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Top 10 Car Museums

Porsche Museum, Stuttgart, Germany

The Porsche Museum is an automotive museum in the Zuffenhausen district of Stuttgart, Germany on the site of carmaker Porsche. The new Porsche museum stands on a conspicuous junction just outside Porsche Headquarters inZuffenhausen. The display area covers 5600 square metres featuring around 80 exhibits, many rare cars and a variety of historical models. The original Porsche museum opened in 1976 in a side-road near the Porsche factory. It was a relatively smallworks museum with little parking space and it was only big enough to hold around 20 exhibits (in rotation). Porsche built the museum as a kind of “rolling museum” with rotating exhibits from a stock of 300 restored cars, many in pristine condition and still in full driving order. Originally there was discussion that the new museum would be built alongside a new Mercedes-Benz museum on former trade fair grounds in the Killesberg area of Stuttgart. After the new Mercedes-Benz Museum opened in the east of Stuttgart in 2006, Porsche went ahead with plans to upgrade and extend its museum in the northern district of Zuffenhausen next to the company headquarters.


Mercedes-Benz Museum  Stuttgart

The Mercedes-Benz Museum is an automotive museum housed in Stuttgart, Germany. Stuttgart is home to the Mercedes-Benz brand and the international headquarters of Daimler AG. The current building, which stands directly outside the main gate of the Daimler factory in Stuttgart, was designed by UN Studio. It is based on a unique cloverleaf concept using three overlapping circles with the center removed to form a triangular atrium. The building was completed and opened on 19 May 2006. Previously, the museum was housed in a dedicated building within the factory complex and visitors had in recent decades been transported from the main gate by a secured shuttle. The building’s height and “double helix” interior were designed to maximise space, providing 16,500 square metres (178,000 sq ft) of exhibition space on a footprint of just 4,800 square metres (52,000 sq ft). The museum contains more than 160 vehicles, some dating back to the very earliest days of the motor engine. The vehicles are maintained by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center of Fellbach. The museum provides visitors with free audio tours in a variety of languages.


Galleria Ferrari, Italy

Galleria Ferrari is a Ferrari company museum dedicated to the Ferrari sports car marque. The museum is not purely for cars; also on view are prizes, photographs and other historical objects relating to the Italian motor racing industry. The exhibition also introduces technological innovations, some of which had made the transition from racing cars to road cars. It is located just 300 metres from the Ferrari factory in Ferrari’s home town of Maranello, near Modena, Italy. The museum first opened in February 1990, with a new wing being added in October 2004. Ferrari itself has run the museum since 1995. The total surface area is now 2,500 square metres. The number of annual visitors to the museum is around 180,000. The exhibits are mostly a combination of Ferrari road and track cars. Many of Ferrari’s most iconic cars from throughout its history are present in the museum.


Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, Italy

The Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (The National Automobile Museum), named after Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia, is an automobile museum in Turin, northern Italy. The collection has almost 200 cars among eighty automobile brands representing eight countries (Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany, Holland, Spain, United States of America, Poland). The museum is situated in a building dating from 1960, it has three floors. After restructuring in 2011 the museum is open again, and its exhibition area has been expanded from 11,000 square metres (120,000 sq ft) to 19,000 square metres (200,000 sq ft). The museum also has own library, documentation centre, bookshop and auditorium. The collection includes the first Italian cars, Bernardi 1896 and 1899 Fiat, the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 1914, and racing cars by Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. Also other older cars is included like 1893 Benz Victoria, 1894 Peugeot, 1904 Oldsmobile, 1907 Itala (Peking – Paris), 1913 De Dion-Bouton, 1916 Ford T and 1928 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A. The Documentation Centre collects inside and historical data sheets, photographs, documents, sales brochures, construction diagrams, and everything related to cars that were unable to collect over the years. The collection consists of photographs by tens of thousands of prints in black and white and it works conjunction with the Ministry for Cultural Heritage.


