A visit to the Riga Motor Museum
Our good friend, Alexander Matveev recently paid a visit to the Riga Motor Museum in Latvia. For many years it was renowned for its Auto Union Grand Prix race car, but there are many other interesting automobiles and motorcycles being shown.
It is the largest "antique auto" museum in the Baltic countries, with over 200 cars, motorcycles, bicycles and stationary motors - many of which are unique to the Museum and not found anywhere else.
When you get close to the building, you can see the level of attention - the facade resembles a Rolls-Royce grille.
Latvia was never renowned for its automobile industry, so it is understandable that the few attempts are highlighted, including the locally assembled Ford V8, and a post-War attempt, called REAF 50.
There's a very nice selection of pre-War German cars, Audi, Horch, DKW, Opel, Ford - you name it. But where the collection really shines is the section on Soviet cars. There are prototype racing cars (Pioneer 2, ZIL 112S), state limousines, including Brezhnev's wrecked Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, a bunch of huge ZIS and ZIL limousines, a Tschaika and many more.
The strength of the collection lies in the fact, that it is so diverse. You can see a coachbuilt Packard from the 1930s and a Fiat Topolino nearby. A 2nd WW Jeep is rubbing shoulders with its Soviet counterpart, the GAZ 64. A Russo-Balt fire truck is adorned by 1930s cars and so on.
Additionally there are quite a few motorcycles, including a display on locally produced mopeds from the 1950s.