Friday, February 24, 2017

Automobile museum in Malaga rides high with fashion, fun, flair

Vintage autos from an impressive, world-class private collection, are wowing visitors in Malaga's auto museum.
Cookie -- under-dressed -- finds herself in a wondrous collage of color.



PICTURE YOURSELF in a sleek Bugatti or elegant Bentley, motoring to the opera or an exclusive cocktail party.
Each of 10-plus auto exhibit areas is accented by vintage clothing,
accessories, artwork and descriptions of the era in this artful museum. 
You must have the proper attire -- something elegant to match your fashionable transport.
No worries if you were alive in the gilded era -- when autos were works of art, money no object, and wealthy men and women dressed to the nines.
We spent a delightful afternoon in the museum-friendly city of Malaga, Spain, where one of its latest jewels is the fantastic Museu Automovilistico.
Bruce Keller takes a close-up look and pictures himself
behind the wheel -- vrooooom, vroooooom, vroooooooom. 

Housed in a stately historic building, an old tobacco factory, the museum opened in 2010, drawing raves and shrieks of delight from both auto buffs and fans of fashion.

THE MUSEUM houses the private collection of Portuguese car fanatic, collector and investor Joao Magalhaes. His impressive collection is valued at over 25 million euros, and is one of the most important vintage car collections in the world.
The museum houses 80 vintage and modern cars, artistically arranged with fashionable gowns and unusual travel memorabilia from the Roaring Twenties, on into the 1930s, '40s and '50s.
Finery and furbelows, flouncy, sleek, ornate and fun, are beautifully displayed at the museum. 
An elderly fellow tourist enjoying the museum during our visit remarked that the first car in the exhibition is so old it looks more like a horse-drawn carriage --  minus the horse.  My husband pointed out its tiny motor, which put her into a reverie, remembering travel in her grandparents' car decades ago. 
WE FELT definitely under-dressed, a bit like misappropriated extras in "The Great Gatsby" as we wandered through nearly a dozen breathtaking displays.
Each one artfully takes up a theme and an era -- Belle Epoque, Art Deco Thirties, Dolce Vita Fifties, English Tradition, etc.  
The variety of splendid attire would be the envy of any theater's costume shop -- from vintage apparel of our great-grandparents' youth, to more contemporary and timeless clothing. The cars follow suit -- from that early "horseless carriage" to an "alternative energies" exhibit with a space-age solar-powered model. 
While it is attractive it is not nearly as exotic, as the custom Rolls-Royce with its beautifully festooned crystals.

Each display area showcases autos, along with artifacts, art and finery. 

WE ADMIRED flashy cars with flames painted along the sides and powerful sound systems. We wandered by gorgeous autos owned by stars, royalty and the rich and famous -- Bugatti, Auburn, Bentley, Jaguar, Ferrari and Mercedes.
We enjoyed bling on the costumes and bling on the cars -- lots of gold and plenty of sparkle, including  a ritzy black Rolls-Royce customized with Swarovski crystals. 
The beautifully curated auto and fashion museum also boasts vintage posters and artifacts, nicely preserved -- polished collectibles from a bygone age.
 IN MUSEUM-loving Spain, Malaga is not the largest city.  But it may have the most impressive variety of world-class museums.  We visited about half of the bounty, including a first rate art museum which focuses on Andalucian art – the Museo Carmen Thyssen.
Space age vehicles are also on view, with modern clothing and space wear.

When we encore our  Malaga trip we'll visit the highly regarded Wine Museum, where one can learn about Malaga’s own vintages.
Besides the Automobile Museum, another impressive private collection resides in Malaga's Glass and Crystal Museum, which also features antique furniture and paintings, all arranged by period.
Contemporary art lovers will enjoy Malaga's CAC (Centro de Arte Contemporaneo), Andalucia’s foremost cutting-edge space.
And we'll soon be giving a nod to Piccaso, native son, who is immortalized in both a beautiful museum and in his birth home.

We're enjoying close-up views of the beautiful grey whale.
NEXT UP:  The magnificent grey whales are migrating now and we've been watching them with wonder, off the southern California coast.  More than 20,000 of the graceful creatures pass by our  San Diego base, on a 10,000 mile journey from Alaska to the warm waters of  Baja, Mexico. There they'll give birth and then make the return trip. We're on the scene to share the wonder, so close we can see the barnacles and baleen with which they filter food. Remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us each weekend for a novel twist on the arts, nature and travel.


  1. These travelogues are fun-- great blend of learning and laughing..,

  2. I love are and my partner dresses. Perfect for our Spain trip. Lovely.

  3. Great story. Fun photos. Please, more in a favorite city.

  4. I know of this Portuguese man's superb collection in Spain. He must have an eye for fashion as well as beautiful cars. Good read.

  5. Oh so gorgeous.....Autos AND frocks... Collection world class. Nicely presented.

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