Welcome To Mahymobiles

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News 2024:

Opening hours 2024:

From 1 April to 30 September 2024:

April, May, June and September : Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays from 10.00 to 17.00

July & August: every day, except Tuesday and Wednesday, from 10.00 to 17.00

Exceptionally also open on Friday 10 May and Monday 30 September from 10.00 to 17.00

Miniature car fair by MCCF (Model Car Collector Friends) : Saturday 25 May from 10.00 to 16.00

Guided tours: only on reservation in EN, FR or NL.

Public Holidays in 2024 :

  • 1 April: Easter Monday
  • 1 May: Labour Day
  • 9 May: Ascension Day
  • 20 May: White Monday
  • 21 July: National Day
  • 15 August: Assumption Day

Entrance fees:

Individual rate:

Adults: 15 €
Children -12 y: 10 €
Children -6 y: free

Group rate:

From 15 pers. (Only on opening days of the museum):
Adults: 12 €
Children -12 y: 8 €
Children -6 y: free

Guided tours in EN, FR or NL only by appointment: additional charge of 50,00 € / group maximum 50 persons. Duration 1 hour

Download the PDF with the practical information and admission prices
or download the reservation form for groups.


Would you like to visit the museum as a group? Feel free to contact us : [email protected]
Opening hours 2024: From 1 April to 30 September:

April, May, June and September : Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays from 10.00 to 17.00

July & August: every day, except Tuesday and Wednesday, from 10.00 to 17.00

Exceptionally also open on Friday 10 May and Monday 30 September from 10.00 to 17.00

Guided tours in EN, FR or NL only by appointment: additional charge of 50,00 € / group maximum 50 persons. Duration 1 hour

Download the PDF with the practical information and admission prices
or download the reservation form for groups.

Day trips : combine your visit to Mahymobiles with another site of the “Wallonia Picarde” : Our Lady with the Rose Hospital in Lessines, Beloeil Castle, Dubuisson Brewery in Pipaix, Attre Castle, Steam Brewery in Pipaix or the Archéosite in Aubechies.

The packages are available on request: [email protected]

Services cafeteria for groups (only after reservation)

Morning coffee (coffee or tea): 2,50 € p/pers.
Breakfast (coffee or tea + 1 pastry): 6,00 € p/pers.
Breakfast (coffee or tea + 2 pastries): 7,00 € p/pers.
Afternoon tea (coffee or tea + local cake specialty): 7,00 € p/pers.
Tasting of local beer: Bush, Moinette or Brasserie à vapeur 3,00 € to 4,00 € p/glas.
Lunch (variety of sandwiches): on request.
Meals with caterer (cold or hot buffet, barbecue): on request
Hiring of rooms (banquet or meeting) and grounds: on request


Large free parking area (car or coach)

If you use GPS, enter « rue des Fabriques » or Lat. : 50°35’55.05’’N Long : 3°36’31.94’’E.

Accessibility: Special facilities for disabled people.

The automobile museum ‘Mahymobiles’ occupies a building of 20,000 m2 and can be a little cool in both summer and winter. Don’t forget to bring a warm jumper and/or jacket when you visit us.

Special features: a Mahymobiles store and an antique shop, cafeteria. Detective games are available and free for children.

Cameras and filming allowed, except for commercial purposes and/or distribution.

Distance to Leuze-en-Hainaut from:
Antwerp 120km, Brussels 80km, Dunkerque 120km, Gent 59km, Liège 180km, Lille 41 km, Tournai 20km and Valenciennes 30km.

Directions by road:
A8-E429 Lille-Bruxelles, exit 31 Leuze-en-Hainaut/Frasnes, follow the N60 to Leuze-en-Hainaut.

Motorway A 8 – E 429 Lille – Brussels, exit no. 31 Frasnes N 60. Then take the N60 towards Leuze. At the roundabout turn right towards Tournai (N7) and follow the road for 1.5 km. Turn left just after the “Total” gas pump. ATTENTION! Do not cross the railway, but continue straight on Erna Street. Continue for 250 m, the museum parking lot is on the left.

A16-E42 Tournai-Mons, exit 29 Péruwelz, follow the N60 to Leuze-en-Hainaut.

Access by train: Schaarbeek – Mouscron line, get off at Leuze station. Do not exit through the main entrance! Take the tunnel which passes under the tracks, then turn left and take the dirt pedestrian path which runs alongside the tracks (Rue des Fabriques = Rue Erna). The museum is 800m from Leuze station.

Musée de l’Auto MAHYMOBILES
Rue Erna 3
7900 Leuze-en-Hainaut

Tel: +32 (0) 69/35 45 45
E-Mail: [email protected]

Mahy Story

The Mahy family, from Ghent in Belgium, specialized in the manufacture of steam boilers. Ghislain Mahy, born in 1907, developed a mechanical aptitude in childhood. At the age of seventeen he built his first car, using a Dixi engine and second-hand parts. “The worst car ever built” he always said. Four years later and after very careful tuning, he managed to sell it for a good price (6500 FB in his time) which financed his entry into the motor trade. In 1938, he opened the first car rental agency in Belgium and subsequently became an agent for several big name manufacturers: Nash, Simca and Fiat.

