Five Of Europe’s Finest Car Collections Got Together Last Weekend In Brussels
Photography by Laura Kukuk
Even if you’ve never ventured to Brussels in person, you probably know a few noteworthy structures located within its post codes. There is the Atomium for instance, a sculpture-slash-museum depicting a unit cell of iron crystal magnified 165 billion times such that you can walk inside it, as well the world’s foremost peeing-into-fountain statue, Manneken Pis, and of course the UN building is another staple of the city.
Brussels Expo is one of the more intriguing convention centers from an architectural standpoint, but you probably aren’t going to plan a future vacation around a visit to the halls the towering building. However, I took a trip into its guts this past weekend, and what I found inside held my attention more than any landmark. “Found” is perhaps the wrong word though as I was aware of what was going on before I arrived, but I wasn’t necessarily prepared for the impact of hundreds of tightly-packed classics.
I’m talking about the weekend just gone by, and the three-day vintage car show that occurred during that time: InterClassics Brussels. Sure I’ve seen high densities of cool cars before, but this was a special event that I’d been looking forward to—in addition to all the smaller exhibitors, there were going to be pieces from the collections of “the Big Five.”
Ranking among the most prestigious national motor museums and private collections (including the world’s oldest) in the world, these five were the focus and official theme of the third edition of InterClassics Brussels: Autoworld Museum in Brussels, Belgium; the Louwman Museum in The Hague, Netherlands, the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England, the Cité de l’Automobile/Schlumpf Collection in Mulhouse, France, and Turin’s Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile.
Collectively they house more than 1,500 significant cars from around the world and its epochs, so in order to keep things practical each of the five brought along three of their finest cars according to three broad categories: pre-war cars, racing cars, and the other being whatever car they felt typified the collection as a whole.
Though the cars were mostly set up sardine-style and drew big crowds, I managed to document some of the automotive diversity that captured my attention. I hope you enjoy the mix!