Fire at Austrian motorcycle museum destroys more than 200 vintage bikes

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Losing a piece of history is often sad, but when a fire claims hundreds of vintage motorcycles, the news is nothing short of depressing. News of a devastating fire at the Top Mountain Crosspoint Motorcycle Museum in Austria has been confirmed. The museum, which held over 200 significant motorcycles and also a handful of cars, burnt to the ground.

Fire crews reported to the blaze in the early hours (local) of Monday, January 18. The museum had temporarily closed its doors on November 3, 2020 in compliance with COVID-19-related restrictions, but staff had set a tentative reopen of Sunday, January 24, 2021.

From the reports we have been able to locate, no persons were harmed in the fire. The vehicles fared far worse. Based on the images and video of the fire, it’s unlikely that much remains of the motorcycles or the cars inside the museum. Since its opening in 2016, the Crosspoint museum had grown quickly and recently hosted a multitude of significant motorcycles. The website for the collection currently shows that several special exhibitions, one celebrating 100 years of Brough Superior and several others featuring racing motorcycles, were on display.

“It’s easy to jump straight to the monetary value lost, but that would be missing the larger historical aspect of these machines,” says Hagerty information analyst James Hewitt. “Bikes like the 1936 Monet et Goyon LS 3, which the museum had, have little-to-no parts available—one bike being lost means fewer parts to use as templates for possible reproductions or as references for accuracy.”

A few of the cars that are said to have been inside at the time of the fire include a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza, a 1988 Porsche 959, and a 1954 Messerschmitt KR175. Our condolences go out to the museum owners and individual owners of the bikes on display.

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