4 incredible design museums for iconic cars

Hot wheels deserve epic shrines – these architectural triumphs are worthy to house these classic motors.

Neil Churchill April 22, 2015

Porsche Pavilion, VW's Autostadt, Wolfsburg, Germany
Taking pride of place next to the Volkswagen Pavilion at the the automative company's famous Autostadt, the Porsche Pavilion looks more like a piece of modern art than it does a home to some of the world's best-loved sports cars. It's curving roof and rounded lines scream Porsche design, as if a 911 Turbo was enlarged in size and had its roof chopped off. Its stainless steel cladding changes appearance depending on the light and weather, and sitting on the edge of a small lake it reminds us of the McLaren Technology Centre, which is no bad thing. Inside, a cascade of iconic Porsche models from the 1948 two-seater to its latest Cayenne and Cayman models stream down from the ceiling. A stunning sight to behold and a fine way to display the King of the flat-six engine. Porsche car museum.

Riverside Museum, Glasgow, Scotland
We'll hold our hands up; we're always a little bias towards Zaha Hadid designed buildings. But let's be honest, that's because nine times out of ten they are always awesome, and unsurprisingly we can't help but be drawn to this epic structure the award-winning architect made for Glasgow's Riverside Museum. Housing the city's museum of transport, it was crowned the winner of the 2013 European Museum of the Year Award, less than two years after it officially opened. While its exterior is as eye-catching and extreme as you would expect from Hadid, inside the style continues. Glasgow car museum Zaha Hadid. Rather than have the cars at ground level, century-old motors are stacked up against a wall like giant dinky toys in a display case. Cars from the now defunct Scottish manufacturers such as Argyll and Beardmore sit alongside a prizes Subaru Impreza driven by local hero the late Colin McRae. It also houses some of the city's significant transport technology collections, has an L. S. Lowry hanging on display and even houses a 1945 steam locomotive, built by a Glasgow-based company. Outside there is space for visiting ships and crafts to berth alongside the museum.

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, Italy
As much a space dedicated to the late great Enzo Ferrari as it is to the company he created, the Ferrari museum in Modena - the brand's birthplace - looks every ounce as cool as you would expect. We could gawp at its external design all day long - the yellow roof punctuated with vents inspired by the classic Dino model.

Built on the site of a warehouse belonging to Enzo Ferrari's father, Mr Ferrari Senior's original brick workshop still stands and houses the Museo dei Motori Ferrari - there simply could not be a more apt place to preserve the company's history. Alongside it is a 54,000 sq ft building housing some of Ferrari's most notable cars, from 1950 racers to recent road models and Formula 1 cars.

Better described as a shrine to the late Enzo, there are even a few Alfa Romeos and Maseratis on display, cars which may not bear the Ferrari name or badge, but ones which Il Commendatore was huge in influencing and being influenced by.

LeMay-America's Car Museum, Tacoma, Washington
With an aim to celebrate America's love affair of the automobile, America's Car Museum is a continuation of one of the largest private automobile collections to have ever existed, that of the late Harold E. LeMay. A successful businessmen local to the city of Tacoma, LeMay amassed in excess of 3,000 vehicles and thousands of auto memorabilia. The collection was recognised as a national treasure.

After LeMay passed away, some of the vehicles were donated to the new Le-May America's Car Museum. Costing $100 million to build and measuring 165,000 sq ft, the museum has a 500 car gallery displaying nearly ever American car ever made, as well as numerous foreign models. Outside there is a 3-acre courtyard for car clubs, areas for hosting car shows, auctions, swap meets and new car launches, and even a concours d'Elegance. LeMay America car museum. The futuristic hangar's design looks like it should house the country's next generation of fighter aircraft. Its sleek top and very ominous gaping entrance transforms into a neat and rustic feel inside, with high wooden ceilings and shiny floors.