Even if you’re not a particular fan of cars Malaga Car Museum counts as one of the best museums in Malaga and we think this makes a good trip out whatever your age or taste. Car enthusiasts have plenty to look at among the nearly 100 cars and who isn’t impressed by a silver Aston Martin sports car or a vintage 1908 picnic car? And the cars are accompanied by over 200 items of perfect vintage fashion. All on display in an early 20th century tabacco factory whose open factory floor spaces make the perfect stage for some of the best cars in the world.
From 1898 to 2011
The Malaga Car Museum is huge – over 6,000 square metres – and divided into 7 themed automobile areas. You start in the Belle Epoque – the oldest car dates from 1898 – and move through the car ages to the present day via the Roaring 20s, Art Déco vehicles in vogue in the 30s and designer cars. The youngest car, a prototype with a compressed air engine – was designed in 2011.
The 100-odd vehicles on display are all in perfect condition – you can see your reflection in their shiny exteriors – except for one discovered buried in rubble after the First World War and preserved as found complete with bullet holes in the back seat. There’s also a space for car tuning (the museum holds car tuning events throughout the year) and stylised engines. Keep an eye out for unusual detail on the bonnets, hubcaps and car bodies.
Flash cars inevitably go hand-in-hand with movie stars, premier politicians, rock musicians and the jet set, and many of the cars on display are associated with a famous face. Roosevelt, Mussolini, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Schwartznegger all have their place in the museum.
Start the engines!
Every Saturday and Sunday at 12.30pm, visitors to the museum can listen to some of the cars in action. Among them are:
- A 1939 Lancia with a tailor-made chassis.
- A 1949 Cadillac with one of the quietest engines you’ll hear anywhere.
- A 1961 Aston Martin that inspired James Bond’s own vehicle in the films (you can hear this one in our video above).
But this museum in Malaga isn’t just about cars. Next to each model is accompanied a mannequin dressed in fashion appropriate to the year of the car. And we’re not talking any old fashion – the world’s greatest designers (think Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Galliano et al) all have their place beside the shining automobiles.
The fashion display goes beyond the cars too and there are several rooms dedicated to specific fashion topics. The hat collection is particularly impressive, especially the cabinet displaying the leopard head, ostrich feathers and snake and crocodile skins. Alongside the fashion and the vehicles themselves are creative displays of car accessories – hubcaps, headlights and steering wheels all have their place in the inventive installations.
- Guided tour – if you’re a real car fan it’s worth going on a guided tour. Contact the museum in advance and see when there’s one available in your language.
- Make a museum day of it – combine your visit with a trip to the adjacent Russian Museum, one of the top art museums in Malaga.
- Museum and beach it – the Tabacalera backs on to one of the best beaches in Malaga, La Misericordia. Have lunch at one of the beach bars (we like Gutiérrez Playa) and then settle down on the sands for a relaxing afternoon.
- Treat yourself– some of the models on display are available for hire, including the pink Cadillac (as shown in our video).
If your dog is a petrol head, you can take him/her along to the Malaga Car Museum on Mondays.
How to get there
Malaga Car Museum is in the old tabacco factory known as the Tabacalera on the west side of town. The easiest way to get there from Malaga city centre is to take the No 7 bus (every 12-15 minutes on weekdays, every 20 at weekends) from the Alameda Principal (stop is on the south side of the road near Calle Córdoba) and get off at La Tabacalera. The journey takes around 20 minutes and costs €1.30 each way. Read more about getting around Malaga by bus.
From Malaga city centre your best bet to take the seafront road (Calle Pacífico) and follow the signs for the Museo Automovilístico. Free parking is available.
Daily 11am to 2pm and 4 to 7pm
€9.50; €7 over 65s and €5 students (you may need to show proof of this).
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