Automobile Museum (Reims-Champagne)

Automobile Museum Reims Champagne or France Car museum. In the city of Reims, Champagne historical region, one hour from Paris by a train, there is a Museum of the famous retro cars, motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles and other self-propelled vehicles, the collection of which is rightfully considered one of the largest and best in the world in its subject matter.
The Museum of Retro Cars in Reims is the history of the world automotive industry, a collection of all major types of the cars from the beginning of the 20th century to the “Brezhnev and Reagan period”. Tourists from all countries, including the United States, should remember that at the beginning of the last century, France was a leading world power, a manufacturer of cars. The first cars, trucks and taxis supplied to many countries, including Russia, as a tradition, were French Renault, Peugeot and other well-known world brands, competing with American brands. Under the influence of the French automotive industry, the automotive industry began to develop in many European countries. In the Russian Empire, the Joint Stock Company “Russian Baltic Carriage Works” began to produce the first domestic cars “Russo-Balt”, using elements of French designers A. Kegress, the company “Zenith”  and other advanced developments.

Automobile Museum Reims Champagne, Cars

Automobile (Car) Museum in Reims Champagne, France

During the First World War in the Russian Imperial Army, most of the cars were also French-made. Russia sent soldiers to help France as part of special brigades for protection, including Reims, and France helped Russia with much-needed trucks and cars. The Reims Automobile Museum has a special exhibition dedicated to the First World War and tells about the role of taxi drivers in the defense of France.

World War I battlefields and the Marne Taxi

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the First World War, the Automobile Museum expanded the collection with a model that went down in history. In September 1914, when the threat of the Germans capturing the capital of France, Paris, was at its highest, 650 Parisian Renault AG1 taxis quickly deployed several thousand soldiers to the combat area near the Marne River. Among military historians there is an opinion that this is what saved the capital. And the car was named “taxi de la Marne”.

After the First World War, as a result of the Great Russian Exodus, fleeing from the criminal authorities in Russia, many officers of the Russian army ended up in France and worked as taxi drivers in Paris. Engineering education, knowledge of the material part and even extensive practice at the French military base in the city of Gallipoli allowed many Russian servicemen to work as drivers in the 20-30s, creating the famous Russian Taxi in Paris. The trade union of Russian taxi drivers in Paris for many years was one of the largest and most influential in France. The Reims Automobile Museum has in its collection almost all the cars that were used by Russian drivers in Paris.
The museum also includes a rich collection of historical motorcycles (“bikes”) from all countries and is of interest to “bikers” and just motorcycle enthusiasts from the USA, Canada and Australia. Watch and read more in the gallery “Motorcycles and mopeds”.

Motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles in Car museum Reims

Motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles

French fire engines in Reims car museum

French old fire engines of Reims city

Collectors, modelers and history buffs will also enjoy the collection of miniatures of the Automobile Museum, which is a scale models and toys of cars produced in the last century. A visit to the museum with children is also welcome, for whom such a collection of over 5000 items will be interesting and enjoyable.

Automobile Museum in Reims (Champagne), the Cars history.
The Automobile or “Car Museum” was created in 1985 by the famous engineer-inventor Philippe Charbonneaux as the French Automobile Historical Center, an enthusiast in mechanical engineering and a professional in the field of metallurgical production. Read more, the history of the creation of the museum. Brief history of the Museum and collection.
1985 Establishment of the Center for the History of Automobiles of France by Mr. Philippe CHARBONNEAUX within the walls of an old ironworks factory with an area of ​​4000 square meters. Presentation of the personal collection of cars and the realization of research by Philippe CHARBONNEAUX.
1998 Death of Mr. Philippe CHARBONNEAUX
1998 Creation of the S.C.A.R. (Exhibition Hall of Reims Automobile Collections) for lovers of old cars, led and managed by the Automobile Museum Reims-Champagne.
1999 Exhibition of the first 140 cars, then another sixty. Now, the exhibition features almost 200 cars and motorcycles that show the history of technology throughout the 20th century. Regular rotation allows you to update the exposure. The museum is supplemented with mopeds and bicycles, scale models appear. The exposition is complemented by signs of car brands on the hood and various old advertisements and posters.
2000 The emergence of a large collection of motorcycles and mopeds.
2001 Acquisition of the vehicle Vitry-lès-Reims (la SCAR)
2002 Purchase of an old advertising truck of the Soyuz regional newspaper.
2003 Public presentation of the Soyuz truck after restoration.
2003 September 14, the first auction in the automobile museum.
2004 August 30 Exhibition of cars, participants in the liberation of Reims, August 30, 1944
2004 Exhibited September 1 – December 25 car FORD T.
2004 October 9-10 2nd Exhibition and Auction at the Automobile Museum.

