Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart OBE will officially open the new Jim Clark Motorsport Museum in Duns, Scottish Borders on Thursday 29 August with invited guests from the world of motorsport and the unveiling of a plaque to celebrate the occasion.
The museum honours and charts the life and racing career of the Scottish Borders farmer and double Formula 1 World Champion Jim Clark, who Sir Jackie has always maintained was the finest racing driver he ever competed against and a close personal friend.
More details of the special opening event will be released in the coming weeks, with plans being developed for a static display of Jim Clark and Lotus sports cars and an opportunity for the public to hear Sir Jackie talk about his friendship and racing career with Jim.
The event will start at 12noon and to facilitate the official opening the museum will be closed to the public until 3pm, but will then be open into the evening.
The new museum has seen a major £1.6m redevelopment over the past 15 months following a five year fundraising campaign and has welcomed over 2,000 visitors since opening to the public in mid-July.
Doug Niven, cousin of Jim Clark and Jim Clark Trustee said: “We are delighted that Sir Jackie, Honorary President of The Jim Clark Trust, is able to come to Duns to officially open the new museum. He has given the museum and this project great support and encouragement over many years, for which we are very grateful.
“Given Sir Jackie’s close personal relationship with Jim during their racing careers there’s no doubt that this will be a memorable and moving occasion for all those involved. Jim and Jackie have together helped inspire a generation of success for Scottish motorsport and we hope the new museum can inspire future generations for many years to come.”
The museum, operated by charity Live Borders, for the first time includes two of Jim Clark’s iconic race cars, a Lotus 25 and Lotus Cortina. Displays include a celebration of his life from school days to farming and racing in all forms of motorsport, archive imagery, film footage, memorabilia, a gallery, interactive displays, simulator and shop.
At the heart of the new museum remains the original collection of over 100 trophies from Jim Clark’s incredible career, gifted by his parents James and Helen Clark in 1969, with new interactive interpretation displays.
Andrew Tulloch, Live Borders’ Assistant Curator of the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum, said: “The feedback we’ve had from visitors to the new Jim Clark Motorsport Museum has been incredible and we look forward to welcoming Sir Jackie back again to see the new museum for the first time and see for himself the fantastic visitor experience this new facility offers.”
The official opening date of Thursday 29 August has now also been announced by The Jim Clark Trust as the closing date for the Jim Clark Lotus Evora charity competition. The 100,000th Lotus ever built, signed by all 20 current Formula One drivers at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix is available to win for £20 helping to raise funds for the Trust and new museum www.jimclarklotus.com
Adult admission to the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum costs just £5 with visitors able to return as often as they like for free for the following 12 months. There is a small additional cost for the simulator. For more information, visit www.jcmm.org.uk
The original Jim Clark Memorial Room opened in 1969 and was refurbished in 1993 for the 25th anniversary of Jim’s death in 1968, also with Sir Jackie’s support. Now, 50 years on from the initial opening, the significantly expanded and exciting new museum aims to attract thousands of visitors to Duns.
The museum project is a partnership between Scottish Borders Council, Live Borders and The Jim Clark Trust, with funding from the partners and National Lottery Heritage Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Fallago Environment Fund. Public support and donations have been received from across Scotland, the UK and around the world.
Jim Clark won the Formula One championship in 1963, becoming the then youngest ever World Champion. He followed it up with victory again in 1965 and in the same year won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 in America. He remains the only driver to have won both the Formula One and Indy 500 titles in the same year.
Clark tragically died at Hockenheim in Germany at the age of just 32. He was much admired for his modesty and humility alongside his remarkable natural ability in all forms of motor racing. He is still considered one of the greatest ever racing drivers and remains to this day one of Scotland’s most admired sporting heroes.