A 1914 Dodge Type 30 was the initial inspiration for the Louwman Collection of classic cars and automotive art housed in the newly-constructed National Automobile Museum of the Netherlands in the Hague. Located near the Queen’s Palace, the collection dates back to 1934 when a Dutch car importer happened upon the 20-year-old Dodge that was already vintage classic. The Louwman family continued to expand over the years to its current size, boasting over 230 cars.
The cars are divided up into sections consisting of Dawn of Motoring, Motoring, Racing and Luxury. Highlights include a 1900 Georges Richard, which is rumored to have been found in a Parisian side street and “Genevieve,” a 1904 Darracq from the 1953 film. Rare 1948 Tatra T87 and a Spatz Victoria bubble car with central tube chassis, are both designed by the legendary Hans Ledwinka.
The collection includes an impressive range of vehicles, ranging in year and stature from 1944 Willys Jeep Model MB to a 1875 Thirion Modele N 2 Horse Drawn Steam Fire-Engine and 1922 American Lafrance Hook and Ladder Aerial Type 31/6.
Conceived by architecture firm Michael Graves & Associates, the 185,000-square-foot structure with its peaked roofs and woven brick facade, consists of temporary and permanent exhibition galleries, a reception hall, an auditorium and workshops for conservation and car repairs.