Media release: 30 May 2023
New exhibition celebrates Peter Collins
Worcestershire’s Formula One Hero
Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum
Opens Saturday 10 June
- Peter Collins F1 Hero Mustow Green to Nürburgring arrives at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum on 10 June until 20 January 2024
- The exhibition tells the story of how a Kidderminster-born motor enthusiast became the rising star in the Ferrari Formula One team of the 1950s
- Includes Collins’ racing helmet and gloves alongside original photographs and letters
A new exhibition celebrating the life of Worcestershire’s Formula One hero Peter Collins has been curated by the team at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum. The exhibition opens at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum on 10 June until 20 January 2024.
Collins was born in 1931 in Mustow Green near Kidderminster. Alongside Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn, Collins was one of the three British golden boys of 1950s motor racing, in its most glamourous and dangerous era. He was offered a place in the 1956 Ferrari F1 team, a line up which included World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio.
Collins could have been Britain’s first Formula 1 World Champion in 1956 but, in the days when drivers could change cars during a race, Peter stopped in the last race of the season, the Italian Grand Prix in Monza and gave his car to Fangio, when the Argentinian’s car suffered mechanical problems. This gesture prevented Collins from winning the world title and allowed Fangio to claim his fourth title. Peter said of his actions; “I am only 25 years old and have plenty of time to win the championship on my own.”
Sadly, Collins died less than two years later, at the age of just 26, following a fatal crash during the 1958 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. The racing world had lost a highly professional and technically gifted driver.
At Peter’s funeral service in Stone, near Kidderminster, racing teams and motor industry representatives stood alongside family, friends, garage employees and civic representatives. Such was the global respect and love for Collins that Kidderminster railway station was blanketed with flowers from around the world.
The exhibition tells the story of Collins’ short but incredible life and features touching personal items including his racing helmet and gloves, plus original photographs and letters.
David Nash, Social History Curator at Worcester Art Gallery and Museum comments: “We are very proud to be able to celebrate the life of Worcestershire lad Peter Collins through this exhibition. As well as the incredible motor racing history there’s a very human story to be told, of someone who dreamed big but who sadly had his life cut short whilst pursuing his passion and his goal. Peter deserves to be remembered.”
Peter Collins F1 Hero Mustow Green to Nürburgring opens on 10 June at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, entry is free, and the gallery is open Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 4.30pm.
For more information, please visit www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk
For further information contact:
Helen Large, at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum email Helen.Large@worcester.gov.uk
Image shows an original photograph included in the exhibition.
There will be a photo / interview opportunity on Thursday 8 June, 11am with curator David Nash and collector Chris Price at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum.
Peter Collins F1 Hero
Mustow Green to Nürburgring
Saturday 10 June 2023 – Saturday 20 January 2024 | Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum
Monday to Saturday 10.30am – 4.30pm
A tribute to Worcestershire motor racing legend Peter Collins. Discover how a Kidderminster-born motor enthusiast became the rising star in the Ferrari Formula One team, in motorsport’s most glamorous and dangerous era. This exhibition tells Peter’s remarkable story through original photographs and letters and features touching personal items including his racing helmet and gloves.
About Museums Worcestershire
Museums Worcestershire is the joint museum service of Worcester City and Worcestershire County Councils. It comprises three fantastic venues– Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, the Commandery in Worcester and The County Museum at Hartlebury Castle.
The collections and exhibitions at our sites are many and varied, covering centuries of the county’s history right up to the present day. Thousands of objects, including the historic buildings themselves, are brought to life through innovative exhibitions and events throughout the year.