Autoworld- A car museum the Belgian Way

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You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet online for us at Driven Threads. We do apologise that our blog and facebook page have been a little dormant so far in 2014. That’s because we have temporarily relocated to London. Rest assured though, whilst our content from now on will be largely European based car events, our online store will still operate as usual from the sunny(?) shores of Melbourne.
It comes as no surprise, that the beauty of being located in London is its close proximity to Europe. In the coming months, we hope to bring you the best car events on Europe’s door step. We are extremely excited to be bringing coverage of both the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival. Exciting times ahead.
Our first Automotive excursion sees us in the Brussels, Belgium. Brussels is considered just a stop-over between Paris and Amsterdam. Whilst Europe’s capital doesn’t have the postcard-beauty nor the character of Brugges or Ghent, its a city that grows on you. The more time you spend here, the more you come to like it.
Particularly if you take the time to visit Autoworld.

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Autoworld is located in the building of the Cinquantenaire Park complex. Built under Leopold II’s reign, the complex took nearly fifty years to complete. The imposing if a little cliche’d arch was built to celebrate 50 years of Belgium Independence.

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The large halls that now house Autoworld and the opposite Army and Air Force Museum date from 1887, when they were build for the World Exposition. Autoworld was established in 1986.

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The Museum is logically organised, presenting a impressive chronological history of the automobile from carriages to ’90’s supercars. In a typical Driven Threads fashion, we’ve sifted out the boring bits and aim to show you the best on offer. We make no apologies for editing out the mundane, regular or plain U-G-L-Y. None of which can be said for the minimalist design and pure functionality of this 1926 Bugatti Type 35.

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We plucked out the cars that inspire us, just like this genuine Mustang Factory Competition car.

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Cars that have just a few surprises.

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Autoworld, really is a car-lovers paradise.

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Every wall of the massive hall is covered in Automobilia. Numberplates, hubcabs as well as some of the most exquisite model cars.

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Period racing garage displays all add to the atmosphere

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There is a huge array of bikes of every period on display.

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You could easy spend a whole day here, exploring. (We did!)

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This display is a tribute to French cartoonist and artist Jean Graton. Through more than seventy adventures of the character Michael Vaillant, Jean has represented all disciplines of motorsport.

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The Belgium VW Club had a display of their tough Beetle Racing Cars.

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Whilst we don’t usually feature ‘Old old’ cars here on Driven Threads, we do respect cars of a bygone era that deserve respect on their design alone. The quality of twenties and thirties cars displayed was second to none.

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One of Belgian’s bright stars, this canary yellow boat-tail is a 1925 BN 1300 Sport.

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This gorgeous 1928 Bentley is infact a 3 ½ litre chassis but fitted with a larger 4 ½ litre engine.

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Alfa Romeo’s angelic curves have never looked so good than on this 1750 GS Zagato.

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Front-wheel drive and an icon of design, this Cord Type 812 from 1937 features revolutionary advancements such as supercharger and retractable headlights.

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The cute lines of the Moretti 750 Grand Sport Berlinetta.

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This eye-catching machine is known as the Brown Bugatti. It was produced in 1954 by Jacques Brown. The modern and aerodynamic bodywork was built upon a Type 57 chassis.

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One of the most expensive models of its time, is this 1948 Alfa Romeo 2500SS. With its rakish Farina bodywork it cost 525,000 francs in Belgium when new.

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Delage D8 120 from 1939 with a body produced by Albert D’leteren.

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A max speed of 307 km/h, with 390bhp pounding through the rears. This 1964 AC Shelby Cobra was all class.

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As you walk through the Museum, you realise the rapid progress in design and technology that has occurred over 100 years.

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Factory Fresh and homologated for the European Touring Championship, this 1974 BMW 3.0 CSi Coupe was in complete original condition.

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The authenticity of this car could never be in question, with period stickers still affixed.

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The no-frills version of the 911, this 912 Coupe from 1970 was very tidy in the seventies beige hue. Many of the original 912’s have been modified into RS replicas.

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One of few Japanese cars on show was this Celica 1600 GT. Complete with all the JDM goodies and retro decals this one was straight from the seventies.

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The 80’s cars displayed were all in top order. This VW scirocco was a nice find. Which one do you prefer the original or the new jelly bean one?

