I visited the August Horch Museum in Zwickau a few weeks ago, and the Museum left me somewhat speechless.
I really had no idea it was going to be THAT good.
The site proved to be a sensory overload of artefacts, history and character, and in many ways, it outperformed the Audi Forum.
As I already know that my backlog will not allow a full report before the end of the year, so I start with a short summary of the temporary exhibition "Together" as it will conclude by November.
This current special exhibition is officially called "Together - brands of the Volkswagen Group" and awaits visitors until 3rd November 2019, in a large hall of the Museum.
The organisers put together 13 cars and a motorcycle from the entire VW group, with an information billboard providing information about the site and the possibilities to see classic centres and/or Museums dedicated to that brand.
The cars showcased include mainly products from the VW Group, such as a Lamborghini Murciélago and or VW Beetle, but also some models that were produced before the VW acquisition, such as the Seat Marbella and the Italdesign Brera concept car.
Following the permanent exhibition, the first car to greet the visitors is a VW Transporter, honouring the VW museum specialised in utility cars .
Next up is an impressive Skoda limousine long before the VW times, or even the shameful communist era.
The Skoda Museum is a stable item on my bucket list for some time, also due to their impressive presence at the Techno Classica.
The agricultural tractor represents the Man Museum, while the New Beetle draws the attention to the VW Museum in Wolfsburg.
You heard that right: in addition to the world's largest automotive theme park with its own automuseum, dedicated mega showrooms for Volkswagen cars, the 20-floor automated car park tower(s), Wolfsburg also hosts a VW classic centre two corners away, that I completely missed during my visit…
The Porsche Museum is an obvious candidate for anybody visiting Stuttgart, and it is a convenient addition to the Mercedes Museum (and vice versa), as the two brilliant museums offer joint tickets.
I visited the Stuttgart museum almost every year, and it is truly brilliant.
Nevertheless, I noted with some sadness that the Together exhibition forgot about the Fahrtraum in Salzburg.
The private collection of the Porsche Family focuses on the life and work of Ferdinand Porsche, before the establishment of the car company in 1958, so it is a perfect addition to Stuttgart.
The Bentley Museum is probably in high gears in preparation to the 100thbirthday of the brand, that was already remembered at major classic car shows like Rétromobile.
The early Bugatti is a colourful edition but makes it difficult to imagine the steep development into the thoroughbred supercars like the Type 41 limo and 57 Atalante. While there is no factory museum available, the French national museum Cité de l'Automobile offers more Bugattis than any other Museum site, also with notable factory support.
The legendary rally champion Audi Quattro represents the Audi Forum Ingolstadt, another top-class museum that provides enough experience for many hours.
The exotic Brera Concept illustrates the brilliance of the Italdesign studio founded by one of the most brilliant car designers of all time, Giorgetto Giugiaro.
The studio was acquired by the VW Group, and their showroom in Torino is no longer accessible. That means, even less available than Pininfarina's chambers, that is officially open, just simply did not respond to requests. Well, at least Italdesign is alive and well, unlike Bertone that went bust a few years ago. The remaining torchbearer is the Italian Automouseum, that kept a very stylish homage to many star designers, including Giugiaro.
Behind the Brera, a stylish and elegant Karmann Ghia warns us about another interesting exhibition I never heard of, located at the Karman factory in Osnabrück.
The next car is a slick reminder to the Zeithaus, the actual auto museum of the Autostadt theme park. I still could not finish the full report on this, but it offers enough spectacle for hours on 5-6 floors.
Seat is represented by a boxy small car stemming from the Fiat period, based on the successful Panda, back to back with a Ducati 750 F1 from 1986, on which Marco Lucchinelli won in Daytona the Battle of the Twins race.
The last car of this virtual presentation is a Lamborghini Murciélago holding the flag for the factory museum sites in Italy.
The rest of the Museum will take a bit more time to report on. It is safe to say that I got much more in Zwickau than I bargained for, and the August Horch Museum is a must-see for visitors of the area.