Like Elise has written about, if there is a Temple close to where my assignment is, we try to make it at least once. This time, it was in The Hague. Since we had to split up to keep Landon from running into a windmill or something else, Elise and I thought it would be fun if I took him to a car museum during her session.
I went in with pretty high expectations, and I probably hyped it up a little bit too much for Landon. His idea of a car museum is probably more like a room full of Hot Wheels than the “World’s oldest private car collection,” that was the Louwman Museum. The fatal flaw of the whole trip was that Landon saw a Thomas the Tank Engine book in the gift shop before we went inside to see the real, live cars. He really just wanted to hang out there and thumb through the book.
After quite a bit of convincing followed by several tears shed, we agreed to take the elevator up to look at the actual cars. The first part of the museum was dedicated to what your great-great-grandpa might refer to as ‘horseless carriages’. Needless to say, Landon didn’t really get this whole thing, since he’s not used to seeing cars from the 1800s. He tried to turn around more than once, even as I kept promising him ‘real’ cars.
The museum was divided into six sections (three floors, two sections per floor, separated by an atrium). Hanging in the atrium was an old glider that Landon decided he needed to go see RIGHT NOW. This probably contributed to the chaos of running through all the cars in the next section.
Once we started into the cars that looked more like what we’re used to (with steel instead of wood), I hoped he would slow down, since there were some really great cars to look at in there. Again, this wasn’t to be. I tried to point out a few cars to him, but it mostly turned into me chasing after him as he ran through the halls of cars, while stopping if he saw a color that he particularly liked. Mostly, he just wanted to see the glider up close.
The silver lining to all this was that he never stopped for long enough to touch any of the cars. I got the feeling this was a big no-no in this place.
Well, we saw the glider, which was apparently not as impressive as he thought it would be, since we only spent 20 seconds looking at it. Then, we were off to the exit, and back to the bookshop to check out the Thomas book again. We still had over an hour until we needed to leave to get Elise, and fortunately, I convinced him we should go through the museum a second time, since we basically just ran through it. This, of course, included more yelling, screaming, and tears shed.
|1964 Aston Martin DB5|
|1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Spezial Roadster|
The second time through, we were a little bit more picky about what we saw, and I have to say, there were some great cars in there, and it definitely favored European models. There were more Ferraris and Bugattis than you can shake a stick at, a great section with LeMans winners, another section with Formula 1 cars, and some great German and British selections, too, of which one was an incredible Aston Martin DB5. (Think Bond, James Bond.)
The American cars were better represented than I thought they might be. The highlights from this side of the pond were definitely Elvis’ pink Cadillac and the only black Lincoln from The Godfather that didn’t get shot up or blown up during production. Unfortunately, in my rush to keep Landon from running away, I only grabbed a picture of this Cadillac. The Lincoln was pretty awesome, though.
I think Landon’s favorite car may have been this Porsche 911 Targa used by the Dutch highway patrol. This may have been because it was opposite the cases of toy cars that Landon was mesmerized by, or just because it had a siren. I’m not sure.
On the way out, they had a neat themed cafe that was set like a turn-of-the-century town center. This one even had a barber shop showcasing – you guessed it – a race car barber’s chair for little boys. I know the little kid looks like Chucky, but I took it because Landon loves his race car haircuts, and it’s neat that someone came up with the idea a really long time ago.
We ended up having a really good time at the museum, and I think if Landon were a year or two older, it would have been even better. The patronage was definitely a pretty broad dichotomy of older, well-heeled gearheads and adolescent boys with their dads. The collection was very well curated, and there were a lot of unique cars that you would never see, especially in the US.