Malaga City - Automobile Museum

© Michelle Chaplow This museum is housed in one of Malaga´s most architecturally stunning buildings - the old tobacco factory.
This museum is housed in one of Malaga´s most architecturally stunning buildings - the old tobacco factory.

Museo Automovilistico de Málaga

One of several new museums in Malaga - it opened in 2010 - this museum houses the private collection of Portuguese car fanatic Joao Magalhaes. The collection is worth around 25 million euros, and is one of the most important vintage car collections in the world.




 © Michelle Chaplow drive out in a Rolls
Rolls-Royce customised with Swarovski crystals. Bling!

This museum is housed in one of Malaga´s most architecturally stunning buildings - the old tobacco factory (Fabrica de Tabacos). Constructed in 1927, it has been carefully transformed to house a collection of more than 80 vintage and modern cars, alongside fashionable travel memorabilia from the 20s, 30s 40s and 50s to keep non-car fans happy.

The space measures 6000m2, with high ceilings and long thin windows encouraging flirtatious shaft-like rays of sunlight to dance on the perfectly polished bonnets.

The first car in the exhibition is so old it looks more like a horse-drawn carriage, without the horse, but with a little motor instead. From here we are led through 10 areas dedicated to various eras and themes, such as Belle Epoque, Art Deco 30s, Dolce Vita 50s and English Tradition, plus the more contemporary Alternative Energies, including a solar-powered model, and Tuning.

As well as cars with flames painted along the sides and super-powerful sound systems, Tuning (or pimping, as it's known in the US) features a genuine "jetset car": a black Rolls-Royce customised with Swarovski crystals. Bling! The museum also hosts fine examples of Bugatti, Auburn, Bentley, Jaguar, Ferrari and Mercedes - you can admire a host of collectibles from a bygone age.

© Michelle Chaplow 1920 4cil 12cv-hp Unic in Sonia Delaunay style.
1920 4cil 12cv-hp Unic in Sonia Delaunay style.

This museum is very much about the car as a work of art, and includes models customised by famous painters. Sonia Delaunay, a French-Ukrainian artist and the first woman to have her work exhibited at the Louvre during her own lifetime, was a leader in the art of customising. Sonia painted cars in bold, colourful designs inspired by cubism, providing customised models for BMW, Renault and Bugatti. You can see a 1920 4cil 12cv-hp Unic in Sonia Delaunay style.

 © Michelle Chaplow Love those hat boxes
Love those hat boxes


But his museum is more than just cars and engines; cleverly, it also caters for those less fascinated by four wheeled machines. Most female visitors will be relieved to hear you can drool over a collection of 300 vintage hats. From Balenciaga to Schiaparelli features headpieces dating from hat heyday, the 1920s to 1950s, from all the great fashion houses: Chanel, Dior, Lanvin, Balmain - there's even a replica of Dali´s shoe hat. These are complemented by period travel-related pieces, such as old-fashioned leather suitcases, like your grandparents used, and huge antique trunks.



The overall effect of this museum is to make driving sexy and glamorous, making you want to drive out in a Rolls, wearing a vintage hat and sunglasses, with a scarf fluttering along behind you in the wind. And indeed you can: various cars are available to hire. You can ride in a Pink Cadillac complete with chauffeur, a gold Bentley with leopard-print upholstery, or the limo that drove Grace Kelly to Monaco's royal palace on her wedding day; prices start at around 500 euro, including driver. You're guaranteed to turn heads - even in Marbella - if you turn up in one of these beauties.

Entrance Fees
General ticket: 9,50 euros 
Discounted: ticket: 7 euros  (seniors over 65 years) or 5 euros  (people with disabilities, care givers, ICOM Card, unemployed, teachers, students, European Youth Card, large families)
Pack BioParc: from 17,50 euros
Free for children under 3 years and journalists with ID (need to fill in a form in the ticket office)

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday 10am - 7pm. Tickets are on sale up to 30 minutes before closing time.
24 and 31 December 10am - 2pm
Closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Avenida Sor Teresa Prat, 15, 29003 Malaga. Tel: 951 137 001

Note: The museum is on the airport side of the city centre and offers free parking during your visit. Urban Bus number 16 from Alhameda