Visiting the Auto Museum in Sharjah, UAE
Sharjah's Classic Cars Museum
Sharjah is one of the Sheikhdoms that forms part of the United Arab Emeritus. It has a beautiful airport which is the operating hub of Saudi Airways. This airline connects to 160 destinations all over the world.
Close to the airport is a Classic Cars Museum. It was opened in 2008 and after extensive renovation opened again in 2013.
This museum houses a collection of classic cars that will enthrall auto lovers. It draws tourists and visitors in large numbers. There are more than 100 classic cars displayed. They range from cars from the turn of the last century to the early fifties and sixties of that period.
The Museum has a great collection of cars with the oldest exhibit being from 1915. The display is well laid down. For ease of visitors, the museum is divided into five sections. Each section represents a historical stage in the development of the automobile. Visitors have an opportunity to learn about the different types of car engines as well. There is a live car engine displayed that can be operated by a visitor with a lever. The museum organizes interactive activities and experiments suitable for all ages.
Among the classic car models on display include Rolls Royce, Ford, Mercedes, Chevrolet, Bentley, and many others.
All the cars are drivable and in good working condition. The cars are often driven over the roads of Sharjah. When I was there recently one of the older Mercedes-Benz, was started and slowly driven around the compound.
The museum also has a full-fledged workshop with qualified engineers. They restore older cars to their glory. I saw work being done on a Morris Minor from the Uk. It was later made in India and called the baby Hindustan.
It's sad that this car company has gone into liquidation and sold to a China group.
The oldest car in the museum is a 1915 Dodge. This car is in pristine condition and can be driven. Its engine and body are faultless. When the new Dodge was launched a century back it was a great hit.
The car that really caught my imagination was a 1953 Studebaker. It is shaped like a jet plane. I have some nostalgia about it as my uncle purchased the car and its photos are available in the family album.
Also on display is the famous original "people's car," the Volkswagen, which was started by the Nazi party in Germany as a sop to the middle class.
Another car on display is a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman, A total of 2,677 vehicles only were manufactured. This car belongs to His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah. The first car was launched in 1963.
The museum is open every day of the week from 10 am to 4 pm. Entry is free for all age groups. It's located a stone's throw from the international airport. All the cars in the museum are in working condition and driven periodically. Older models of Rolls Royce and Mercedes are also displayed. The museum has an audio guide with a recorded history of the cars and the museum. One needs to plug in the earphones to listen to the commentary.
The UAE has two other auto museums. One of them is in Abu Dhabi and the other in Dubai. The one in Abu Dhabi is the biggest of the car museums and features many more cars than the Sharjah museum. Entry is costly at 200 AED ($50). In addition, if one has to go there, he has to spend an entire day because it is almost one hundred kilometers from the capital city. The Sharjah museum, being close to the airport, can be seen by visitors who are going to take a flight and have some time to spare.
I visited the Museum just two days back and it was a wonderful experience. I used a Real Me 2- pro with a camera for the photographs.