Walk into the charming hallway with cars parked on either side and you're already smitten – but this is only a sneak peek of things to come. This is The Louwman Museum in The Hague, which holds the title for being the oldest private car collection in the world.
The museum houses priceless exhibits from across the world. The rolling list of vehicles come in shapes of horse-drawn carriages to championship winning race cars, the Iconic Aston Martin DB 5 ‘James Bond’ to even a BAJA dune buggy formerly owned by Steve McQueen. Every car you walk to has its own story to tell, and you cannot help being overwhelmed by the feeling you get when you see the machines you’ve heard stories of and drooled over on the internet right in front of your eyes, in the metal.
I felt the same as I walked up to the cult figure among Mercedes-Benz of all time, a red coloured 1929 SSK, only thirty of which were produced predominantly for racing. Another thing to note is how beautifully the collection is presented all the way from Veteran to Modern cars. Walking through the exhibits is like walking through the evolution of automobiles as the collection is meticulously laid out in a chronological order within their own themes. It gives you a sense of all that’s happened in the world of motoring in little over a century. It is quite easy to lose track of time with these magnificent machines. And then I met Paul the suppoost, the gate-keeper who came telling me it was time for the museum to close its doors for the day. We then carried on talking about the collection, its maintenance (which is carried out in-house), and the patrons as we walked through the remaining sections of the Louwman collection.
I could go giving you descriptive details about the cars on display, but that I believe would make me a spoilsport. So, let me take this opportunity to advise you to plan your visit to The Hague and reach the museum well before noon as it opens from 10 am till 5 pm. You know very well it’s one thing to look at cars on paper or screen but an altogether different feeling when you see them in the flesh. And till you do that, take a look at some of the photos from the collection.
The beautifully crafted hallway
Lincoln Sedan Delivery Deco Liner and Harley Davidson Sportster Deco Scoot
Elvis Presley's custom-made Cadillac
The 'James Bond' Aston Martin DB 5
The iconic Mercedes Benz SSK
Nizam of Hyderabad's Rolls Royce Phantom I