Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Mansell Collection

The Mansell Collection in St Helier, Jersey is pretty unique - a small museum dedicated to the career of the British F1 driver Nigel Mansell,  still one of the most successful drivers ever in Formula 1 with I think 31 victories.  I'm a bit of a petrol head, I have to admit and so one day, when it was absolutely bucketing down and the ladies were 'going around the shops' I headed off on the bus to see what it was all about.

Inside were a few of his cars and lots of his trophies and various other memorabilia.  This was his iconic 'Flying Red 5' Williams FW14, from 1987, one of the most successful cars of all time, winning 9 out of 14 races that year:

Yes I know it would have looked better in colour, but I don't really do much colour, so HP5 rated at 1600 will have to do.  Taken on the rangefinder/21mm combination - hand held down as near to ground level as I can get these days, which ain't very far truth be told.

This was his Ferrari from 1989 - another race-winning car:

All in all there was quite a few £million lined up here:

The museum is really only one room - apart from the cars, the other 'stars' in the collection are his trophies, which are many and absolutely superb pieces.  You get a commentary by the man himself through your headphones and it is excellently done.  Apparently very few drivers get to keep their trophies - the team usually keeps them - but 'Our Nige' had it written into his contract that he would be the one that got them.  Smart thinking, that was.

OK I'll break tradition and post a couple of colour digital snaps, of what I thought were the best of his trophies - although the whole display was very impressive.  The one on the left was from the Estoril GP, Portugal - one that no longer is on the calendar and was just stunning.  All the important names are engraved on the base - Senna, Prost etc.  There were two of these in the collection.  I'm not sure where the one on the right was from - I have a feeling it was an IndyCar trophy.

The museum is on the first floor of  the building, above a Mitsubishi car dealership.  When I entered and bought my ticket, I joked to the guy behind the desk that I was half expecting the man himself to be there.  He replied that he usually was, but was stuck in England due to the bad weather.  I had no idea that Nigel Mansell ran a Mitsubishi Dealership on Jersey...good to see him still working for a living, though I'm pretty sure he doesn't need the cash.

Anyway, I can recommend the Mansell Collection if you ever find yourself in St Helier on a rainy afternoon and have an hour or two to spare.  It is well worth the £10 entrance fee.

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