Originally published on MotoringMiddleEast.com in September 2011
Sadly this place is closed now, but what an incredible line up of cars it had!
Hidden in a nondescript trade park tucked away in a corner of Hayes, near Southall in London, is the London Motor Museum. To look at the building, you wouldn’t be blamed for shrugging your shoulders and giving it a miss, heading instead for the more typical sightseeing spots of this historic capital city… but you’d be missing out.
Pay your ten bob to get inside and you’ll witness a dazzling array and variety of automotive awesomeness that ranges from new to old, from custom to hot rod, from mildly interesting to absolutely jaw-dropping.
And the most extraordinary thing of all is that all of these cars, and the museum itself, belongs to one man, Elo King. London-born Elo moved to LA, California when he was nine and developed a passion for American metal and hot rods which form a major part of his $3m collection. Fashion-followers may know him as the face of campaigns for Giorgio Armani and Ozwald Boateng, or indeed from his own fashion label, although he is also seen on MTV.
He first started his museum 10 years ago with just 7 cars, three moves later his has over 200 cars in his collection and houses some of them in an extraordinary new museum opened in 2007 which is divided into themed sections representing his eclectic choice of motoring favourites including European classics, TV and movie cars, custom cars, American muscle cars and lowriders, plus metal from the 50s and 60s as well as hot rods.
He’s also a Gumball rally regular and some of the cars used in that famous event are also on display including the 400kph+ SSC Ultimate Aero.
But where else will you see the Batmobile from Tim Burton’s 1989 movie starring Michael Keaton, Lamborghini Countach, Ford GT40, DeLorean, chromed Escalade, the General Lee and Eleanor, and some absolutely mental hot rods and rat rods all under one roof?
There’s also a workshop and restoration service on site. The quality of some of the cars aren’t exactly concourse, but this reflects the authenticity of a collection belonging to one person and reflecting his personal tastes and style – plus the fact that these cars have been used out on the roads.
You can see the place in a couple of hours, so if you happen to be holidaying in London (or living there) this is well worth a trip!