Autoworld – Brussels, Belgium - Atlas Obscura

The basis of this amazing museum was created from the collections of Charly De Pauw and Ghislain Mahy. For 50 years, their collections evolved in Ghent. At one point, they had over a thousand vehicles, including many rare Belgian brands.

In 1986, a selection of 230 of their vehicles were moved to Brussels. Now, they are housed in the South Hall of the Cinquantenaire Park. The complex was commissioned by the national government during the reign of Leopold II for an exhibition in 1880, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Belgian Revolution when Belgium broke away from Dutch rule. 

The remaining 750 cars from the collection are now located in an equally amazing car museum in Leuze-en Hainaut, near the French border. 

The museum in Brussels has continued to grow over the years. The permanent collection presents cars from the end of the 19th century through the late 20th century. These include the Minervas and other Belgian vehicles mentioned above but non-Belgian vehicles are not ignored. There is a 1928 Bentley, a 1930 Bugatti, and a 1930 Cord. The collection also includes several of the Belgian royal family’s official limousines. In addition to cars, there are separate collections of motorcycles, racing and sports cars, trucks, fire engines, and 19th-century horse-drawn vehicles.

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June 10, 2024

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