Musée du Circuit at Stavelot
Author & Photography
- Mattijs Diepraam
- September 12, 2005
The Musée du Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, situated in the abbey of Stavelot, has recently received an overhaul, along with the entire museum complex in the abbey buildings. The laid-bare remains of the old abbey church are now an integral part of the regional-history museum which has been turned into a state-of-the-art multimedia affair.
The circuit museum, still based in the abbey's cellar, used to be quite a ramshackle exposition of cars and artefacts which to some degree were connected to the Francorchamps track. Today, the collection remains eclectic to say the least. The abbey entry boasts a lurid all-white E-type that is available for pictures and coming downstairs the first car that meets the visitor's eye is David Saelens' Dallara in which he won the French F3 Championship. You are left guessing its special significance to Spa...
This goes for most of the vehicles on display, although the off-beat collection does offer satisfaction to those with an interest in back-of-the-grid failures, such as the original Kauhsen (Belgian link: first tested by Patrick Neve) and the private Williams March 761 (Belgian link: Neve again!) while it remains hard to find anything Belgian connected to Lauda's first March, Hiroshi Fushida's Maki, Keke Rosberg's Skol Fittipaldi or the F&S Properties 761. Other non-GP cars of interest included the Cisitalia sportscar, an Amilcar and a De Dion-Bouton.
A nice feature is the circuit maquette that clearly shows the track's elevations. In all, the anorak can spend a nice hour gazing at a Maki he will probably never see again, but the casual visitor will be left wondering what the fuss is all about.