The chairman of trustees at Brooklands Museum will step down as soon as a replacement can be found.
Lord Trefgame, 73, has led the trustees since 2001.
Trustee Mike Bannister will step in as deputy chairman, the museum said, while Lord Trefgame continues work on a re-engineering fundraising campaign.
Mr Bannister said: "David took on the role of chairman at a time when the museum was facing extreme organisational and financial problems.
"In the ensuing 13 years, more than three times the normal four-year term for a chairman, he has presided over a period of almost constant growth.
"We look forward to his continuing efforts and energies."