The legendary Donington Grand Prix Collection closed doors once and for all this November 5th, and we gave it one last visit to say goodbye for the final time. Opened by a man with a passion for motorsport and Formula One, containing some of the most iconic and incredible Grand Prix cars in the entire history of the sport, and visited by millions of racing fans throughout the world, the Donington Grand Prix Collection will no doubt hold a very special place in the heart's and memories of many of those who visited the incredible and understated facility on the outskirts of the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit in England. Officially opened to the public in 1972 by owner Tom Wheatcroft, the Grand Prix Collection started out life as a place for the quiet businessman to store and share some of his impressive collection of racing machinery, eventually growing over the coming years to hold some incredible hardware from key moments in the history of the sport as Wheatcroft continued to collect more cars, and the likes of Williams, McLaren and Force India amongst other provided equipment to display on long term loan deals - many of which would head out on to the Donington Park circuit for periodic running as the team looked to keep them in fine fettle during their retirement from active racing life. Whilst the museum would grow considerably during its early life under the keen eye of Wheatcroft, the surrounding Donington Park race track would also undergo something of a resurgence, Wheatcroft again using the fortune earnt post-war to purchase the derelict facility and tirelessly work to bring the venue back up to racing standards, something the Englishman would achieve in 1977 as racing returned to the venue once again, Donington since establishing themselves as one of the most popular racing circuits in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the development at Donington would not spread over to the Grand Prix Collection, and recent years the venue would continue to fall steadily into a state of decline, with buildings and facilities starting to show signs of age as large investment failed to materialise and the visitor numbers steadily dried up in recent times. With Donington now under the control of Motorsport Vision, the independently run museum was perhaps always on borrowed time, with many of the more high profile pieces of the collection having moved to pastures new and an increasing number of military equipment having taken its place in the opening two halls of the exhibition. Despite the obvious signs, it still came as a shock to hear the museum will be no more, and for me at least, it would be a highly emotional moment as I turned back and looked one final time at the venue and the wonderful cars it contains. Thank you Donington Grand Prix Collection, you've been around as long as I have been alive, and the memories you have given me will be cherished for the rest of my life. From my first visit with my parents and a brother now no longer with us, to my final pilgrimage with my own young son, I've been inspired, awed, humbled and amazed in equal measure every single time. I've walked those hallowed halls, I've marvelled at how close I can get to machinery that has occupied my dreams throughout my childhood. I've been privileged, and I'm grateful. Donington, I thank you. For more from the world of Grand Prix racing, don't forget to check out the Formula One forum here at RaceDepartment and get involved in the conversation. Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media! Instagram Twitter Facebook Youtube Twitch Have you ever visited the Grand Prix Collection? What are your memories of the collection? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!