A delightful interactive motoring museum that opened this year in Riga has much to offer car fans of all ages.
The Baltic country of Latvia may not immediately come to mind as a world centre of car manufacture.
However it does have an excellent history in this field and certainly knows how to display the many gems in their mainly eastern bloc collection at the Riga Motor Museum.
Although one outstanding highlight from the west is an Auto Union 1930s mountain-racing automobile Auto Union V16 that occupies pride of place in the museum.
From the very early days of motoring right up the to present time the museum in the northeast edge of the city costs just €10 for adults and €5 for children. Opening times from 10am to 6pm its well worth the short ride from the city centre.
The collection of vehicles are displayed on three easy access floors and one of the first is a Benz Motorwagon No1 a tricycle style carriage then on through the 1920’s and 1930’s the war period and then some of the massive steel monsters that were manufactured during the Soviet era and then more cult cars from the west creep in to the collection.
As well as manufacturing cars under licence from Ford, bicycles were made in huge numbers in the country and they are shown too.
A neat contemporary café and museum shop help to extend the visit, audio guides and you can also take experience a ride to wedding on a bus during the soviet era.
Part of the collection is called the ‘Kremlin Collection’ here you can see the cars that the Soviet political leaders were carried around in. Some are armoured with 2inch thick bullet- proof glass and would have weighed many extra tons with armoured steel also fitted throughout the passenger and vital engine areas of the vehicle.
Children learn as they tour with numerous ways for them to learn about motoring history, science and even road safety. Different ways of displaying the collection and one vehicle you can even paint it and change the back ground as it appears to drive along a city street.