The Ladybird Big Book of Motor Cars Exhibition is currently on at the Heritage Motor Centre near Warwick. This exhibition includes over 120 Ladybird books plus more than 30 original pieces of Ladybird artwork alongside many of the vehicles which feature in them. The vehicles on display include a 1886 Rover bicycle, a 1904 Wolseley, a 1967 Austin 1100, a 1936 MG and a 1971 Rover P5.
The traditional small hardback Ladybird books were first published by Wills & Hepworth in 1940 and their standard format of text on the left page coupled with fully painted artwork on the right page of a two page spread, made them popular with adults and children alike.
Many artists familiar to British comics readers of the 1950s and 1960s worked on Ladybird books during this period making them desirable items for comics collectors to have. Perhaps the most desirable Ladybird titles for British comics collectors are those that were illustrated by Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson which include Kings and Queens of England and three of the Nursery Rhymes books.
The Ladybird Big Book of Motor Cars exhibition began on the 17 September 2011 and runs to 15 January 2012 at the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon which is near Junction 12 of the M40. There are more details of the exhibition on the Heritage Motor Centre website.
There are more details of the traditional style Ladybird books at the Vintage Ladybird website.