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Mullin Museum 'opens,' still no public date

Fri, 16 Apr 2010 00:00:00 -0700

The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, Calif., "opened" Thursday night with a gala Art Deco affair that did splendid justice to the beautiful cars, photos and furniture inside.

Models dressed in period costume with period 'dos draped themselves over what are arguably the world's most beautiful Bugattis, Delages, Delahayes, Talbot-Lagos, Voisins and Hispano-Suizas. Similarly clad guests strolled about the perfect period decor, perfect right down to the Art Deco pillars holding up the ecologically friendly roof. There were even geniune French-speaking members of the real Bugatti family in attendance.

In all there are more than 100 of the world's most beautiful cars strewn throughout the 50,000-square-foot museum. Cars from the Schlumpf collection make up many of the unrestored Bugattis in the hall's downstairs, while the upstairs area is given over to racing Bugattis laid out on a faux track. The second floor is also where you'll find Club Bugatti, an intimate den lined with artworks by various members of the early Bugatti family, reminding us that it wasn't all about Ettore. Even the elevator to the second floor is Art Deco, or is it Machine Age, and had to be lowered into the building by crane through a hole in the roof.

It is one of, if not the greatest tribute to the age ever assembled.

But the date when the public can get in is still not set. The idea is for the museum to be open four days a month starting this spring, according to a press release. That's precious little comfort to Art Deco fans who are not personal friends of museum founder and man of impeccable taste Peter Mullin. But good things come to those who wait. We will let you know an opening date as soon as we hear. In the meantime, reread The Great Gatsby and see about renting a flapper costume.

By Mark Vaughn