Museu do Caramulo ... this summer’s exhibition was entitled Super Carros


The Museu do Caramulo, unsurprisingly given its name, is in the small mountain town of Caramulo in central Portugal, which came into being around 1920 when a Dr Jeronimo Lacerda established a tuberculosis sanatorium in the location. The town evolved as a support structure for those who worked there and for visitors to patients. Dr Lacerda had two sons, Abel and Joao, who were both born in the town. After their father died in 1945, and with the advent of new antibiotics that all but eradicated the disease during the fifties, the sanatorium was virtually redundant. However, they loved their town so decided that something had to be done to maintain its economy. Initially they converted some of the facilities to provide accommodation and to encourage “altitude tourism”.

The next step was to build an art museum, which was completed in 1959, and as there was some free space, part of it was used to house Joao’s collection of classic cars. The museum proved to be very popular over the years, particularly the automobile display, so it was decided to construct a new building specifically to house the cars. Thus, in 1970 an annexe across the street was opened, which continues to be the motor museum today.

Apart from the regular museum display vehicles, they also have themed display exhibitions, which are normally held in the ground floor display areas of the original art museum. This summer’s exhibition was entitled Super Carros (Supercars) and was supposed to run until the end of September, but due to its popularity has had the run extended until the end of October. It is a small but select exhibition, with a range of cars ranging from what might be termed supercar of their era, like the Lamborghini Miura and Diablo SV, the Ferrari F40, incredibly already 32 years since it was launched, to modern equivalents in the form of a Ferrari LaFerrari, Ford GT, Lamborghini Aventador SV,Mercedes-AMG GT R, McLaren 675 LT MSO and Porsche 911GT2 RS.

If you are a fan of winding mountain roads the road from the highway up to the museum (and back) makes the visit worthwhile on its own! The museum also hosts an annual Motor Festival, which includes a hillclimb course which takes competitors are up to a scenic viewing point at the highest part of the mountain range in the region at 970 metres above sea level.

Keith Bluemel