A spectacular exhibition near Paris shows why we have always been attracted by speed

Laura Ferriccioli

Vitesse is the title of the exhibition that will remain open until March in the Chateau of Compiègne, a few km from the French capital


Why has man always been attracted by speed? To this question as old as the world tries to answer Vitesse, the exhibition just opened at the Musée National de la Voiture in Compiègne, France, scheduled until March 28, 2022. The museum is one of the most comprehensive in the world on the history of locomotion and it was the first of its kind to be set up in 1927. The location, in the city that became famous for having hosted the signing of the armistice that closed the Second World War, is a dream castle. It can be reached by train from Paris in 40 minutes. The museum preserves, among other wonders, a railway carriage designed especially for Napoleon III, which legend has it that it allowed the king to be the first to travel at 100 km / h. The famous electric car Jamais Contente (Never Happy) is also one of the milestones in the history of the automobile that can be seen in the castle, also included in the permanent collection.

Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta of the Anne e Robert M. Lee Collection. Below, the exhibition affiche. Opening photo: a 1957 Maserati 250 F of the Musée National de l’Automobile-collection Schlumpf in Mulhouse 

The maquette of the Venturi VBB-3 electric vehicle that reached 487 km/h on the Bonneville salted lake (USA) in 2009
L’Arrivée du vainqueur, 1906 oil on canvas by Louis-Marie Schryver. The painting celebrates the victory of the French driver Ferenc Szisz at the 1906 French Grand Prix in a Renault with a 12,000cc engine with which he managed to beat works drivers such as Felice Nazzaro, Vincenzo Lancia and Alessandro Cagno, the top of the time
A 1956 Grégoire Sport Coupé 
Part a Cabriolet bodywork produced around 1760 by the French carpenter Jean-François Chopard
Unique 1935 Koehler-Escoffier 1000 motorbike


Multidisciplinary approach. The exhibion starts with the Roman-era chariot owned by the museum and continues up to the most recent record cars, passing through the rally monsters of the seventies and the most successful racing cars of all time: Vitesse showcases fifty of very rare vehicles – including several bicycles – making them dialogue with the paintings, prints and works of art on the theme housed in the rooms of the castle. Aerodynamic effectiveness, lightness and performance are the qualities around which the concept of the exhibition itinerary revolves, which demonstrates how many, over the centuries, have dedicated themselves through the most disparate disciplines and the most diverse languages to explore the charm of speed. Cinema included.

Opening: every day from 10 to 18; admission € 9.50, free for under 26s.
For further information: information.compiegne@culture.gouv.fr


See Also


La Souplette, bicicletta in legno curvato. Ispirata dalle sedie del grande designer e imprenditore Michael Thonet, come ad esempio la celeberrima Thonet n. 14, è stata realizzata nel 1897
Bentley 4,5 Liter con compressore (1930) proveniente dalla collezione di Anne e Robert M. Lee
Luigi Russolo (1885-1947), Automobile in corsa, olio su tela del 1913

Rob Roy (dit), de la Rivière Robert (1909-1992),CMV2020.001.19,France, Compiègne, musée de la voiture

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