Hornby Wonderworks sign

Classic cars, buses, bikes and more at Hornby Visitor Centre in Margate

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Cars of the Past: Miniature classics and McQueen’s actual Great Escape TR6 motorbike

As regular Cars of the Future readers know, we occasionally like to look back into the world before self-driving in a series we call… Cars of the Past.

Before Christmas we were delighted to be invited to the newly revamped Hornby Visitor Centre, here in our home town of Margate.

As shown on TV’s Hornby: A Model World, ‘The Wonderworks’ features a host of miniature automotive legends, including Beatles buses, Bond cars, and an Airfix model of my Dad’s favourite Bentley.

Beatles, Bond and Bentley Cars at Hornby Visitor Centre
Beatles, Bond and Bentley Cars at Hornby Visitor Centre

There was a Margate-themed Scalextric racetrack too, and, considering the lack of match practice, yours truly was quite pleased with a sub-10-second lap!

Hornby Visitor Centre's Margate-themed Scalextric racetrack
Hornby Visitor Centre’s Margate-themed Scalextric racetrack

As to the full-sized treats, they had Daniel Craig’s Scrambler from No Time To Die, and, for one day only, the original Triumph TR6 motorbike ridden by Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. It doesn’t get cooler than that!

Steve McQueen's bike from The Great Escape
Steve McQueen’s bike from The Great Escape

McQueen himself was keen to emphasise that the famous barbed wire fence jump was performed not by him but by his friend and stunt double, Bud Ekins.

No self-driving cars?

What’s all this got to do with self-driving you might ask? Well, our sector is somewhat underrepresented in the model world.

There was this Matchbox bus we covered a couple of years ago, but not a lot else. It’d be nice to change that wouldn’t it?

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Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched Carsofthefuture.co.uk in 2019.