Fire destroys Austria’s prized motorcycle museum

by Kyle Smith
20 January 2021 2 min read
Fire destroys Austria’s prized motorcycle museum
Photos: Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum

The Top Mountain Crosspoint Motorcycle Museum has been ravaged by fire. The museum, to the south of Innsbruck in Austria, houses one of Europe’s significant bike collections, with over 200 rare motorcycles and some cars. However, authorities have confirmed that fire has burned the museum to the ground.

Fire crews responded to the blaze in the early hours of Monday, January 18. The museum, which was only opened in Spring 2016, had temporarily closed its doors on November 3, 2020 in compliance with Austria’s COVID-19-related restrictions, but staff were working toward a reopening date of Sunday, January 24, 2021.

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According to reports, no one was harmed in the fire. The motorcycles and museum fared far worse. Based on the images and video of the fire, it’s unlikely that much remains. The museum has not yet issued a statement.

Since its opening in 2016, the Crosspoint museum had grown quickly and recently hosted a multitude of significant motorcycles. The website for the collection currently shows that several special exhibitions, one celebrating 100 years of Brough Superior and several others featuring racing motorcycles, were on display.

“It’s easy to jump straight to the monetary value lost, but that would be missing the larger historical aspect of these machines,” says James Hewitt, Hagerty’s bike specialist and information analyst. “Bikes like the 1936 Monet et Goyon LS 3, which the museum had, have little-to-no parts available – one bike being lost means fewer parts to use as templates for possible reproductions or as references for accuracy.”

Cars reported to have been inside the museum at the time of the fire include a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza, a 1988 Porsche 959, and a 1954 Messerschmitt KR175.

Top Mountain museum fire crews

The museum is located the base of Austria’s Timmelsjoch mountain pass road (on the Passo Del Rombo), connecting South Tyrol and North Tyrol in Italy, and is claimed to be Europe’s highest altitude museum at 2175m.

Authorities will now begin the difficult task of attempting to establish the cause of the fire that led to the loss of the Top Mountain Crosspoint Motorcycle Museum.

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