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World-class collection in a World-class museum

Motor City UK 1950 to the present

Coventry entered a period of prosperity after the Second World War that was to last until the 1970s. By the 1950s the UK had the world’s second largest car-making industry and was the world’s leading car exporter. Coventry became known as the UK’s ‘Motor City’, and more migrants flocked to the city for work. And that work was well paid: between 1959 and 1963 weekly earnings in the area were 24% higher than the national industrial average.

But the boom was not to last. A rise in European and American manufacturing meant that by 1974 Britain had slipped from second to fifth place in the list of the world’s biggest car-making countries. As a result, Coventry’s car output went into decline, and the city’s iconic factories began to close.

The city’s top 15 employers axed almost half their combined labour force between 1975 and 1982, which by the end of the period translated to roughly 520 jobs a month. In just a couple of generations, Coventry’s fortunes had completely turned around.

Don't miss out on the latest from the Coventry Transport Museum

Home of Record Breakers

Coventry Transport Museum is home to the world's two fastest cars.

Marvel at these spectacular feats of British engineering.

Get up close to the two fastest cars in the world, Thrust SSC and Thrust 2.



Bring the curriculum to life!

Coventry Transport Museum's interactive exhibitions make the perfect venue for school visits in Coventry.

We offer a wide range of sessions for school groups, all 'Learning Outside The Classroom' quality assured. 


Family Fun

We thoroughly believe there is no such thing as being too old for play! 

Get involved in our ever-growing Family Programme around Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

We also have free to loan family activities which are available at the Box Office.