By the time firefighters arrived, the entire roof was aflame.
Fans of European motoring history are reeling today after Austria’s Top Mountain Crosspoint Motorcycle Museum suffered a cataclysmic fire on January 18, 2021. Nestled at the base of Austrian side of Timmelsjoch Pass—where Austria and Italy meet in the depths of the Alps—the museum was founded in 2016 by twin brothers Alban and Attila Scheiber as a way to show off their collection of classic iron.
The museum housed around 230 classic, mostly European bikes from the likes of Sunbeam, Brough Superior, and Zundapp, along with a smaller collection of vintage cars, including Porsches and Ferraris. Vintage American bikes from Harley-Davidson, Indian, and even a Flying Merkel were also part of their collection. The Scheibers have loved motorcycles since they were children, and had been steadily building a collection of their favorites for their entire lives before eventually showcasing those bikes for the public.
Consulting the official Tyrolean tourism page, you’ll learn one thing that likely contributed to the fire, as the Google translation reads, “the building with its wooden façade fits harmoniously into the alpine landscape.” If you’ve never had the chance to visit this museum in happier times, glancing through photos and videos shows a beautiful wooden structure, filled with all kinds of motorcycling treasure. Racing legend Giacomo Agostini even had a hand in bringing this museum to life back when it started.
It’s unclear at this point how much damage was done. An alarm went off around 4:40 a.m., and by the time firefighters arrived, the building was already engulfed in flames according to Moto.IT. 60 firefighters quickly got to work trying to prevent the fire from spreading to a restaurant and other buildings nearby. So far, local media report that no people were physically hurt by the conflagration.
There’s no information available yet on what started the fire, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated as and when we know more.