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Now this is one very cool Alfa. This is the last of 3 cars built by Alfa Corse. In completely original condition as run by Nannini and Loubet in 1988. Chassis number 012 Autodelta features a 2000 4C Turbo capable of 430 Hp.

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With is flared arches and boxy body kit this Alfa was a serious looking weapon.

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One of the stars of the show, was the 1976 Vaillant Kremer Team Porsche 934.

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The first 934 prototype appeared in September of 1975. It was instantly successful in European GT Championship which was won by Toine Hezemans in the Gelo car. The 934 virtually wiped the field in the German GT Championship.

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What dreams are made of. This is the 1977 Porsche 935/5 Vasek Polak that participated in the Group 5 Watkins Glen 6 hours.

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And yes…some famous names adorn the Driver’s door.

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You can just make out the BBS racing mesh behind the wheel shroud.

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The Sports car section was our favourite.

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Pure Italian passion is oozing out of this 1957 Abarth GT 750. That design is unmistakably none other than Zagato. This puppy pumps out 57 horse from its tiny 750cc engine, and weighs in at about half a tonne.

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A featherweight in every respect. This 1960 Osca Maserati Sport 1000 weighs only 700 kg powered by 1 litre engine.

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In true racecar fashion a tight cockpit but its got Verificato.

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With period mock stands and pit displays the cars displayed really shone.

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Yes it’s a real one! An original D-Type from 1954 is a rare and pleasing sight. In the neighbouring racing stable was a Belgium Omega Six from 1929.

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Another true legend was this 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder.

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One of the prettiest rally cars in one of the best liveries. A front-wheel drive rally legend if ever there was one. The presence of this 1969 Lancia Fulvia HF 1600 was captivating.

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Another legend of Rally was also on show, the mighty Renault Alpine.

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Low-slung and organic lines were a feature of this 1971 Bizzarrini AMX/3 Spyder. With an 560 hp 8 cylinder engine and a weight of only 1150kg, it would be a fun car indeed.

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This is a 1992 Venturi Larrousse, Lamborghini LC 92. Its powered by a 3512 V12 from Lamborghini.

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2008 Renault F1 Show Car.

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A masterpiece is an apt description for this machine. This is Mercedes 300SL Gullwing Concept from 1952. The W194/11 features a 2996cc 6 cyclinder capable of 215 bhp.

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To us, this car looks even better than a 300SL. The uncluttered headlights and front treatment is pure art.

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Pampered Porsche Targa. This 911 Super Carrera Targa was in impeccable condition.

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Parked in front, was what we think is one of coolest cars displayed, an authentic Belgian police car. No common issue Commodore or Falcon here. It’s a genuine 1976 Porche 911 SC Targa.

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Forty of these were used as Police cars in the mid-seventies. No doubt, the 230 hp from the famous flat six proving a useful tool in crime fighting and law-enforcement.

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A real treasure. This 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Boano features a 12 cylinder capable of 220 bhp. This car was a special Ferrari order from a total of 65 produced by Boano. With Pininfarina styling it was available with either a steel or aluminium body.

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This 1964 Maserati Mistral 3500 GT looked to be the ultimate Grand Tourer.

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The usual styling of this Italdesign Giugiaro Aztec caught our eye. Powered by a five cylinder Audi engine with all wheel drive, it pumps out 200 bhp with a top speed of 240 kmh.

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There’s a bit of ‘Back to the Future’ with the styling. A little kitsch but in 1988 it would have been considered ‘rad’.

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Typically French in design, this 1999 Vaillante Grand Defi powered by a Peugeot 4 cyclinder has a great lines with a body designed by Hommell Barquette.

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A surprising machine from Belgium was this Gillet Vertigo S Spirit. It features a Nomex Carbo Mono shell powered by a Maserati 4.2 litre V8 developing 430 horsepower.

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Don’t just stop over in Brussels, be sure to check out Autoworld. Check out their website here.

If you do attend Autoworld, be sure to stop by the Army and Military Museum. It has a great display of Belgian war birds, tanks, uniforms and regalia. Plus the best bit, entry is free.

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Thanks so much for those that have bought a sticker or a tee from us recently. We really appreciate it.
We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of Autoworld from Brussels, Belgium. Please stay tuned to Driven Threads. Watch this space.

www.driven-threads.com

DRIVEN TO PERFORM

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