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Home Car Culture Fire destroys mountain-top motorcycle museum

Fire destroys mountain-top motorcycle museum

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes

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Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum before the fire

Closed since March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum located high in the Alps on the Austrian-Italian border planned to re-open on January 24. Instead, the museum and its collection, reportedly more than 300 vintage motorcycles and other vehicles, has been reduced to ashes after fire swept through the wooden structure on January 18.

The museum was the work of ski resort-owning twin brothers Alban and Attila Scheiber, whose father, Alban Sr., was a professional motorcycle racer and pioneer in Tyrolean tourism. The museum opened in the spring of 2016 and not only was Europe’s highest in elevation at 7,135 feet above sea level in Otztal mountain range, but was considered one of the world’s best based on its collection and the way the vehicles were displayed.

According to media reports, the museum’s fire alarm awakened a staff member living at the site around 4:30 a.m. on January 18. That staffer used a fire extinguisher in vain before being forced from the structure. Firefighters, even using snow cannons to try to smother the flames, worked until late morning to gain control of the blaze and to keep it from spreading to other buildings.

Video footage shot in daylight shows total destruction of the building and its contents.

Corvette museum gets fastest Corvette

This Corvette set records at Bonneville | Museum photo

A 1984 Chevrolet Corvette that exceeded 270 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats has been donated to the National Corvette Museum’s collection in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 

In early October 1988, Juris Mindenberg drove the car to 271.04 mph with a 2-way average speed of 266.45 to set an AA-GT class record at Bonneville. Subsequent owner Bobby Moore also set records in the AA/GMS category with the car before Mindenberg re-acquired the vehicle in 2016. 

Fords on Sunday car shows

The Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina, frequently invites Mustang owners to display their cars in the museum’s parking lot. But those with other Ford vehicles have said they felt left out, so in addition to the museum’s annual all-Ford car show in mid-August, it will host a “Fords on Sunday” car show from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the last Sunday of each month, beginning January 24.

To celebrate the inaugural event, the museum says the Wrecking Crew Mustang Club will host a cruise to the show. That cruise will start at 11:45 a.m. at the QT station at 11230 N. Tryon Street in Charlotte, and will do a pit stop for a photo op along the way at Roush Fenway Racing.

It also announced that because of a music festival at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the museum has moved its Spring Carolina Cruise to April 24 and its California Special Mustang Day to May 1.

Special events this weekend

The San Diego Automotive Museum will feature an electric vehicle exhibit from January 22 to May 22. Among the vehicles on display will be a 1914 Galt gas-electric roadster that has been on loan and on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The Galt’s regular home is the Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, where the car is scheduled to return after its San Diego pit stop.

Mark your calendar

The Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, offers its Third Thursday Talk at 7 p.m. on February 18 with Dale Johnson presenting “When GM headed West.”

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, presents “Hemi Highlights: The Ardun Hemispherical Head Design Flat Head Ford Conversion” at 10 a.m. February 20 featuring Lynn Paxton, Eastern Museum of Motor Racing curator. Topics to be covered include how the Ardun design relates to the Chrysler Hemi, connections to Allard, and research and design in dirt track racing.

The 2021 season opens March 5 at the National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with a driving club day. The Kartplex opens the following day and a King of the Head event also is scheduled for March 6.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

1 COMMENT

  1. What a loss of unique motorcycles. Having just visited the Motorcycle Design Art & Desire in Brisbane Australia ( open until 26 April 2021) it brings home how important it is to not only preserve but use our motorcycles.

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