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If you’re on Jeju Island and love cars then this museum is for you.
Rare retro-cool automobiles with age-old beauty fill the museum’s buildings and while newer super cars like the Lamborghini and Ferrari are absent you’ll be treated well with cars in other ways.
Car maniacs can see the first diesel Benz and one of six-in-the-world Hillman Straight 8’s.
The World Automobile Museum is the first private automobile museum in all of Asia. You have to wonder how the owner collected them all and walking around you can’t help but feel a tinge of jealousy. Don’t you want some of these 70 classic cars on display in a most wonderful condition?
Of course many can only be viewed from afar, but there are cars you can climb in and an experience too.
Alas the walk from the entrance to the museum building is a little far and up hill. The museum provides strollers if needed. Yet complaints fall away as you scramble for photographs with the cars on display outside.
There are four distinct areas to enjoy including the exhibition halls and movie theatre, photo zone, children’s traffic experience and model car area.
The model car area holds the biggest collection of die-cast models in all of Korea.
However before heading into the exhibition halls be sure to watch the documentary about the history of the world’s cars.
One of the world’s most famous cars is at the museum.
This is the same type of car used for Back to the Future.
Under the direction of Robert Zemeckis the 1985 science fiction movie launched a time travel franchise and popularized the DeLorean gull-wing door car manufactured in Northern Ireland.
From 1981 it had a six-cylinder 130 horse power engine.
Despite a price tag of $25,000 and the Back to the Future series the car company still went bankrupt.
But we will still forever consider the DeLorean a time machine.
However this car was not the first with gull-wing doors. You have to go all the way back to 1954 and the Benz 300SL.
To be honest these type of doors are more accessory-like than practical and many similarly designed cars prefer to use the vertical type instead.
The World Automobile Museum also has cars manufactured in Korea including the very first one made entirely from Korean resources. I must introduce the Sibal which holds a special place in this country’s automobile history.
Initially rich women pooled their money together to buy the cars and many were also used as a taxi.
Notice how the name is drawn out on the front? That’s to give it a more elegant sound when spoken.
In Korean the word Sibal means “beginning”. Quite fitting right?
If you’re in need of more information about the cars on display then you can have a curator give you a guide. The stories are worth listening to because otherwise you’d just quickly pass.
As mentioned above, the museum does provide baby strollers. In one section some expensive ones are for sale for a few million won, but some are certainly not. Like this one below.
One thing to perk the kids up will be the traffic experience area. Elementary-aged kids can register, have their photo taken and then practice driving with a parent or guardian. If they do well a license awaits. Children under 36-months cannot gain a license, but still drive.
It’s a fun experience that combines road safety education at the same time.
Admission prices are 8,000 won for adults, 6,000 won for juveniles and 5000 won for young children.
Finally remember to enjoy the views of Sanbangsan and Korea’s southern-most island, Marado, from the museum.
Information Address: Seogwipo-si, Andeok-myeon, Sangchang-ri 2065-4 (http://www.koreaautomuseum.com/) Telephone: 064-792-3000
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