A Beloved Vintage Car and Bike Museum Has Burned To the Ground
Whether you visit virtually or in-person, motoring museums offer an excellent opportunity to learn about and view classic cars and bikes. Especially since some historic and obscure models can only be seen in museums like the Henry Ford. Sadly, the vintage car and motorcycle world has just lost one of these repositories: the Top Mountain Crosspoint Museum.
The Top Mountain Crosspoint Museum had the highest vintage car and bike collection in Europe
As its name implies, the Top Mountain Crosspoint Museum is found in the mountains. Specifically, on the Timmeljosch mountain-pass road in Hochgurgl, Austria, not far from the Italian border, Robb Report and VisorDown report. It wasn’t just the highest vintage car and bike museum in Europe, but the highest museum period in the EU. And since its opening in 2016, it managed to gather quite an extensive collection.
The Top Mountain Crosspoint Museum contained over 230 classic motorcycles and “at least a dozen” cars and vans, Autoblog reports. Up until recently, the museum was holding a Brough-Superior motorcycle exhibition, Hagerty reports. But that’s just a fraction of what was inside.
Among the museum’s vehicles were a Porsche 959, a pre-war Alfa Romeo 8C, an Aston Martin DB5, and a Pininfarina-bodied Ferrari 250, The Drive reports. The Top Mountain Crosspoint Museum also housed a rare rotary-engine Hercules bike, as well as numerous vintage Harleys, Indians, and more obscure European brands, RideApart reports. There was also a Munch Mammut, an MV Agusta-liveried Fiat 600 built for motorcycle hauling, a Lotus racing car, and even a Volkswagen pickup.
The classic car and bike museum went up in flames
Unfortunately, on the morning of January 18, 2021, the Top Mountain Crosspoint Museum went up in flames. It took about 60 firefighters with water cannons and snow blowers to extinguish the fire, RR reports.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the ensuing blaze. The classic car and bike museum and its adjoining restaurant had been closed since November 3, 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the fire destroyed the 32,000-square-foot wooden museum and much of its collection.
As of this writing, it’s unclear what or who caused the museum fire, Autoblog reports. It’s also unclear if any of the vintage machines were rescued from the flames. The Drive claims “very few” were salvaged, while VisorDown reports “most (if not all)” of the motorcycles were lost.
What’s going to happen to it now?
Given how recently the car and motorcycle museum fire occurred, it’s unclear what the owners, twin brothers Alban and Attila Scheiber, plan on doing. A tentative re-opening was scheduled for January 24, 2021.
It’s a shame that the blaze destroyed so many vintage cars and bikes. Not just because of their historic or monetary value, Hagerty points out, but because of the rare parts that no longer exist. But hopefully, Alban and Attila Scheiber can begin their collection again. And thank you to the firefighting personnel who made sure there were no injuries.
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