The final stop on my incredible three day weekend of amazing automobiles in Europe with Oppokook Jobjoris was Autoworld in Brussels, Belgium. And it made for a surprisingly spectacular finish. Autoworld is housed in a gorgeous exhibition hall in the Parc du Cinquantenaire that was built in 1880 for a National Exhibition in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Belgian independence.

The museum building is a gorgeous, bright open space that’s unlike a lot of other car museums I’ve been to.

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And the collection, which spans the entire history of the automobile, definitely does the building justice. It reminded us of the Louwman Museum only the cars weren’t quite as impeccable. Which was refreshing. A lot of them looked like they had just been taken off the road. So, here’s some pictures of what I saw.

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1899 Automoto. Powered by a single cylinder 1 1/4 horsepower De Dion engine.

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1906 Lacroix-de-la Ville “La Nef.” This had a screaming 10.5 hp from a 699cc single cylinder. I dig the cantilevered headlight.
1931 Fiat Type 514

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1928 Dixi
1931 Austin Seven Swallow
1929 Avions Voisin C14

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1907 Cadillac K.
Hanomag Kommisbrot
1941 Peugeot VLV electric car with an American Crosley peeking over its shoulder.

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The microcars are kept up on shelves. This is a Vespa 400, Piaggio’s brief attempt at manufacturing a “real” car. These are actually lovely little microcars with one of the smoothest shifting gearboxes I’ve ever experienced. Piaggio had a deal with Fiat that they wouldn’t build a car in Italy, so these were manufactured in France, but Fiat was still pissed that an Italian company would compete with the 500, so they forced Piaggio to stop making these after a couple years.
1949 Rovin D3, another terrific French microcar. These were built by a renowned motorcycle company after the War.

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1962 BMW Isetta 300. This was the last year for the Isetta.
1955 Messerschmitt Kabinenroller
For some reason this poor Zagato Lancia Delta HF is relegated to the rafters. I know its looks aren’t to everyone’s taste, but come on.

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1988 Italdesign Aztec by Giugiaro. This car has two cockpits and whomever wants to drive has to enter a code to gain access, or some crazy shit. Although I think only one steering wheel actually works. Phew. This car’s wonderfully wacky and 80's tastic. It was featured in the movie Frankenstein Unbound. it’s got turbo Audi power and a number were produced, but no one knows how many.

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1954 Moretti 750 Grand Sport Berlinetta

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Certainly the weirdest looking car there is the 1952 Bugatti “Type Brown.” A sculptor named James Brown took a Type 57 chassis and made this custom polyester body for it. He exhibited the car at the 1955 Salon de l ‘Automobile in Paris hoping for more commissions, but, stunningly, got no orders. I’m thinking it was actually the singer James Brown who penned this. Most likely on one of his PCP benders.

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1939 Delage Type D8-120
1924 Citroën 5CV

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1916 Le Zèbre
Bizzarrini AMX/3 Spyder

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1928 Omega. This 50 horsepower race car ran in the 24 Hours Le Mans that year.
1908 Renault Type V-1
Djet!

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Vaillante Grand Defi based on the cars from the great Michel Vallaint comics.
1961 Osca Maserati Sport 1000 Barchetta
1963 Alpine M63, Alpine’s first purpose built racing car. A Gordini powered masterpiece designed by Brit Len Terry (although modified in house).

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1980 Lancia 037
Those droopy headlights are nutzoid.

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Every great museum has a Pacer.

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Heinkel Auto Kabine

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Matra 530, a favorite of mine. This car has a bunch of confusing lines that somehow work as a whole. Like someone put a puzzle together slightly wrong and made something better.

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DAF!
1965 BMW 1600 Ti

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1965 Auto Union 1000 SP
Amphicar! The last of, like, 70 Amphicars we saw that weekend for some reason.

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1928 Adler Trumpf Junior. No relation to the Cheeto in Chief.
1939 Auto-Union / Horch 930 V
1933 Plymouth Type PC Cabriolet

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Panhard Dynamic
Belgian built 1928 Imperia TA-8
Another Belgian vehicle, this is an FN Tricar.

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This Citroën still has its WWII era wood burner attached.

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1949 Standard Vanguard
Tatra!
1951 Moskvitch Type 400. A pre-war Opel Kadett from post-war Soviet Union.

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A very pretty Sunbeam

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Voiture Électronique Porquerolles. This was 1970's France’s version of the vehicle of the future. It wasn’t.
This Renault 4CV is packed with tools and was basically a mobile repair unit.

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1930 LN 1400 S with incredible wood working.

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1934 Belga Rise BR6. Belgium’s Rolls-Royce complete with knock off logo and Spirit of Ecstacy.
1939 Minerva AL 40 CV. Speaking of Rolls-Royce, Rolls started out as a Minerva dealer.

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Hispano Suiza K6

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A Ford House Car
1925 Citroën Type C

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1921 Renault Type IG
Awesome tandem seat Wanderer.
1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

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Renault Type X1
A Peugeot Bébé banked track racer by Ettore Bugatti. It’s supposed to have two wheels on one side.

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1911 Sizaire-Naudin

 

After this, we ate Italian food at a restaurant outside Brussels called Spinx whose floors were so uneven, I kept sliding away from the table which was both entertaining and annoying. The pasta was pretty good, though, and it was the only place open on Monday afternoon. So, if you’re ever on the way to the airport in Brussels and are starving and it’s Monday, I highly recommend Spinx.

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Special thanks to Jobjoris for being my tour guide around the best car related sites in Holland and Belgium. He even got me a ride in a TVR Tuscan which was face ripping fun.

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And I got witness one of its many hilarious design flaws in action when they couldn’t get the small hood flap thing closed.

Anyway, best trip ever! Oh, I also bought an old Citroēn and drove it from France to The Netherlands and then back across Belgium, but more on that later.

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Photo courtesy of Jobjoris (not that I asked).