A couple of tram stops north of Mulhouse’s city centre, the Cité de l’Automobile, Musée National-Collection Schlumpf, houses an overwhelming collection of more than six hundred cars, originally belonging to local brothers Hans and Fritz Schlumpf, who made their fortunes running a nearby spinning mill. Lined up in endless rows, the impeccably preserved vehicles range from the industry’s earliest attempts, such as the extraordinary wooden-wheeled Jacquot steam “car” of 1878, and the very first attempt at an environmentally friendly, solar-powered car made in 1942 to the 1968 Porsche racers. The highlights are the locally made Bugatti models: dozens of alluringly displayed, glorious racing cars, coupés and limousines, the pride of them being the two Bugatti Royales, out of only seven that were constructed. There’s also the most expensive Bugatti in the world today, priced at a cool €1.6 million.

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