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‘Our Sporting Life’ Exhibition Celebrates Manx Motorsport 20 April 2012

Manx National Heritage’s popular ‘Our Sporting Life’ exhibition is being updated with a new display celebrating the Island’s unique motorsport heritage. Since 1904, except for wartime and the Foot and Mouth crisis, there has never been a summer season when the Isle of Man has not echoed to the roar of racing exhaust pipes. The Island, with its home rule authority to close public roads exclusively for racing, has for over a century played host to countless aspirants to chequered flag honours, on two, three and four wheels. Being different has always been one of the Island’s greatest strengths, and by closing public roads at a time when others refused to do so, the Isle of Man has become a world famous motorsport venue.

Start line of the Manx Grand Prix, 1960
Start line of the Manx Grand Prix, 1960 © Manx National Heritage
The Manx motorsport story will be celebrated in ‘Our Sporting Life’ – from the Edwardian visionaries who tested new technology on the Island’s dirt track roads, to the brave men and women who tackle the Mountain Circuit on two wheels at speeds averaging 130mph. The exhibition will not only feature the Tourist Trophy (TT) Races, but will also celebrate the Manx Grand Prix (MGP), the Southern 100 Races and the motorsport marshals who are the silent heroes of these events. Fans of four wheels will not be disappointed as the history of motorcar racing on the Island will be explored, with a focus on the Gordon Bennett Eliminating Trials, the Car TT, the Mannin Beg and Mannin Mooar Races, the British Empire Trophy and the Manx Classic. There will be a celebration of rallying on the Isle of Man, including the development of the Manx Trophy Rally and a focus on the Leece and Higgins family rallying dynasty.

Often referred to as the ‘road racing capital of the world’, the Isle of Man in recent years has also developed a reputation for producing world class off road bikers as well. Our dirt bike heroes will also be celebrated in the exhibition, with a focus on Enduro legend David Knight MBE.

The new exhibit, ‘Manx Motorsport’, will open from Saturday 28th April at the Manx Museum and has been timed to coincide with the popular Manx Classic Hill Climb weekend. It will be open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.

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