Then as now the museum included the largest collection of early motor carriages every assembled, including at least one that defied identification during the Schlumpf’s time.
French cars occupy a special place in the collection. Early Renaults stand in ordered lines, identified by their distinctive sloped hoods and cowl-mounted radiators. Other unusual early cars include the Baby Bugatti that later went into production as the Bebe Peugeot with little other than the distinctive horseshoe radiator changed, and a Peugeot Type 161 Torpedo with tandem seating for two. The popular Citroen Type C Torpedo from the 1920s is also well represented. The Type C was an early small car designed to appeal to women. Several incredibly well detailed versions of the Type C built for children stand nearby looking like so many puppies ready to play. Eccentrically French is the Scott Tricar built for transporting canons.
Other significant cars include a 1904 40hp Hermes-Simplex, one of the earliest designs young Ettore Buggati contributed to, remarkably similar to the Bugatti ‘Garros Type’ exhibited nearby with a clear bonnet displaying one of the first Bugatti engines. A 1912 Hispano-Suiza ‘Alfonso’, named for King Alfonso of Spain, was a gift from his wife. A short wheelbase Mercedes-Benz SSK, a model first designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche when he was Technical Director at Mercedes, as well as a rear engine Mercedes-Benz 170H also designed by Dr. Porsche and presaging the later Volkswagen Beetle. An S.S. 1 Saloon shows the elegant lines that later became familiar as the first Jaguars. Among Alfa Romeos represented is a unique 8C 2900 streamlined coupe from the 1936 Mille Miglia.
Beatty’s inglorious post-war history is represented as well. Ettore Bugatti never returned from his Paris exile to Molsheim. Control of the estate was lost during WWII and Ettore Bugatti died in Paris a month short of his 66th birthday. A single streamlined white Type 73 coupe in the museum is the remarkable last design drawn by Ettore Bugatti before his death.
Roland Bugatti, younger brother of the Jean Bugatti who was killed in a 1939 testing accident, attempted a revival of Bugatti in 1951 at the age of 25, aided by Marco Pierre whose loyalties stretched back to Ettore Bugatti and Molsheim. The project created the Bugatti Type 101, considered to be the last ‘true’ Bugatti. Eight Type 101s were built, several examples of which in different body styles are included in the museum.