Car Museum Reims Collection

The Museum exhibits cars and motorcycles dating back to 1908. The collection includes several hundred pieces of equipment, many of which are small-scale and rare. More, catalog of cars, motorcycles and models…
The collection of Reims Cars Museum can be divided into the several thematic groups according to the historical period or the purpose of the technique:
– Cars of the early XX century (before the First World War and the period of the First World War)
– Cars of the 20s and the 30s, Cars of the 40s (WW2)
– Sheriff’s car (cops) and the fire trucks
– Machine ‘la Grande Georgette’, Ford T CIBIE
– The vehicles prototypes
– Adventure and Expedition Vehicles, Newspaper Union Promotional Vehicle
– Sports (racing) cars
– Car ALBA Ah La Belle (Ah the beautiful car)
– cars that work on pedals (like from our childhood)

Motorcycles and mopeds. Created in the second half of the 19th century, the motorcycle has been constantly improved. The Museum has more than 70 motorcycles, mostly French, such as: Motobécane, Ravat, La Française-Diamant, Terrot, Guiller, an amazing bike from 1924 with a Cyclette motor. The museum also presents motorcycles from European countries, such as Zundapp (Germany), Condor (Sweden), Gillet-Herstal (Belgium), Gilera (Italy) and many others that are original or after restoration. The Museum collection includes scooters: Vespa, Lambretta, Manurhin, Bernardet with a Terrot sidecar or a rare Derny tandem. The important Solex 1948 Micron series is in demand by many collectors and is of interest to many of our visitors.

Scale models. Collectors, modelers and history buffs will also enjoy the collection of miniatures of the Automobile Museum, which is a scale models and toys of cars produced in the last century. A visit to the museum with children is also welcome, for whom such a collection of over 5000 items will be interesting and enjoyable.

Photo gallery to be updated soon:

to be continued soon.

Automobile Museum News – 2023:

“While waiting for Heritage Days and the event that we are planning for you, I present to you our new acquisition, a Grand Bi bicycle from 1878. It becomes the oldest vehicle presented among the aisles of our museum. Made in England, it is one of the largest ever built. To be discovered in a few days, upon repatriation to Reims”..

“Last weekend, September 16 and 17, our museum participated in the European Heritage Days. Whether it is the “Michel Vaillant” exhibition, the presence of associations, Les Belles Champenoises d’Epoque, the P.A.A.A.R.C., the Peugeot 205 GTI, the Vieux Losanges Champenois and of course, our museum bringing together 260 old vehicles, cars and motorcycles all, we were overwhelmed by the public hungry for classic cars. Thank you to all the participants for their dynamism and their involvement in these two days of the celebration”.

“October 4, having barely returned from Belgium, our quest for the beautiful vehicles continues. Today, a 1926 Ford T coupe has joined our collections. After some minor maintenance work, it will be presented or will return to the Champagne roads for the new country tour by the old cars”.

Reims Automobile Museum, the practical information.
The Automobile Museum is open daily except TUESDAY,
Opening hours of the Reims Automobile Museum:
10.00-12.00 and from 14.00-17.00 (winter time) and 14.00-18.00 (summer time)
Holidays (Museum closed): 25 December and 1 January
Entrance fees: adults – 8 Euro, schoolchildren 11-18 years old – 6 Euro, children 6-10 years old – 4 Euro, family ticket (2 adults + 2 children from 6 to 10 years old) – 2 Euro
see also:
How to get there: The Reims Automobile Museum is located on the southeastern outskirts of the city of Reims (Champagne province) at st. George Clemenceau, 84 (Reims-Champagne, 84 Avenue Georges Clémenceau). It is most convenient to visit it for those who travel across Europe by car from Belgium or Germany in the direction of Paris along the E-17, E-46 or E-50 roads.

Private tours from Paris by car to Reims and Champagne.
Tourists in Paris are invited to visit a specially designed Museum or Museum in a car with an English speaking driver as part of a sightseeing tour, a day trip from Paris with a Champagne guide visiting the city of Reims. As an option, the WW1 Champagne and Verdun battlefield tours from Paris. The road from Paris to Reims depends on traffic and takes about 1.5 hours (depending on the location of your hotel). Reims is a very beautiful city and there is something to see here, so we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the sights of the city and the Champagne region at the same time as visiting the Automobile Museum.