Taunton County Classics Motor Museum opened by TV presenter Richard Hammond

  • Watch: ITV News' Ben McGrail had a tour around the museum

A man with a huge passion for cars has fulfilled his dream of turning an old shop in Taunton into a classic car museum.

Patrick Hawkins, a businessman and car enthusiast, has spent the last few years converting the town's old County Store building into the County Classics Motor Museum.

The museum was opened on Monday 20 November by TV presenter Richard Hammond.

It showcases around 200 cars and motorcycles, mostly from the 1960s to 1990s. Many of the cars on display are owned by Mr Hakwins, with others on loan from other owners.

"It’s been a long ambition, it’s been a huge challenge, it’s been exhausting. But now look at it, doesn’t it look brilliant?" Mr Hawkins said.

County Classics is focused on retro, affordable cars mainly from the 1960s to 1990s

"To see a car museum in the centre of a town when you’ve got shoe shops, clothes shops or whatever all around you — hopefully, what we’re doing here is just going to bring a few more people into our town and get a bit more footfall for our friends and neighbours."

The town centre was closed to allow classic car owners to drive their vehicles onto North Street and gather for the opening ceremony.

TV presenter Richard Hammond joined for the opening and was on hand to cut the ribbon.

Mr Hammond said: "I was really surprised at the number of people that turned out, but you can feel already that for Taunton, it's theirs, it's on the high street and that's such a rarity for something as big and impressive as this to be opening on a high street in the middle of a town.

"I think it's superb," he added.