The Automobile Museum of Málaga is located in a emblematic building, the Old Tobacco Factory called “La Tabacalera”. The construction began in 1923 and finished in the 1927. The manufacture of tobacco in these facilities stopped in 2002, and in 2004 Málaga Town Hall took over the building and renovated it to become a cultural complex.
The museum consists of 6,000 square meters that show the history of the automobile and its evolution from the late nineteenth through the twentieth century and the beginning of XXI but approaching a new concept: the automobile as a work of art. It is the only museum in the world with the following characteristics: a permanent collection of vehicles, more than 300 vintage hats and art works conceived from motor pieces, as well as the customised engine room, created exclusively for this collection and the new fashion exposition Maga Sublime Collection.
The exhibition belongs to Joao Magalhaes, a Portuguese businessman, so it is a private exhibition with a single owner. The museum is divided into thirteen thematic areas: Belle Epoque, 20s, Popular Cars, 30s, Design Cars, The Fashion Corner, Dream Cars, Alternatives Energies, English Tradition, the Engine Room, 50s, Tuning and Maga Sublime Collection. And very important: most of the cars in the collection work!
You will find all the information you require on the excellent Museo Automovilístico Málaga website.
How many vehicles are in the collection?
The collection has a total of 120 vehicles, but only 96 are permanently displayed in the museum (because of limitation of space). Some of them are unique pieces made exclusively for the museum.
Why the museum is located in Málaga?
According to the owner of the collection, Joao Magalhaes, Portugal raised many bureaucratic difficulties. There the cars were distributed in several warehouses but were not visited. After two years of waiting, he went to seek help from the Ministry of Culture in Madrid and they gave him several cities. Málaga was the one who answered most quickly and had better conditions.
How does he gets the vehicles?
For 25 years the owner of the collection has maintained his modus operandi when buying cars. He buys cars that are virtually scrap to restore them in a workshop in Portugal. Often he has travelled to different countries to get them and sometimes by responding to advertisements in journals to which he subscribes, mostly American.
Cars with curious stories
Barron Acroyd England 1912: El Pampero
This model is a prototype. It was manufactured by a pilot from the British Air Force. A curious fact, is that today we know that the more aerodynamic shape for a car is the one that ends in a drop of water, and almost a century before this man created his car in handcrafted way, known as “El Pampero,”because Argentina was very fashionable in that time, being the dream of all aviators to arrive at that destin.
Velorex Czechoslovakia 1960: Baby car
A very curious model because is canvas bodywork and not of sheet like other car. The canvas did that the price of that car was cheaper than one made of sheet, reached 30 km per hour, perfect for the city. In greatest splendor era were manufactured 120 per month.
Mercedes 540 k Germany 1937 : Symbol of Power
Is the most valuable car we have in the collection, to have an idea, only 447 cars of this model were produced, of which approximately only 50 are known around the world. It’s a German car that was used by the leaders of the Nazi regime. This in particular was the one which transported to Heinrich Himmler on his wedding day.
Tatra Czechoslovakia 1947 Aerodynamic
Aerodynamic original car full of history, the engineer of this brand commented his ideas with Ferdinand Porsche, who used many Tatra characteristics with the beetle. It is a car that doesn’t has right angles.
Renault France 1932: Surrealist car inspired by Salvador Dalí
Model Nervastella, has been customized as a surrealist hunting car inspired in Salvador Dalí stile. It is an armored car the doors open in reverse. Also has a hole in the rear where they put the guns.
Cadillac “El dorado” USA 1959 The Apogee
One of the jewels of the collection, king of the screens, we can see it in shows like Miami Vice and many other movies. No other car can represent better the American way of life. Inspired in a plane, all in this car is excessive: 6,10 meters long, huge spoilers, electric windows, assisted steering, convertible, weights 2.300 Kilos, a lot of technology to be manufactured in 1959. Elvis Presley was one of the biggest fan of Cadillac, collecting a lot of them, this model was his favourite.
Milburn Electric –Electric Car USA 1916: To be right before the time.
Is the first electric car, even if we think that the electric cars are from our time, this model was the cheapest electric car, light, and time efficient with no steering wheel works with a lever. Of this Milburn we remember the high consideration the White House had, because it was the secret service car of the President Wilson, they passed unnoticed.
Roll Royce England: The fridge
This car has a curiosity in the 50s the owner of the collection change a fridge for this car. It is not surprising, because in that times a fridge was luxury that any family preferred to have before than to have an old car that served like a chicken coop
Roll Royce England 1921: Car hunting
It was a tradition among the British aristocracy to order this Rolls for their hunting trips. The wooden body gave a rustic air with a lot of country charm. It had a great successful with the captains of the British Colony in India, who used it to hunt Bengals tigers.