Fire Destroys Historic Motorbike Museum in Austria Ski Resort
19th January 2021
Last modified on January 20th, 2021
It was the highest museum in Europe and perhaps the best motorcycle collection in the world. It housed 100s of historic vintage bikes in Hochgurgl in the Tirol. UPDATED
The blaze broke out overnight on Monday at the Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum in Hochgurgl in the Tirol.
An employee staying in staff accommodation was woken by the fire alarm during the night and despite trying to put the fire out with fire extinguishers was soon forced out of the building due to smoke.
The wooden building was opened to the public in 2016.
It has been completely destroyed.
It had 230 historic motorcycles from over 100 different manufacturers.
It is understood the collection has been destroyed.
The fire brigade reportedly managed to prevent the flames from spreading to the gondola station and restaurant, though they have been damaged.
We understand some of the motorbikes were saved.
It is was one of the finest collections of motorbikes in the world and is one of the biggest losses of historic motorcycles since the British National Motorcycle Museum burnt down in 2003 when 380 motorcycles were lost.
When the fire gutted at the British National Motorcycle Museum some of the destroyed bikes were rebuilt.
PlanetSKI was fortunate to be on the guest list for its official opening in November 2015.
Some of them were very rare.
There were Harley Davidsons, Indias, Moto Guzzis and machines altogether rarer.
Here is a 1939 Bianchi 250cc Sport.
It was owned by the local twin brothers, Albas and Attila Scheiber, who are motorbike fanatics.
They are also the owners of the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl lift company plus a 5* hotel, a few ski shops and the ski school.
When they met the architect, Michael Brotz, who is also a bike fanatic they had an idea – a state of the art lift station complete with restaurant and motorbike museum.
This is a 190 Laurin and Clement 544cc.
It may look a bit old, but it was a personal favourite of Attila.
Others were suspended from the walls of the restaurant.
Vintage cars were also on display in the motorcycle museum.
The building also housed a gondola lift.
The cause of the fire remains unclear and an investigation is underway.
The museum had been closed due to Covid-19 restrictions and was due to re-open January 24th when quarantine restrictions are set to be eased in Austria.
There has been reaction from readers over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:
Peter Lewis – It was a great place to stop (though busy at lunchtime) and the new gondola opened up lots of skiing options at that end of the ski area. Devastating for the locals to lose such important facility.
Hannah Eldreidge – Oooo no devastating visited 3 years back
Cheryl Barry – Absolutely awful to hear of this. We loved the skiing to get to the Top Mountain, and the food/coffee was lovely.
Stuart Whittle – Very sad
Donna Jouset – Oh my God that’s so sad
Neil Bastion – Very sad that
Kevin Harris – Oh no! We had a great tour of this place when filming there. It was such an awesome building and collection, this is such a shame.
Ali Bleach – Terrible
Nevada DeHavilland – So sad. How could they not have a good fire suppression system
Elena van der Grafff – What an absolute tragedy, we love this place!
Mark Torontosr – Terrible
And here are just some of the vintage and classic bikes from the collection.