The Patrick Collection began back in 1960 when a decaying Austin Ten was spotted in a driveway in Hockley Heath, near Birmingham. This however was no ordinary car - it had been built by coach builders at Patrick Motors Ltd in the 1930s and, after it was purchased for the princely sum of £5, with the two men who had originally built it lovingly restoring it to its former glory.
This was just the start that Joseph Patrick (then Chairman of Patrick Motors Ltd) needed. He loved his own private cars and could not face selling them and had accumulated a small collection. Over the years this became known as The Patrick Collection, and in the 1980s, after Joseph had died, his son Alexander opened a purpose-built museum in Kings Norton, Birmingham. At its peak the Collection owned over 240 cars, reflecting the influence of the internal combustion engine on our lifestyle over the preceding years. The displays were regularly changed, with at least 70 vehicles on display at any one time.
Due to the demands of upkeep on such a large collection and general economic pressure the original museum was closed and over the years, the majority of cars were sold off via auction house Bonhams. What remains is a very small, select number of classic and modern vehicles, mostly with a family history. The remaining vehicles are housed in a warehouse complex in Kings Norton.
In addition to the collection of motor vehicles, an extensive and varied assortment of memorabilia is also held within the museum, along with a library containing numerous motor vehicle catalogues, ranging from the 1950s to the 1990s, plus books, model and pedal cars.
Attached to the main viewing area is a classroom which was often utilised by schools, primarily with regards to design and technology teaching. Car clubs also regularly attend and are encouraged to use the facilities to hold meetings or get-togethers.
Julian Pritchard, trustee and grandson of Joseph Patrick, works with the small team to maintain what remains of the museum. As you can read elsewhere on the site, the Museum is currently collaborating with the famous Black Country Living Museum.
The Patrick Collection is owned by The Patrick Foundation, a charitable trust registered with the Charity Commission (Charity No. 515566).