Northern Italy can be considered as an absolute attraction for classic lovers. It houses various car museums. One of those stopping places for sniffing up automobile history is in Turin: the Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile di Torino. We visited the museum in the capital of Piedmont.
We make the entrance to the modern styled building, and it defies curiosity. The extensive glass fronts that border the central hall unveil some of the secrets of the collection, which is located inside the museum walls. The collection is exhibited on the basis of a timeline. And it leads along themes that are dominated by the period in which the cars present were built.
Start of exhibition on the second floor
That timeline starts on the second floor, and is subdivided into 21 themes. The time travel with the theme of Genesis starts in the central hall. In the beginning .... A replica of probably the first vehicle, which may be considered as moving, welcomes us. It is the steam car from Cugnot from 1769, equipped with a large steam boiler. The pre-war period, subdivided into several sections, shows various beautiful cars in combination with numerous historical global developments. The Grande Garage del Futuro houses cars from the first decades of automobile construction, such as the first Fiat. The beautifully styled and lifelike design room also catches the eye.
Developments in the twentieth century
On the second floor we are also introduced to the carriages of brands such as Legnano, Italo, OM and Isotta Fraschini. In this way we are guided through the first decades of car building, with a strong Italian tint. We continue our way. The developments in the field of car building before and after the Second World War are also linked to time images during the continuation of the time journey. The twenties and thirties, the French and Italian revolution (Fiat Turbina!), The years of prosperity, the unleashed youth of the sixties play - along with a few cars from those periods - a major role. The contrasts between East and West are also visible, also in terms of development. Design studies by Fiat have heralded the end of the time travel through the 20 century.
We descend to floor one, where man and machine become more central. There we immerse ourselves in a theme world that consists of eight parts. We are welcomed by a city map of Turin with historic factory locations. They become monitored by a Fiat 500. We then proceed to the world of mechanical components and developments. Engines, suspensions, wheels and chassis structures are exposed to the public here.
Design and competition history
Furthermore, developments within the production process are discussed. They lead to the section where the racing history is central. A track that is tens of meters long accommodates a number of illustrious Grand Prix cars in chronological order. They are properly exposed with a striking and compelling image and sound presentation. They also bring the visitor in a dramatic form of racing, before a section with beautiful Lancia designs, for example, gently initiates into the world of design.
Tribute to car designers
This will be continued on the ground floor, where we will find the designers' section. A gallery of the greats - all portrayed within a beautiful red setting with display cases - tells about the inspiration, first design, most successful design and the most revolutionary car in the perception of the designers. And a little further on, at the end of the tour, awaits what we saw at the beginning: a breathtaking collection of designs. Because creations such as the Lancia Florida by Pininfarina, the Demin Rouge Fiat V8 (on loan from Louwman) and the Cisitalia 202 SMM Spider Nuvolari are part of a package of tasty desserts from the expedition through the museum in Turin. This gave us a nice picture of the museum. We would have liked to see some additions. The Italian Cars of the Year, the role of the Fiat 124 and licensed models and the development and influence of the post-war sports sedans of Alfa Romeo and Lancia would have fitted in well.
Many areas, center of gravity Italian
Nevertheless, the fairly tightly decorated exhibition is appealing. It is part of a larger set of activities. The Open Garage, where work is being done on the maintenance and conservation of the collection, plays a prominent role in this. The very extensive documentation center, which includes 6.000 titles and an archive that houses 10.000 documentation sets with original historical material, is also worth mentioning. It is a fixed value in Turin, and food for historians. There are also catering facilities, a conference room and temporary exhibitions can be organized. They complete the image of a diverse and entertaining museum, with a logically strong Italian center of gravity. Anyone who is in Turin and its surroundings would do well to visit the museum. It is worth it in various ways. Not perfect, but fascinating and interesting.
Read on soon Auto Motor Klassiek the extensive report about the museum
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