Fire engulfs Europe's best motorcycle museum, countless classic vehicles destroyed
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From the storming at America's Capitol to the escalation of Covid-19, 2021 has certainly kicked off with a hiss and a roar, and a fire at one of Europe's best automotive museums has only added to this.
Located in Hochgurgl, Austria, the TOP Motorcycle Museum housed over 200 classic motorcycles, as well as a few extremely rare cars, and was left a smoldering wreck after the blaze passed through.
According to a local report, the fire started at around four in the morning, and quickly spread around the wooden building, making it almost impossible to battle. The fact that the museum is located in a snowy alpine region only hampered fire fighter's attempts to put it out.
Old pictures of the museum's 32,000-square foot interior show just how much was lost in the blaze. The collection spanned over 100 different motorcycle brands, with 230 individual pieces.
Alongside the monumental motorcycle loss, a bunch of extremely rare cars also went up in flames. These included a Porsche 959, an Aston Martin DB5, an Alfa Romeo 8C racer from 1930, and a Pininfarina-bodied Ferrari 250.
Not only did the TOP museum lose priceless motorcycles in the blaze, all four of these vehicles usually command prices over $1 million at auction, meaning that the losses would be imeasurable.
Thankfully no one was hurt as the building was destroyed, but the cause of the fire remains unknown. The museum was opened back in 2016 by the Scheiber brothers who had amassed the huge motorcycle collection throughout their lives.
When it first opened, Alban Scheiber said: "My brother and I have always loved old motorcycles. When our collection had grown to around 20 or 30 we thought about creating our own museum. This is our way of making this dream come true."