Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Schlumpf Collection is on display in France at the National Museum in Mulhouse, the Cité de l’Automobile

The Schlumpf Collection may be the most prestigious car collection in the world. This is demonstrated by the two of the only 6 made Bugatti Royales, including the famous Coupé Napoléon, the 150 Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Maybach, Mercedes models, etc.
It was in a former Mulhouse woollen mill, with its typically 19th century architecture, that Fritz Schlumpf established his fabulous collection of 437 cars belonging to 97 different brands. With part of on display at the Cité de l’Automobile, it is certainly a must see if you get to France
The collection was seized by the workers employed by the Schlumpf brothers, who had collected for years, and topped off their collection when Hispano Suiza needed to liquidate many of the Bugatti assets in 1963 after having purchased the Bugatti company. The Schlumpfs puchased Ettore Bugatti’s personal Bugatti Royale and many original spares and patterns—over the strong objections of the managing director and Roland Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti’s surviving son.
In 1971 the union of workers that had been restoring the cars, building restaurants, and a hotel that would have housed guests to the collection, went on strike, and years later the French government seized all of the Schlumpf assetts, including 437 vehicles. The strike was part of what forced the brothers to flee to Switzerland, echoing Bugatti's flight to Paris in the 1937 strike. Read all about it

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