Automuseum Vilnius in Vilnius, Lithuania


In 1974, during the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, this distinctive building served as a parking facility for the state-owned taxi fleet, primarily catering to the residents of Vilnius. With limited tourism options available during the occupation, the majority of patrons were locals. However, after Lithuania regained its independence the concept of a state-owned fleet became obsolete, leading to the building’s gradual decline into disrepair.

In the 2010s, the former taxi parking lot underwent extensive refurbishment, and one of its revitalized occupants is the Automuseum, which opened its doors in 2023. Its the largest collection of vintage automobiles in the country and the captivating stories behind some of its exhibits set it apart.

Let’s delve into a few examples. Among the most intriguing cars on display is the Delage D8L. What makes it extraordinary? This particular car’s first owner was King Thrivughan of Nepal in the 1930s. Given Nepal’s rugged terrain, predominantly consisting of mountains, the car had to be carried to the king through the jungle by his servants. However, due to persuasion from Hitler’s associates promoting the Mercedes brand, the monarch ultimately changed his preference. Decades later, an American diplomat discovered the car, purchased it, disassembled it, and shipped all its components to the United States via diplomatic mail. Eventually, it found its way to Vilnius, Lithuania.

Additionally, visitors will encounter cars from the 1930s that once belonged to Lithuanian and foreign dignitaries, including Mussolini’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as an armoured Mercedes used as the personal vehicle of Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania’s first head of state after regaining independence. Equipped with windows 5 cm (2 in) thick and other unique features, it offers a glimpse into history.

Additionally, visitors will encounter cars from the 1930s that once belonged to Lithuanian and foreign dignitaries, including Mussolini’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as an armored Mercedes used as the personal vehicle of Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania’s first head of state after regaining independence. Equipped with windows 5 cm (2 in) thick and other unique features, it offers a glimpse into history.

In addition to historical cars, the museum boasts a diverse array of exhibits, ranging from horse-drawn carriages, motorcycles, and fire trucks to penny-farthing bicycles, WWII trucks (and even firearms). Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture these remarkable displays.





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