ONE OF Hampshire's biggest attractions is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sunday.

The award-winning National Motor Museum in Beaulieu will mark its golden jubilee by staging a blast from the past - a parade of cars from the 1970s.

It will also unveil a new exhibition called The Story of Motoring in 50 Objects.

The celebrations will include a display of vehicles that took part in a cavalcade on the day the museum was opened by the Duke of Kent and the current Lord Montagu's father, Edward, Lord Montagu.

The Carousels will entertain guests by playing hits from the Seventies.

Daily Echo: The Duke of Kent opens the National Motor Museum in July 1972.The Duke of Kent opens the National Motor Museum in July 1972.

Cars have been displayed at Beaulieu since historic Palace House, ancestral home of the Montagu family, was opened to the public in 1952.

The first museum was built in the grounds in 1956 and was followed by a larger complex three years later, but the current building dates from 1972.

Over the years the 70,000 sq ft complex has become home to Bluebird and other famous vehicles, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Del Boy's three-wheel van.

Writing in his autobiography Edward, Lord Montagu, said: "We moved the entire collection from the old building into the new one overnight, with the aid of a lot of pushing, shoving and towing.

"We even laid ramps over the garden fountain in order to move the huge world land speed record breakers.

"The museum won an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects, which spoke reverentially of its 'cathedral-like atmosphere'."

Daily Echo: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

The new exhibition will feature objects selected from the 1.7 million items in the collection cared for by the National Motor Museum Trust.

They include the first car to be exhibited at Beaulieu, first petrol-engined vehicle to enter Palace Yard at the House of Commons, and a 1907 Halda taximeter, which gave taxi cabs their name.

The collection also includes a child-sized caravan the Princess Royal used in the Buckingham Palace gardens in the 1950s.

Jon Murden, chief executive of the Trust, said: "From illustrating motoring’s technology and progress, its achievement and endeavour, to transforming leisure activities and inspiring art, our final selection has been an exciting and important one to make.”

Daily Echo: Lord Miontagu will be attending the 50th anniversary celebrations on Sunday.Lord Miontagu will be attending the 50th anniversary celebrations on Sunday.

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