Discovery areas: “under the bonnet”

Three areas lift the lid on the lives of cars in the collections, issues of conservation and mechanical developments.

The Engine Hall

In a darkened room, model reproductions illustrate the development of engines from the 1880s and innovations introduced by carmakers of the 20th century. Interactive presentations, such as a 3D film with sound effects, help you understand the mechanics and explain how each engine works. A big screen shows a 3D film in three languages about the incredible 16 cylinder engine of the Bugatti Veyron Royale.

Restoring cars

The restoration process varies from simply restoring metals, leather and textiles to fully dismantling a vehicle down to its component parts for a full overhaul, sometimes even allowing the vehicle to get back on the road. The exhibition shows an extreme example, building the chassis of a Bugatti Royale and reconstructing missing bodywork. The most recent car to be restored by the Museum, the fabulous Mercedes Benz 600 Pullman, is on display.

The life of a car in the collection

This is illustrated by a Bugatti 57S, a car from Ettore and Jean Bugatti’s first large-scale production in 1939. It has been partially dismantled to show the main steps in the life of this car: from design through construction, use, various owners and its eventual arrival at the Museum.

  • © Culturespaces / S. Lloyd
  • © Culturespaces / C. Recoura
  • © Culturespaces / C. Recoura