Riga Motor Museum, although located quite far from the city center, is a must-see place for any tourist. Three square kilometers of space and a huge number of cars are worth it to make a journey of about 1 hour.
One of the largest collections in Europe began its life in 1972, when the “Club of antique cars” was created, which later turned into a museum in 1989. For these purposes, a modern and spacious building was built, and already in 1992 the museum received official support from the municipality and became state.
The history of the museum goes back to the Club of Antique Cars (KAA) of Latvia, founded on July 21, 1972 in the USSR on the initiative of several activists. KAA positioned itself as a public organization engaged in the restoration of antique cars and motorcycles. The aim of the KAA was to popularize the history of cars and motorcycles, to unite enthusiasts and collectors of antique vehicles, to purchase and bring retro cars into proper shape.
The dream of the KAA members to establish a thematic museum became real in 1985, when by the decision of the Council of Ministers of the LSSR No. 586 of December 4, 1985, the Mezhciems Center for Technical Creativity, Exhibitions, and Leisure was opened. On June 6, 1986, the first stone was laid in the foundation of the museum building, designed by the Latvian architect Victor Valgums. By the decision of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the LSSR, No. 287 dated July 21, 1987, the KAA transferred its collection of retro cars to the register at the Mezhciems Center.
The official opening date of the Riga Motor Museum is April 22, 1989. From July 1, 1992, the Riga Motor Museum receives the status of a state museum under the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Latvia (provision dated November 6, 1992).
On July 2, 2016, the Riga Motor Museum reopened after reconstruction, which lasted three and a half years, and significantly changed the interior of the museum.
- "Made in Latvia",
- "Cars from the Kremlin garages",
- "Military equipment",
- "Collection of Auto-Union Concern" and others.
A variety of motorcycles are also presented (including almost the entire Zundapp and BMW family), Riga mopeds, bicycles, stationary and outboard motors, etc.
Opening hours and ticket prices
The museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00. Visiting and examining all exhibits on average takes about two hours, so it is recommended to come to the museum no later than 16:00. If you are going to inspect retro cars in December, then the work schedule should be clarified in advance. Ticket prices range from 4 € to 10 €, depending on your social status.
Disabled persons and children under 6 years of age are provided with free admission. Many tourists who visited the museum are advised to buy an excursion, because it is carried out by the owner, better than whom no one will tell about cars.
In 1972, on the initiative of a group of young people in the USSR, the "Club of antique cars" was opened. United goal - to restore and improve the Soviet and American models, they also tried to popularize the history of motor vehicles and cars. The status of the “state” museum acquired only in 1992.
“I came to the Club of antique cars in 1972, when it first appeared. And I continue to hold on for 39 years! Of course, then we were young and enthusiastic. Now our sons are already engaged in restoration. ”- Head of the restoration department Gunars Dortans.
The museum area is 16 856 m²! Among the interesting exhibits: “Rolls Roys”, which Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev once drove, Stalin and Khrushchev’s cars, “Lincoln” Maxim Gorky, etc. There are also many pre-war cars among retro cars, one of which is the 1919 legend “Ford Model T ". Also in the collection are a huge number of sports cars.
Several photos of the museum exhibits:
The museum also has a library with rare specialized literature, which has about 1,500 books. And on its territory there is a working workshop. The children of the founding fathers continue to work, restoring old cars and taking orders from Latvia and some European countries.
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The expositions of the Riga Motor Museum, or the Museum of Retro Cars, include cars and motorbikes from the beginning of the 20th century. This museum presents military and sports cars, Latvian-made cars, various cars and limousines of the 30s, including prominent party figures. For example, the museum exhibits Molotov’s car and Brezhnev’s limousine.