Tour these manufacturer museums from your own home

By: Mark Higgins

Presented by

Virtual museums Virtual museums

We can't leave the house, but we can virtually explore these amazing automotive museums!

While we are living in a new world due to the Covid-19 virus we have compiled a smorgasbord of the great motor museums of the world you can visit from the comfort of your loungeroom. 

And best of all a virtual tour feels like a private tour. 

So let’s start this pilgrimage in Germany at the Mercedes-Benz museum located in downtown Stuttgart. Normally this multi-storey building is bustling with patrons admiring the cars of the three-pointed star.

Mercedes museum

  

Also in Stuttgart is a museum on most car enthusiasts’ bucket list.  Of course we are talking about the Porsche museum located in Zuffenhausen. This museum features an array of the brand’s iconic road race cars dating back to the earliest renderings of Ferry Porsche. 

Porsche Collection

 

Heading east to the other side of Germany gets you to the city of Ingolstadt, the location of the Audi factory. So if you love the road, race and rally cars sporting the four rings on the grille, then take a look at this collection.

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Audi Virtual tour

 

As you’d expect Italy boasts a couple of special auto museums and luckily both have virtual tours. The Lamborghini museum traces its history from the beginning when it made tractors before moving into the world of sports and supercars. Located in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy this museum is a must see, through google maps for any Lambo fan.

Check it out here, Lamborghini vehicles

 

Ferrari

No trip to Italy would be complete for a rev head if it didn’t include a squiz at the Ferrari museum at Maranello which last year celebrated its ninetieth year of racing.

At Marnello, the home of Scuderia Ferrari racing Ferrari's celebration of 90 years of competition history—Enzo Ferrari founded his eponymous Scuderia in 1929—continues in Maranello with the facility hosting an exhibit featuring its great machines and drivers of the team's nine decades in existence.

Cars featured in the "90 Years" exhibit include the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider that in 1932 was the first car to wear the Prancing Horse at Le Mans, and run all the way through the SF71H that contested the Formula 1 championship in 2018. The Ferrari 500 F2, D50, Dino 246 F1, 156 F1, 1975 312 T, F2004, F2007, 166 MM, and 275 P are also on hand as testament to Enzo Ferrari's—and his company's—passion for grand-prix racing.

Ferrari racing collection

Ferrari road cars

  

Cité de l’Automobile, Mulhouse, France

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Arguably the most famous car museum with the most interesting backstory is the Cite de l’Automobile in Mulhouse, France, home to the largest collection of Bugattis in the world and once referred to as the Schlumpf Collection.

This virtual tour is created by Pan 3Sixty photographer Phil Giles, providing viewers with a flavour of what visitors can experience when visiting this superb museum in person at a future date.

Here’s the backstory Brothers Fritz and Hans Schlumpf began collecting cars in the 1940s and storing the cars in the textile mills they ran. In 1957 they purchased the Mulhouse woolen mill, now the site of the current museum, to house their ever-expanding collection.

The Schlumpf brothers were only interested in collecting as many Bugattis as possible for their own private viewing. Other than the brothers and a select number of mechanics who worked on the cars in secret, few were ever allowed to see the collection.

After a series of strikes and confrontations at the mills the brothers fled to Switzerland and disgruntled mill employees stormed the building in March 1977 discovering the massive collection. There were 247 cars in the ‘museum’ that Fritz and Hans had created and another 150 were subsequently found stored in workshops. What was even more amazing was the variety and rarity of the collection, including two of the six Bugatti Royales and no less than 22 Type 57s.

In addition to Bugattis, other marques included Rolls Royce, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati and Ferrari, plus many French marques such as Peugeot, Renault, Panhard-Levassor, De Dion and Citroen. 

The textile mills were placed into receivership and arrest warrants issued for the brothers on charges of embezzlement, the museum was seized by the French Government, who now operate it.

Cite de l'Automobile

 

The Honda Collection Hall

Mr Honda once said, ‘Without racing there is no Honda’ and here is where you can see the history of the company’s motorsport heritage on both two and four wheels from the very beginning.

The Honda Collection

 

Mazda Hall of Fame

Mazda is turning 100 this year and while celebrations are somewhat muted due to the covid 19 virus, you can still view the diverse collection of Mazda cars and trucks via google maps here. 

Mazda Museum

 

Corvette fans are well catered for at Bowling Green, Kentucky that is the hallowed turf diehard fans. Not only is it home to the plant that builds the Vette, it's also the site of the National Corvette Museum. Thanks to Google Street View you can take a look around the museum. 

National Corvette Museum

 

Unique Cars journey of museum virtual tours doesn’t end here.  We will continue to find more museums for you to virtually tour while we are in lock down.

 

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