The Malaga car museum features cars from throughout history that have been so much more than just a way of getting from A to B. They are beautifully crafted, luxuriously upholstered, and smack of romance and intrigue.
The very names Packard and Bugatti take us to the early Golden years of Hollywood, while Bentley and Rolls Royce are synonymous with privilege and excellence.
And members and guests at Club La Costa World just have to head to Malaga where they will find a spectacular collection of cars with accompanying art in the city’s Automobile Museum.
The museum is housed in the Tabacalera, a magnificent old tobacco factory building which was renovated by Malaga City Council at a cost of 9 million Euros. Its 6,000 square metres is home to an amazing collection of gleaming vehicles on display, plus others that are being lovingly restored. They form one of the most important vintage car collections in the world and are worth around a cool 25 million Euros.
The cars are displayed in themed groups – Belle Epoque, The Golden 20s, Art Deco, Popular, Design Cars, Dream Cars, English Tradition, Alternative Energies, Dolce Vita and Tuning. There is also an Eco Museum section.
Additionally there is a collection of hats and high vintage fashion from the world’s leading designers, from Balenciaga and Schiaparelli to Givenchy and Chanel, as well as travelling clothes with essential accessories – like the portmanteau designed to carry the leopard fur coat and crocodile handbag, not to mention the snakeskin shoes, that were once the outfit du jour for any journey.
There are indulgent car creations from the 20s, like the Belgian Minerva luxury sedan with its silk finished interior, art nouveau lamps and silver working on the bodywork, while the 540K Mercedes beloved by Heinrich Himmler and the Lancia V8 used by Mussolini at parades resonate with history.
The great names of British car building have their own section and there are some unusual models, including the 1921 shooting brake RR with wooden clad body, used to hunt tigers in colonial India, as well as a replica of John Lennon’s mid-60s “Flower Power” Rolls. And no collection would be complete without the Dream cars – the enormous Cadillacs that were such a symbol of the American way of life in the 1950s.
The Malaga museum is also home to alternative energy vehicles and not all of them are from this more eco-conscious age. Who would have thought that there would be an electric car – the Milburn – dating from 1916? The museum supports the development of environmentally friendly vehicles and has created several prototypes including the hydrogen car which works with water and emits oxygen, and the compressed air engine.
For a fascinating and superbly glamorous alternative to the Costa del Sol beaches, the museum in Malaga takes some beating and even those not interested in cars per se will find plenty of wow factors to ogle at. Visit www.museoautomovilmalaga.com for more information. General admission is €7.50 and the museum is open daily – with the exception of Mondays, 25th December and January 1st – from 10am to 7pm.
The museum is at Avenida Sor Teresa Prat 17, there is free parking inside the Tabacalera gates or in the adjoining streets or you can take a local bus from Malaga centre (Lines 16,15 and 3, stop: Avenida La Paloma), or from the airport Line 19, stop: Avenida La Paloma.