March '20

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68 THE SHOP MARCH 2020 ack in 2017, THE SHOP looked at Motorworld, a new kind of auto-centric destination near Stuttgart, Germany (THE SHOP, Aug. 2017). Since then, Motorworld has announced three more locations—Motorworld Köln-Rhe- inland, Motorworld München and Motor- world Zeche Ewald-Ruhr (Herten)—and is also developing a concept in Mallorca, Spain, as well as other slightly different venues in Germany. For those who didn't see that article, Motorworld is an auto destination with workshops, salesrooms, event spaces, storage, cafes, a hotel, etc. Such auto- related destinations for enthusiasts are gaining ground, in one form or another, especially in Europe. THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION It is obvious that while some naysayers are predicting the end of the automobile as we know it, others are investing heavily in the future, as if nothing is about to change. For example, Peter Mullin, a 78-year-old American businessman and philanthropist who is the founder and patron of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, and who is also the chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum's board of directors, has recently announced The Mullin at Great Tew. To American ears, The Mullin at Great Tew (MGT) is an odd-sounding name, but to British ears it sounds like a $180-plus- million country estate-inspired auto-related facility on 160 acres in the beautiful Cots- wolds region west of London. MGT will be located at Enstone, a dis- used Royal Air Force airfield near Chipping Norton, north of Oxford. Plans call for a 200-car museum with 60,000 square feet of display space over four floors, along with a Bentley pavilion, a demonstration track and 28 lodges complete with luxury garages available for purchase as vacation homes. The lodges will reportedly sell for upwards of $6 million each. They are not for your average car guy, and local resident and actor Patrick Stewart objected to the lack of funding for affordable housing in the initial plans, as well as the resulting increases in traffic and the possible negative effect on local property prices. Revised plans will, however, direct a sub- stantial amount of money toward afford- able housing. Funds are also slated to go toward a local bus service, a parking lot at a nearby school and traffic control measures in nearby villages. The developers also agreed to limit the number of events at the museum to five per year and provide means to access the museum by foot, by bike and by public transportation. In some of the reports, the demonstra- tion track is carefully cached as: "Specially designed roads allow for exercising cars from the collection, giving visitors an immersive experience." (If it quacks like a track then it must be a track…) The only thing remotely similar in the U.S. that I am aware of is The Thermal Club, "The Ultimate Motorsports Club Many enthusiasts enjoy auto- related recreation destinations. CAR TRIPS By Tony Thacker The Thermal Club, "The Ultimate Motorsports Club and Resort Community," located in Thermal, Califor- nia. (Photos by Eric Figge Photography) B

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