The National Motor Museum is one of five leading National Motor Museums across Europe, who have joined forces to display over 1,500 classic cars for enthusiasts to admire.
Apart from history and technology these five museums offer the visitors a variety of views on the automobile phenomenon, such as culture, sport, luxury and the future of motoring. It is for that reason that these collections, totaling around 1,500 vehicles, form an important part of cultural heritage. with each Museum displaying their collections in their own unique way.
The FIVE MUSEUMS
An impressive historic building in Brussels, linked with automotive history, is home to Autoworld, the Belgium National Automobile Museum. Situated in the ‘Parc du Cinquantenaire’ the neo-classic building commemorated the 50th anniversary of the kingdom of Brussels in 1880. From 1902 to 1936 it hosted motorcar and motorbike exhibitions. Since 1986 it has treasured the major part of Ghislain Mahy’s renowned classic car collection.
Over 250 vehicles, ranging from cars and trucks to motorcycles are on permanent display, from the earliest models of the distant past to contemporary cars that prefigure the automobile of tomorrow. Visitors are guided through the motorcar’s history dating as far back as 1896. Special sections focus on sporting competition, cars owned by the Belgium Royal Family, even micro and bubble cars. Autoworld is a museum on the move with special exhibitions taking on various automotive themes organised across the year. Previous major exhibitions include Bugatti 100 Years, Belgium Racing Legends and more recently Italian Car Passion.
Although famous for its display of the largest Bugatti collection in the world. the Cité de L’automobile has much more to offer. Behind its impressive entrance you’ll find historic cars of 100 other European manufacturers, spanning the 20th century. Apart from 100 Bugattis, the museum shows luxury cars such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Maybach, Lotus and Gordini. The Museum is split into three exhibits; ‘The Chronological Masterpieces’, ‘Motor Racing’ and ‘Coachbuilders’
In the 1960’s the Schlumpf brothers started collecting the cars, creating the museum on the site of their wool-spinning factory. Both were interested in the automotive history of penchant for the famous Bugatti marque. After Bugatti ceased production in 1962, the Schlumpf brothers tried to save as much of the heritage as possible. Throughout the years,the museum has been enriched by the Jean-Albert Grégoire, Germain Lambert and Philippe Charbonneaux collections as well as the Dutreix collection of over 300 car mascots and the Jammet collection of over 150 pedal cars.
The Louwman Museum, housed in a purpose built building by the renowned American architect Michael Graves, is not just a collection of cars. It shows both automotive and social history. The collection, dating back to 1934 was created by passionate people knowing every aspect of the automobile phenomenon. Be it majestic luxury cars of the 1930s. the horseless carriages of the late nineteenth century, the incredible Grand Prix and F1 racers or the first attempt at affordable family cars.#
The cars in the Louwman Museum illustrate the diversity in era, coachwork design and technology. They even reflect the cultures that created them. The Museum shows racing cars driven by legendary names at Grand Prix, Le Mans and at Indianapolis; vehicles owned by celebrities like Elvis Presley and Sir Winston Churchill; cars that were featured in films, including the Lincoln V12 from The Godfather and the DB5 driven by James Bond in Goldfinger. Other significant vehicles include the 1910 Swan Car and a 1817 hybrid-drive woods. A special area has also been given to the Museum to display an extensive collection of automotive art, posters, paintings, stain glass, trophies and much more.
In 2013 The Times included the Museo Nazionale Dell’Automobile in its list of the best 50 museums in the world, emphasising its educational and scientific value. Since 2014, thanks to new digital technologies, the MAUTO is able to provide visitors with a wealth of data that has been collected and indexed over the years. This information on the cars and coachwork can be seen during your visit on your very own smartphone.
Founded in 1932, the collection of the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile is among the rarest and most interesting of its kind. It includes more than 200 original cars from 80 different marques. Thirty different sections provide the visitor with a clear narrative journey from the beginnings to the present day. Vehicles that haven’t found a place among the main exhibits can be visited (reservation required prior to visiting) in the open garage which accommodates the workshop and restoration school where cars can be serviced, restored and preserved.
Starting in 1952 as a display of just 5 cars in the entrance of Palace House – the Montagu family home – The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu now features over 250 vehicles, telling the story of motoring history in Britain from the pioneering origins in the 1890s to the present day. From the earliest motor carriages to the legendary Land Speed Record holders, the National Motor Museum Trust’s collection of vehicles is world famous along with its extensive motoring artefacts and archives
In the museum, iconic recording breakers include the 350hp and 1,000hp Sunbeams, Golden Arrow and Bluebird CR7. A chequered history celebrates the adrenaline-fuelled world of motor sport devoted to Grand Prix Greats, which puts F1 on a pedestal with phenomenal machines such as the BRM V16 and Lotus 49, while Road, Race and Rally includes sports cars on the road. Driving change tells the story of motoring innovations, technologies and safety and makes predictions for alternative power. Popular features include a recreation of a 1930’s garage, the World of Top Gear and On Screen Cars.
NEW for 2022! Bond in Motion – No Time To Die exhibition
Featuring iconic cars, gadgets and costumes from the latest 007 film, Bond in Motion – No Time To Die is an unmissable event at Beaulieu!
Visit Beaulieu before November 2022 to see this brand new exhibition in the National Motor Museum.
ITINERARIES: Plan your day out
To help you make the most of your visit to Beaulieu, we’ve put together some suggested itineraries with hints and tips to help you plan your day out at Beaulieu.
We have a variety of different plans to suit a selection of different interests. Which one will you choose?
A wonderful day out. The mix of architecture, grounds, the Abbey and of course the motor museum is so well done. There is not enough time in one visit to do it justice.
The collection in the motor museum is stunning and can be appreciated by all.