by the level of interest and positive reactions, which made me think.
Ian was keen to leave a legacy for future generations after he had passed on, so it feels right to share my pictures with you. All of these were taken by me - in most cases while wandering around the collection with Ian happily chattering about the cars as we moved around the building. Most of the photographs eventually wound up on Ian's museum website but as that's no longer online I have decided to put them here on our club website instead.
Ian knew of our club and was delighted when I used to tell him about it and how his cars were being admired from across the world. Several members even visited his collection and one - Daniel Bysouth - had a particular connection; the photograph shown above is Ian himself pointing to a highly prized RAC badge kindly sent to him by Dan. Ian was delighted with it and was very keen to show Dan where he had put the badge - "in pride of place", as he told me. To the best of my knowledge it remains there on that beautiful Alvis to this day.
There are several pictures of Ian himself around the museum (he lived on-site) and I hope you enjoy seeing them - the collection meant everything to Ian and I am sure he would be happy to know that people can at least enjoy his collection online here, even if most of you can't currently visit in person.
To make it easier to find what interests you most, I have created filters across the top of the page so that with a single click you can view the images you want - usually by selecting a marque.
Finally, I want to tell you all that whilst his knowledge was extensive, Ian was most definitely not an anorak. He had a wicked sense of humour, loving nothing more than to sneak up on unwary visitors and set off an air horn right behind them, only to whizz away on his mobility scooter cackling like a madman - so whilst browsing the gallery if you should imagine you can hear the ghostly echo of a horn followed by a good-natured chuckle, don't be alarmed. It's only Ian, happy to see you taking an interest in his life's passion.
Click on the button below to begin.