Louwman Museum, Hague, Netherlands

The Louwman Museum is a museum for historic cars, coaches, and motorcycles in The Hague, Netherlands. It is situated on the Leidsestraatweg near the A44 highway. The museum’s former names are “Nationaal Automobiel Museum” and “Louwman Collection”. The collection of over two hundred cars has been assembled since 1934 by two generations of the Louwman family. It is the oldest private collection of automobiles in the world open to the public. The collection was founded in 1934 with the purchase of a 20 year-old Dodge by Dodge importer Pieter Louwman, the father of the current owner. In 1969, the collection of Mr. Geerlig Riemer was added. Riemer was also founder of the Institute for Automotive and Management (IVA) inDriebergen. The building which used to house Riemer’s collection has since been used as a practical center for the IVA. The current owner of the collection is Evert Louwman, the Dutch importer of Lexus, Toyota and Suzuki. In 1969 the collection was moved to Leidschendam to the newly opened National Automobile Museum. In 1981 the collection moved again to a new location on the property of importer Louwman & Parqui inRaamsdonksveer. On 18 April 2003 the name “Louwman Collection” was adopted. On 3 July 2010 the current museum in The Hague, named Louwman Museum, was opened by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.


National Motor Museum, England

The National Motor Museum (originally the Montagu Motor Museum) is a museum in the village ofBeaulieu, set in the heart of the New Forest, in the English county of Hampshire. The museum was founded in 1952 by Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu as a tribute to his father, who was one of the great pioneers of motoring in the United Kingdom, being the first person to drive a motor car into the yard of the Houses of Parliament, and having introduced King Edward VII (then thePrince of Wales) to motoring during the 1890s. By 1972, the collection exceeded 300 exhibits. In a ceremony performed by the Duke of Kent the new purpose-built museum building in the parkland surrounding Palace House was opened on 4 July 1972: the name was changed to theNational Motor Museum, reflecting a change of status from a private collection to a charitable trust and highlighting Montagu’s stated aim to provide Britain with a National Motor Museum “worthy of the great achievements of its motor industry”. Today, in addition to around 250 vehicles produced since the late-19th century, the museum is has a collection of motoring books, journals, photographs, films, and automobilia in the world and is affiliated to the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust. A an exhibition James Bond vehicles appeared in 2012. The “On Screen Cars” exhibit has a display of TV and film cars including Del Boy’s Reliant Regal as featured in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses and Mr Bean’s lime green Mini. The exhibit “World of Top Gear” has cars created by Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.


Haynes International Motor Museum, England

Haynes International Motor Museum at Sparkford near Yeovil in Somerset, England, contains over 400 cars and motorcycles and a collection of other automobilia. The museum, which was established in 1985, is an Educational Charitable Trust chaired by John Haynes OBE, of Haynes Publishing Group, the company that publishes the Haynes Manuals.

The museum is divided into ten halls.

  • Hall one includes exhibits dating from before 1910 including a 1900 Clement 2.25 hp Voiturette and a 1910 Renault Twin Cylinder AX.
  • Hall two, The Red Room, contains red sports cars from around the world including a 1981 Lamborghini Countachand a 1965 AC Cobra.
  • Hall three includes a wide range of cars from a 1953 Morris Minor to a 1971 Rolls-Royce Corniche.
  • Halls four and five cover British and American classic cars, from a 1965 Morris Mini Cooper to a 1959 Cadillac Sedan de Ville and 1965 Jaguar E-Type. Pride of place in the American collection is a 1931 Duesenberg J Derham bodied Tourster, one of only eight built.
  • Hall six focuses on speedway motorcycles
  • Hall seven depicts varied disciplines of motorsport including a 1996 Ferrari Formula 1 Type F310 (DC) and 1926 Bugatti Type 35B.
  • Hall eight covers British cars.
  • Hall nine covers British motorcycles, including rare models by BSA and Norton
  • Hall ten has cars built since 1980.


