Malta Classic Car Museum

Slow roads, fast cars

Despite seldom having the space to shift out of third gear, the Maltese do like their cars. In addition to the usual stock of small, mass produced modern hatchbacks, there are some classic cruisers and high performance cars to be seen out on the streets. Although most Maltese seldom having the space to park even a single car, one bloke decided to create the Malta Classic Car Museum. I thought I’d have a look.

I rode the bus to the town of Buggiba, about half an hour’s trip north-west of Valetta. Walking in the direction of the museum from the bus stop, through the cramped and busy streets, I wondered ‘where on earth could anyone squeeze a large-scale museum into all this?’ Then I spotted a beautiful old Bugatti, sitting out the front of the museum entrance.

Bugatti Malta Classic Car Museum

It was a good move by management to have the Bugatti outside, otherwise it would be easy to miss the entrance altogether.

Entrance Malta Classic Car Museum
Must have been a bastard getting all the cars down the steps and through the door

I was the first visitor to arrive for the day, which has been a familiar experience during my Covid-era travels. The staff member lead me down the stairs, switched on the lights, and said ‘We like to surprise our visitors with how big the museum is’. I definitely was. There were two levels holding a huge collection of cars and memorabilia.

Malta Classic Car Museum
Show and shine

The display included several Minis, which would be very practical for the narrow, winding Maltese streets. There was the race-ready…

Mini Malta Classic Car Museum

…the stylish…

Mini Malta Classic Car Museum

…and the practical.

Mini Malta Classic Car Museum
The Mini ute had a tray big enough to carry two 44 gallon drums. Unfortunately it didn’t have an engine big enough to move them

Minis also had the advantage that in the case of breakdown, the owner could simply pick the car up, put it under their arm, and walk the rest of the way home.

There were many British cars exhibited, including this sparkling 1958 Triumph TR3.

Triumph Malta Classic Car Museum
The TR3 had a picnic basket factory fitted to the rear luggage rack. Although interrupting the aerodynamics of the car, it made catering a breeze

There was a big collection of Alfa Romeo classics too.

Malta Classic Car Museum
Trevor regretted the large order of white paint he had made for his smash repairs business

Although the Malta Classic Car Museum predominantly featured European marques, there was also room for a little American muscle. Like this ’62 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster.

Corvette Malta Classic Car Museum
Oh yeah

The Roadster sported a stylish interior, including a Jesus Bar for the passenger.

'62 Corvette
For those unfamiliar with this feature, it is for the passenger to hold onto when the driver is putting the car through its paces. It is so-named as during these high-speed manoeuvres the passenger is often holding on for dear life and yelling ‘Jeeeeeeeeesus!!!’

There were a handful of vehicles on display that, unlike the classic sportscars, could not be considered high performance. Of these, the standout for low performance and high unreliability was undoubtedly the 1979 Trabant. For those unfamiliar with this vehicle, it was a product of the East-German Soviet-era; a time when a lack of materials, low-tech engineering and a half-starved workforce lead to the mass-production of a plethora of B-grade machinery.


The Trabant was manufactured from 1957 to 1991, and received little design improvement over this period. The car featured a smoke-belching two-stroke engine, and panels made of a plastic strengthened with wool or cotton. Considering the minimal crash protection such a construction would afford, it was probably a good thing that the Trabant had woeful acceleration and a top speed to match.

To avoid being dobbed in to the Environment Protection Authority, it was always best to check if anyone was around before starting your Trabant

In addition to the cars on display, there was also a collection of motorcycles and some great old photos.

Motorcycle racing Malta
Apparently in days gone by, you could be cruising the Maltese roads on your bike when a spontaneous motorcycle race would suddenly break out. This photo shows just such incident, with the bloke out front being caught half way through a durry when the race started. In fact, this race was so spontaneous the other bloke wasn’t even aware he was involved.
European motorcycle street racing
Helmets are for the weak
European motorcycle street racing
Matthias didn’t let the misfortune of being born without a torso stop him realising his dream of becoming a motorcycle racer

The museum even had a fully equipped restoration workshop.

Restoration workshop

The vehicles shoe-horned into the Malta Classic Car Museum are an amazing collection, and the management have done a great job in their presentation. If you have an interest in cars – or space management – it is definitely worth checking out if you are visiting Malta.

To visit the Malta Classic Car Museum click here

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like The Royal Automobile Museum, Jordan, Classics Museum, New Zealand

Subscribe to Midlife Crisis Odyssey

Subscribe to receive new post alerts and a free monthly newsletter


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Midlife Crisis Odyssey