Pantheon Basel Museum: a nugget full of old cars in Switzerland

We left France and went to Basel (Basel for French) and more precisely to the Pantheon Basel. I recently discovered this Automobile Museum which opened its doors in 2008. It really deserves a visit, don’t miss it especially if you come to the region of the 3 borders (France – Switzerland – Germany). It is an interesting addition and very different to the great French side museums in the region such as the unmissable National Automobile Museum in Mulhouse and the Peugeot Museum in Sochaux.

In the particularities of the Pantheon Basel, we can already notice the layout of the cars in a large carousel-type building with several floors that we go up a spiral staircase, it is very impressive with a layout that resembles (all of the thing under consideration) the Mercedes-Museum Stuttgart.

Another particularity is the acceptance of many cars from local collectors, and this is a very good concept where everyone finds something to their advantage: the cars are stored in a nice dry and heated place, the Museum is expanding its collections and visitors are benefiting from it.

Finally, the Museum offers temporary exhibitions with specific themes that change every 6 months, many additional vehicles depicting the productions of such and such a manufacturer or a specific type of vehicle, which is a good reason for commuters who cross the border to visit regularly. this museum.

For now, the exhibition is dedicated to “micro-cars”.

The (very) Old in the Pantheon Basel: an anthology of ancestors and prewar

Here the history of the automobile is well illustrated with some worthy ancestors representing the beginnings of locomotion.

During the pre-war period in the 1920s and 1930s, there were some famous ones like the Ford A PickUp and French cars with the Citroën Trèfle, a C4 in its own juice, a Renault Primaquatre…

But above all the sports or competition models attract attention here with a Salmson Grand Sport, MG Midget, Magnette and MG TA Special roadsters, nuggets such as a rare Allard Special, a Wolseley Hornet Special Roadster, a Riley Nine Special Le Mans, but above all an exquisite Maserati Type 26 and a Jaguar SS100, really “heavy” that we can admire in this part of the Pantheon Basel.

Still in the automotive reverie, we also saw, like a few tens of kilometers from here, all things considered, a complete Bugatti chassis.

Great luxury at the Pantheon Basel

We don’t stop there with prestigious models, because we are in Switzerland, so the luxury cars they know and appreciate, especially Rolls Royces and a good number of Bentleys.

I will also mention two large MGs with cabriolet bodywork, including an MG WA example with a very elegant tapered shape, which reminds us that this brand produced several luxury models in addition to its small roadsters.

More recently, we can also mention some prestigious post-war models presented at the Pantheon Basel, like this Mercedes 220 A cabriolet from 1952, or some Jaguar sedans, a MkVIII Saloon and other more classic MkII or S-Types.

Other luxury vehicles include a 1955 Arnolt MG Coupe supercharger and an Alvis, and finally the Cadillac Fleetwood.

Finally, to close the review of these luxury cars from the Pantheon Basel, we cannot miss some Ferraris with this beautiful Ferrari 365 GT from 1969, and a more modern Ferrari 348, certainly the newest car in the Museum, even that he is thirty.

Post-war cars at the Pantheon Basel

I especially like the shapes of cars from the late 1950s/early 1960s and this period is particularly well represented at the Pantheon Basel.

There are many English cars, in the lead, I will mention Jaguars with XK120 – XK140 – XK150 roadsters and an impressive number of E-Types in different versions.

There are also other classic English roadsters: MG TF, Triumph TR3A, Daimler SP250 or Austin Healey 100.

At the same time, there were also more popular cars Fiat 500, Mini, MGB, Morris Minor DiscoverableTraction, Ford Taunus, etc.

There are also other character vehicles like this Mercedes Pagode, Mustang, Triumph Stag and Cobra replica.

Among the Italians, we note Alfa Romeo with a Guiliaa Montrealbut above all a rare 1900 coupe with Touring Superleggera bodywork.

There are also some old cars that smack of the competition. Choice of: Lotus Europa or Saab 96 in Monte Carlo attire!

Other curiosities in the Pantheon Basel

In addition to cars, there are several curiosities in this Swiss museum. We start with a vintage Alfa Romeo engine bench with its Balbiero double overhead camshaft, a Jaguar V12 engine, a 1956 Porsche 356 A body just out of Pantheon Basel’s restoration workshops, a period workshop reconstructed, as well the miniatures and parts collection (headlights), but especially I have maintained an impressive collection of vintage racing posters.

Pantheon Basel motorcycles

There are also good examples of 2 wheels, with engines from some well-known brands such as the beautiful Indian sidecar, twin-cylinder BMW type R62 from the end of the 1920s, an MV Agusta from the 1950s. But we also add some local motorcycles of old or lost Swiss brands like Motosacoche, Moto Reve, Condor, or a Fritz Moser 500 OHC from the beginning of the 30s which is very nice, with a mention for the appearance of the engine with its big Moser logo.

The temporary thematic exhibition at the Pantheon Basel: microcars

These vehicles can almost be identified in this Museum because we are far from prestigious models with these 3 or 4 wheeled vehicles less than 3m and less than 500cm³. They were mainly built from the end of the Second World War until the beginning of the 1960s by an incredible number of small builders. There are also some big companies like the famous BMW Isetta and the Messerschmitt KR175/200 with the sweet nickname Schneewittchensärge (literally “Snow White’s coffin”), these car models stemming from post-war restrictions in Germany.

There were even microcars that looked like sports cars at the time!

But mostly it’s a patchwork of cars, each stranger than the next. In any case, the big advantage is that you can put many of these microcars in a temporary exhibition!

This exhibition which started at the end of October will continue until April 16, 2023, which is not to be missed for its originality.

In conclusion

I hope I have convinced you of the interest of this Pantheon Basel Museum, I personally found a lot of pleasure in visiting it (for 2 hours) and I will not fail to return there regularly. Note that the Museum also has a restaurant.

For all contacts and information here is the Pantheon Basel Forum fur oldtimer website, site only in German but automatic translators work well.

Otherwise, here is all the information about the museum.

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