Motorcycles of today are, by all intents and purposes, hallmarks of technological innovation. With technological advancements on two-wheelers advancing as fast as the bikes themselves, it can sometimes be easy to forget the humble roots of the motorcycle. The era of the infancy of the machines we know and love is indeed long gone, however, mementos of a simpler time remain scattered across a number of museums and collections around the world.
That being said, the vintage motorcycle world is undoubtedly in mourning, as a fire has ravaged one of the biggest and most extensive classic motorcycle collections in the world. These bikes, which were housed in the Top Mountain Crosspoint Motorcycle Museum in Austria, were unfortunately lost in the fire. Over 200 vintage motorcycles spanning the past century had their home in the Top Mountain Crosspoint Motorcycle Museum—all of which, completely destroyed in the fire.
The museum is situated at the foot of the Timmelsjoch mountain pass in Austria. With an elevation of 2,175 meters above sea level, the Top Mountain Crosspoint Motorcycle Museum is one of the highest museums in the whole of Europe. To add to this magnificent feat, the museum had one of the most expensive repertoires of classic motorcycles from all over the globe. Machines which played a major role in contributing to what motorcycles are today, such as the Zündapp, Brough Superior, and Vincent motorcycles, were all displayed in the museum. Other incredibly rare bikes such as Sunbeams, Matchless, and early generation Triumphs, Nortons, and BSAs also once had their home in the museum.
Occupying a floor area of around 3,000 square meters, there was indeed no stopping the fire that engulfed the collection consisting of over 200 motorcycles. Perhaps, the bright side of it all is that there weren’t any reports of human casualties. Nonetheless, it must be a very difficult time for the numerous collectors and curators whose prized possessions were destroyed in the blaze. At the moment, the cause of the fire is still being investigated. We certainly hope that the Top Mountain Crosspoint Motorcycle Museum will one day open its doors yet again.