The automobile is one of the most important inventions of the 19th and 20th century. With its remarkable collection, the Louwman Museum wishes to sketch a clear and exciting view of an era. There is no doubt that the automobile has changed our world radically. Back in 1934, the Louwman family already had the idea to conserve highlights from automotive history for successive generations. Since then, the collection has been expanded and refined in phases. There are now some 275 antique and classic automobiles in the collection.
The Louwman Museum opened in 2010. A complete overview is impossible: the automotive industry has produced far too much for that. But with its sensitivity to historic values, the museum has created an interesting and balanced reflection of the automobile industry’s production since 1887.
All relevant time periods in the history of the automobile are represented in the world’s oldest private collection of automobiles. Antique vehicles from the very beginning of automotive history through 1904, the Edwardians (through 1918), vehicles from the so-called Vintage period (through 1930) and the Post-vintage period (through 1946) and the post-war classic cars. In addition to Ferraris, Maseratis, Alfa Romeos, Bugattis and other famous sports cars and racing cars, the collection also includes one of the world’s oldest automobiles (1887), the only remaining Eysink from 1912, a large number of vehicles made by the Dutch brand Spyker (1904-1924) and a 1957 prototype of the DAF 600. The collection also includes automobiles owned by Elvis Presley, James Bond and Winston Churchill, among others.
“The building for the museum was designed by the American architect Michael Graves. He made sure that the museum fit well into the surroundings – both architecturally and historically. The typology of the building is a nod to the original Reigersbergen mansion, which has now been razed. The point of departure for the design was a museum that was as sustainable as possible. For example, energy for lighting is generated largely by the 1000 solar panels on the roof.
Landscape architect Lodewijk Baljon designed the surroundings of the museum’s landscape: fitting with the country home’s character and retaining its ecological qualities.
“The museum's most popular classic car - by far - is James Bond's Aston Martin.”— Ronald Kooyman, General Manager of the Louwman Museum