I have long heard about Louwman Museum in The Hague. It is home to the world’s finest and oldest privately own collection of motor cars. It is a great family-friendly museum where my kids can learn something about automobiles, papa can admire the technical aspects and mama can appreciate the beauty of the designs. 🙂
The collection of cars began in 1934 when Dodge importer Pieter Louwman purchased a 20-year-old Dodge. The 1914 Dodge Model 30 Touring Car was bought with the intention for display in his new automobile dealership in The Hague.
As the acquisition of cars grew over the years, his son Evert Louwman, moved the collection to Leidschendam in 1969 where he opened the National Automobile Museum.
The collection was moved again to Raamsdonkersveer in 1981 and finally, a new purpose-built building was erected to accommodate the fast growing collection. Louwman Museum was officially opened on 3 July 2010.
The museum has a spectacular collection of 250 cars within 10,000 m² of exhibition space, curated through two generations of the Louwman family. It includes everything from antique and classic cars to hybrids and Formula One racing cars. Be it steam-powered, micro-size, plug-in electric, single-cylinder, three-wheeler, 50 cc engine car, four-wheel drive or V10 engine. This museum has them all!
From the early sedan chair dated 1750 to the latest 2013 Toyota Camry Nascar. Every imaginable form of automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, carriages and other unique vehicles such as horse carriages, first self-propelled vehicles, boat-car, the swan-car, stagecoach, military and emergency vehicles, rare cars, vintage caravans, scooters and high-wheeler bicycles are on display. All in their original, restored or unrestored state.
The notable and famous cars worth mentioning are:
– one of the oldest surviving cars in the world 1887 De Dion Bouton
– James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 from the film Goldfinger
– Elvis Presley’s customized Cadillac Fleetwood
– Winston Churchill’s old Humber
– Jaguar D-Type XKD 606 The 1957 Le Mans Winner in 1956.
– 1917 Woods Dual Power Hybrid car
– 1904 Darracq from the movie Genevieve in 1953
– 1933 Nürburg limousine of Kaiser Wilhelm II
– eccentric Swan car once owned by the Maharaja of Nabha
– Oldest known Toyota car in existence Toyoda AA found in Siberia
– The Dutch-built Spyker collection in Spijker Hall
The Louwman Museum also has a large compilation of automotive paintings, sculptures, posters, diecast cars, pin badges, trophies, ceramics, clothing, old Shell (of course!) gas pumps, car horns, odometers, spark plugs and so much more. It is overwhelming!
Louwman Museum provides meticulous insights into the evolution of automobiles. The museum permanent collection starts on the second floor chronologically with exhibits dating back to the 18th century. Visitors will embark the journey of progression and transformation of automobile conception. The museum exudes total passion!
It is hard to refrain from touching these beautiful cars. Having said that, watch your little ones! This museum is suitable for all ages and great for groups. Information on history and photos (if any) are provided in both Dutch and English. It is a long course strolling to complete the museum tour. You will need about two hours even if you are just roaming. Stop by the Café with a constructed town square theme at the end of the route. There are so much to see. I do not drive nor know things about cars or engines, but I absolutely enjoyed my visit. We will be back again. I highly recommend this museum.
Website: https://www.louwmanmuseum.nl (also in English)
Address: Leidsestraatweg 57. 2594BB Den Haag.
Opening Hours: Tuesdays – Sundays from 10am to 5pm.
Entrance Fees: €14.00 for adults, €7.00 for youth age 13-18, €5.00 for kids age 5-12 and free for children under 5 years old. Free entry for Museumkaart holders. Parking fee is €5.00.
Getting There: Bus 90, 385 and 386 from Den Haag Central and stop at Louwman Museum stop.