A state-of-the-art new museum dedicated to motorsport icon Jim Clark will open in the Scottish borders this July.
Two of the legend’s race cars will form the centrepiece, alongside an “expanded and dynamic” exhibition space showcasing memorabilia and more than 100 trophies won during his career.
New image galleries, film footage, interactive displays, technology and education zones, meanwhile, will give the museum a thoroughly modern feel.
The project has been funded by Scottish Borders Council, The Jim Clark Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Museums Galleries Scotland, and the Council has also worked with the charity Live Borders and the Jim Clark Memorial Room Trust to ensure it’s a worthy tribute to the legendary driver, who died on track at the Hockenheimring in April 1968.
The museum will open to the public from Thursday 11 July, and today’s announcement comes on the 54th anniversary of Clark's historic win in the Indianapolis 500 – a feat which made him the first to triumph in both America’s most prestigious race and also the Formula One World Championship.
Councillor Euan Jardine, SBC’s Executive Member for Culture and Sport, said, “This project has been almost five years in the planning and in just six weeks we will have a fantastic new museum open to the public which will really do justice to Jim Clark’s incredible achievements in the racing world and also his life as a Borders farmer.”
Shona Sinclair, Curator at charity Live Borders, added, “Jim’s replica Indianapolis 500 trophy will be on display in the new museum alongside new items, film footage and photographs to showcase Jim’s inspirational career.
“A huge amount of work has gone in to researching and preparing the collection for display and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers who have assisted the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum team with this task. We can’t wait to start welcoming visitors.”
The Jim Clark Trust is also working on the development of a tourist trail around the area, taking in locations associated with Clark such as historic racing venues and his grave at Chirnside Church.
Ben Smith, Secretary of The Jim Clark Trust, which helped raise over £300,000 towards the project, said, “Jim’s victory at Indianapolis in 1965 expanded his fanbase massively and we have no doubt that fans from across the world will descend on the new museum after it opens this summer.
“All the partners are working to maximise the impact of the interest in Jim and the opening of the new museum, and as part of that the Trust is developing a tourist and car club trail that will provide additional interest for visitors, and also bring many car enthusiasts to the museum for many years to come.”
Images: Sutton Images, Jim Clark Trust/Motorsport Images