Southward Car Museum, New Zealand

The Southward Car Museum is an automobile museum housing a collection of over 250 vehicles, as well as three aircraft, located on Otaihanga Road, Otaihanga, just north of Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The museum is run by a charitable trust, incorporated in 1972. It is approximately an hour’s drive from downtown Wellington and is situated between the North Island Main Trunk Railway to the west and State Highway 1 to the east. The museum’s collection includes Marlene Dietrich’s Rolls-Royce, a 1915 Stutz Indianapolis race car, gull-winged Mercedes-Benz, a 1950 Cadillac “gangster special” that belonged to gangster Mickey Cohen, and an 1895 Benz Velo, imported to New Zealand in 1900. The car collection was the work of Sir Len Southward and his wife, Lady Vera Southward. They began collecting cars in 1956. After achieving success in business, Sir Len dedicated time to buying and restoring old cars, adding to the collection. The Southward Car Museum was opened in December 1979, and after his retirement Sir Len devoted his time to the museum. The museum is a purpose-built building, featuring a 6000 square metre exhibition hall, engineering workshop, gift shop, and restaurant, and is set in six hectares of park-like grounds. The building also includes a 474-seat theatre, and features a 1929 Wurtlitzer theatre organ, which was originally installed in the Civic Theatre in Auckland.


America’s Car Museum, Washington, USA

The LeMay – America’s Car Museum is a museum in the city of Tacoma, Washington. A new museum facility adjacent to the Tacoma Dome opened on June 2, 2012. Most of the cars on display will be donated by the family of Harold LeMay to the museum. Harold LeMay owned a successful refuse company, Harold LeMay Enterprises, within the Tacoma metro area and amassed the world’s largest private car collection. After his death, the city of Tacoma donated 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land next to the Tacoma Dome for the Museum that would contain most of his car collection. At a price of $100 million, the Museum is being called “America’s Car Museum.” The Museum has 165,000 square feet (1.53 ha) of exhibit space, and contains Harold LeMay’s cars along with gift shops, restoration shops, lecture halls, galleries, a banquet room, and café. The museum has a 500 car gallery showing cars remarkable for their speed, technology and design, as well as their importance to car culture. Outside the museum is a 3 acres (1.2 ha) courtyard and clubhouse for car clubs. The museum may also become home to the LeMay Annual Car Show, which is currently held on the last Saturday of August at the Marymount grounds and the LeMay homestead. It is the largest automobile museum in the world (in square footage and in the number of cars on display).


photo: America’s Car Museum, Washington. Author-Visitor7.

National Automobile Museum, Nevada, USA

The National Automobile Museum, located just south of the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada, displays historicautomobiles from the late 19th century and from throughout the 20th. Most of the vehicles displayed are from the collection of the late casino owner William F. Harrah, and so the museum is sometimes referred to as The Harrah Collection. The museum’s holdings of over 200 cars are spread over four galleries. Gallery 1 showcases cars built during the 1890s & 1900s, Gallery 2 features cars from the 1910s to 1930s, Gallery 3 the ’30s through to the ’50s, and Gallery 4 displays cars from 1950 onwards. Gallery 4 also includes race cars and the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame. Each gallery is linked by a themed “street”, featuring vehicles as well as faux shop fronts.

Celebrity owned cars include:

  • Elvis Presley’s 1973 Cadillac Eldorado,
  • Frank Sinatra’s 1961 Ghia L6.4,
  • John F. Kennedy assigned 1962 Lincoln Continental,
  • John Wayne’s 1953 Chevrolet Corvette

The collection includes examples from marques such as; Auburn, Bugatti, Cord, Duesenberg, Ferrari, Franklin,Jaguar, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Pierce-Arrow, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, and Stutz. Also on display is one of three 24kt gold plated DeLorean DMC-12s built for American Express, a “Jerrari”, a Jeep Wagoneer fitted with a V-12 Ferrari engine and formerly used for winter driving by William F. Harrah, and the only surviving prototype of Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion car.


photo: National Automobile Museum, Nevada. Author-Jaydec

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