Gazette Drouot logo print

The Schlumpf Collection, a Passion for Automobiles

Published on , by Arthur Frydman

The National Automobile Museum in Mulhouse, France, which opened on July 10, 1982, is gearing up to celebrate its 40th anniversary—an opportunity to (re)discover the unusual history of the museum, which attracts lovers of beautiful cars every year.

The Automobile Museum© Alexis Toureau The Schlumpf Collection, a Passion for Automobiles

The Automobile Museum
© Alexis Toureau

Nicknamed “the Louvre of the Automobile” by Amédée Gordini, the Alsatian museum in the Péricentre district of Mulhouse claims the title of “the world’s largest automobile collection.” More than a deluxe parking lot, as some mean-spirited tongues put it, the institution, a national museum since 2002, is in a former woolen mill built between 1880 and 1930. Over 500 vehicles by 98 manufacturers trace the origins and history of the automobile. They are all designated historical monuments, just like the building housing them. In 2006, the Jean-François Milou architecture firm was asked to wake up the s leeping b eauty, which involved opening up new spaces for temporary shows and designing a new museography. The museum, renamed the Cité de l'automobile—an obsolete name since January 1, 2022—was expanded, restructured and renovated. Nothing has changed since then except for the 2011 construction of an outdoor track where some magnificent vintage cars formerly owned by Fritz Schlumpf can be seen doing laps.…
This article is for subscribers only
You still have 85% left to read.
To discover more, Subscribe
Gazette Drouot logo
Already a subscriber?
Log in