At the Musée de l’Automobile de Valençay, you can measure the evolution of the French automotive industry from the very beginning (the oldest car dates from 1899) to the 70s, through about sixty cars.
The museum is mainly based on the private collection of the Guignard family, a “dynasty” of garages established in Vatan a few km from Valençay. Over the years, the GUIGNARD family has preserved the cars it owned and has also expanded its collection through donations and acquisitions.
Since 2001, the collection is installed in a dedicated building of 1500m2, located a few hundred meters from the Château de Valençay (having belonged to Talleyrand). It is managed by the Ecueillé-Valençay Community of Municipalities. The association of the Friends of the Valençay Automobile Museum (AMAV) provides support in the animation and also enriches the exhibition with some cars.
Cars at the Valençay Automobile Museum
About sixty cars, mostly French, retrace the history of the automobile. Among the nuggets that can be admired, a very beautiful Bugatti 57, perfectly restored by Mr. Guignard, or a sculptural Panhard Dynamic, recognizable by its grilles in front of the headlights. Older, a Panhard and Levassor from 1899, a Delaunay Belleville from 1910, a Turcat Méry “sport” from 1906, a surprising Bedelia from 1914, 2 seats in tandem, or a Renault 1910 limousine from 2 French presidents. And also some exceptional Citroën (SM, Traction 15 6 cylinders) or rare as an M35 (rotary engine), the Guignard family having been a Citroën dealer.
Cars are often in their original condition, but very well preserved. It is not a question here of flashy restorations, newer than new as we sometimes see, but of keeping the patina and the history. The presentation of the cars is neat, making the visit very pleasant.
Finally, on the first Sunday of each month (during the opening period of course), the car park hosts a gathering of collectors and amateurs, the opportunity to discover more cars and visit the museum at a reduced rate!
A small exhibition of fire engines (it always pleases, especially for the youngest), motorcycles and other 2 wheels, many iconographic documents (photos, posters, historical …), a very beautiful collection of signs and enamelled plates complete the framework of this visit. You can also take a picture in a 1926 Citroën. The museum has a small projection room where a film about the Red Cruise is shown. This raid of 15000km between the North Cape and Paris via the Caucasus was carried out in 1967 by André Guignard accompanied by 3 other pilots including Olivier Turcat, test pilot of the Concorde. He was driving his 1910 Delaunay-Belleville , which is on display at the Museum. A 1907 Renault completed the crew.
The museum also offers a small shop that will allow you to leave the place with a souvenir of this visit. Large parking in front of the museum, so no parking worries. And being in Valençay, do not miss the visit of the Château de Valançay, with the possibility of a group ticket for the 2 attractions.
Every year, the Valençay Automobile Museum offers a thematic exhibition on its entire opening period. After Panhard in 2021, the 2022 theme is “Forgotten Brands“.
Practical information of the Valençay Automobile Museum
|April-November, from 01/04 to 06/11 for 2022|
|From 10h to 12h30 and from 14h to 18h (closing at 18h30 in July/August)|
|Adults Full Price||7,00€|
|Youth (7 to 17 years old)||5,00€|
|Families (2 adults and 2 youth)||20,00€|
|Groups (from 10 people), per adult||6,00€|
|School groups (free for accompanying persons), per student||4,00€|
|Package for Guided Tour, only on reservation and subject to staff availability||45,00€|
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