While scouting about for things to do in the Spanish Basque country, I read about this amazing collection of mint condition antique cars, comprising the largest collection of Rolls Royces in the world. Even for someone who is not all that interested in cars, it sounded worth a visit!
It is the collection of Miguel de la Via, and he opens his collection to the public on Sundays and holidays out at an estate called Torre Loizaga. About 30 kilometers southwest of Bilbao, you’ll definitely need a car to get out there. The drive is through lush Basque countryside. Probably like us, you may take a few wrong turns, but the views will keep you entertained so you won’t mind too much and eventually, you’ll arrive at a beautiful wooded estate.
The vehicles are housed in 5 long sheds. One of the buildings is carpeted with oriental rugs, lit with torch-like sconces & wrought-iron chandeliers. A grand piano waits expectantly for someone to accompany the elegant engineering of the classic cars.
The other buildings are just basic outbuildings, but packed with classic cars.
The descriptions of each vehicle were all in Spanish. We were able to glean some of the relevant details, but not all of the information.
There is a desultory gift counter of sorts, but no one manning it, sort of an afterthought. It was pleasant that the place is not commercialized, but is just a person sharing his (very expensive) hobby.
Spain Closes Up on Sundays Anyway
So if you are ever in Bilbao some Sunday and have access to a car, take a drive through the green hills and valleys of “España Verde” south-southwest of the city to Torre Loizaga and marvel at the artistic lines of the Rolls Royces and the Porsches, Jaguars, Mercedes, Fords, Buicks, MGs, Cadillacs, etc. There’s even an Hispano-Suiza.