Beaulieu museum – perhaps better known for its collection of historical cars – has launched a £100,000 exhibition on the history of road safety.

The exhibition, named Driving Change, features a talking crash test dummy as well as interactive hands-on features which allows visitors to discover how gears, suspension and engines work.

National Motor Museum Chief Executive Russell Bowman said: “We are delighted to welcome everyone to this exciting new display for the start of our new season.”

The journey of safety is explored through legislation, gadgets and gizmos, with film footage, memorabilia and cars from the museum’s collection telling the story of motoring right up to today’s electric vehicles.

Iconic cars are also on display. The Crossley Burney Streamline of the 1930s, with its rear-mounted engine and futuristic styling is featured as well as the tiny Peel P50 micro-car, which tackled the problem of city congestion in the 1960’s

For those with a love of four-wheel-drives learn about their legacy, through the wartime Willys Jeep and one of the earliest Land Rover prototypes which was its descendent.

Family staples of the past, such as the Rover 2000, Triumph Herald and Ford Cortina, sit alongside one-offs such as the diminutive ATCO Junior Trainer - originally designed to teach children how to drive.

Director of Collections Andrea Bishop said: “Driving Change takes a look at the history of developments to help tell the story of the future. Topics explored include vehicle design, engineering, materials, alternative propulsion, safety and car crime – considering issues which affect motorists today, yet have roots in motoring history.”

The new-for-2016 display received funding of £98,590 from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport/Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund and this follows the opening of previous galleries The Motorcycle Story and A Chequered History, which tell the adrenaline-fuelled story of motor sport.

By Tracey McBain