Daily Management Review

The Schlumpf Collection, a Passion for Automobiles


The National Automobile Museum in Mulhouse, France, which opened on July 10, 1982, is gearing up to celebrate its 40th anniversary—an opportunity to (re)discover the unusual history of the museum, which attracts lovers of beautiful cars every year.

by Arthur Frydman

The Automobile Museum © Alexis Toureau
The Automobile Museum © Alexis Toureau
Nicknamed “the Louvre of the Automobile” by Amédée Gordini, the Alsatian museum in the Péricentre district of Mulhouse claims the title of “the world’s largest automobile collection.” More than a deluxe parking lot, as some mean-spirited tongues put it, the institution, a national museum since 2002, is in a former woolen mill built between 1880 and 1930. Over 500 vehicles by 98 manufacturers trace the origins and history of the automobile. They are all designated historical monuments, just like the building housing them. In 2006, the Jean-François Milou architecture firm was asked to wake up the Sleeping Beauty, which involved opening up new spaces for temporary shows and designing a new museography. The museum, renamed the Cité de l'automobile—an obsolete name since January 1, 2022—was expanded, restructured and renovated. Nothing has changed since then except for the 2011 construction of an outdoor track where some magnificent vintage cars formerly owned by Fritz Schlumpf can be seen doing laps. Schlumpf, a fallen textile tycoon, created an incredible collection with a stormy history. Click here to read more