In 1944, Ghislain bought, at the same time as an FN motorcycle (the oldest 4-cylinder motorcycle in the world), and also a Ford T, for the modest sum of 150 FB. This model was close to his heart because it presented to him a precious childhood memory: his father had driven an identical car. He knew the mechanics well, with the exception of the gearbox, which he dismantled and reassembled in order to understand how it worked. Then the acquisitions followed one another: a 1915 Benz Karpatensieger, a 1921 Fiat limousine, a 1915 Wanderer, a superb 1906 Belgian Fondu, a 1920 Rolls Royce that a mechanic intended to transform into a tow truck,… And the collection grew.

1938 : The Circus building.

Let’s go back to before the war: business is going well for Ghislain, he wants to expand. His dream is to rent the castle of the Counts in Ghent. This splendid 12th century building was not yet classified as a historic building and had been used as a textile factory. Ghislain’s wife, more realistic, suggests that he take an interest in another empty shell, the former Winter Circus, a gigantic circular building of 5000 m2 located in the center of Ghent.

An agreement was concluded between Mr. Mahy and the owner, the essential transformations were carried out and, in 1939, the work was completed. But Ghislain is out of luck: the inauguration day is the day of general mobilization. The war arrives, a long period during which trade will slow down.

After the war, the owner of the Cirque wanted to sell his property and Ghislain acquired it in 1948. The period was financially difficult for the Mahy family. Ghislain decided to make the Cirque a more ambitious garage than the one he had built before the war and the doors of the new garage opened in October 1954. It is one of the most modern and largest in Flanders.

The rooms are huge but there are still many that cannot be used for professional activity: dead ends, rooms cluttered with columns, high floors and deep cellars are used to store vintage vehicles.

This gigantic circular building is a surreal place: an architectural masterpiece. Above the “runway” are suspended a Zeppelin gondola and an airplane decorated with neon tubes serving as a chandelier. All around, on each of the 4 floors, dozens of legendary ancestors seem to be spectators of a ghost act. Others sleep peacefully in the 2 levels of cellars and have not seen the light of day for over thirty years!

These vehicles were stored in the old Winter Circus. This gigantic circular building was a surrealistic place, an architectural masterpiece of 6000 square meters, situated in the center of Ghent. The ground floor was used for his car dealership, so the five floors and the two underground levels were used for the storage. On every level, dozens of legendary ancestors seem to be spectators of a phantom show. Others were sleeping quietly in the two underground levels not seeing daylight for more than thirty years.

In October 1953, when Ghislain converted the ancient Winter circus into an auto dealership, he already was the owner of 35 ancient cars. A new opportunity presented itself. At the time of the Korean war, the price of scrap metal rose five-fold and many old cars were fell victim to scrap dealers. 

The concept of “collector’s car” had yet to develop and therefore Ghislain Mahy could buy these ancient vehicles for their scrap value. Everybody considered Ghislain  a fool, because he was ‘collecting useless scrap’. But, in the 60’s, interest in historic vehicles grew rapidly , and, as a result Ghislain began searching for a building to house the first Belgium automobile museum; a site he could share his passion with others.

Restoration and conservation of the vehicles.

For years, Ghislain continued to collect vehicles. Several hundred were added to those who already were stored in the various rooms of the old circus. From the beginning, Ghislain began to restore. For the first cars, this consisted of dismantling and reassembling the parts and applying paint with a brush. Replacing parts back then was not as easy as it is now. There were certainly many pieces, but no structure brought them together. Today, we consult classified ads in specialized magazines, we contact owners’ clubs or we search on the internet. At the end of the 1940s, you had to rely on chance or create a network of contacts.

Very quickly, he replaces the brush with a paint gun, but Ghislain does not know the proper technique. He calls on a coachbuilder friend. But he is also faced with problems with woodwork, upholstery and others… Each time he finds qualified friends to help him. From the end of the 1950s until around 1970, Ghislain and his eldest son Ivan worked in a small workshop helped by a few passionate volunteers such as, for example, this exceptional craftsman, a former upholsterer, who had learned the trade at Minerva at the age thirteen years old. Over time, Ghislain, Ivan and their friends have restored 250 cars themselves in around forty years.

1970: Houthalen, the first car museum in Belgium.

In 1964, Ghislain Mahy bought an old bowling alley of 2000 m2 in Ghent. He transformed it, placed restored vehicles, prepared the room for the opening, when the city of Ghent banned the operation of the museum, arguing that the building was in a green zone and that a museum was a commercial activity.

The press was interested in the collection and an article was read by the mayor of Houthalen. He contacts Ghislain Mahy. His idea was to set up a room on the main square to turn it into a museum, but this time it was the governor of Limburg who opposed the project. For him, a specific building must be built to house the collection. Thus, in July 1970, the Provincial Automobile Museum opened in Houthalen, in Limburg. In effect the first Belgian national motor museum and it is one of the first automobile museums in Europe. But the beginning of the 1970s coincided with the first oil crisis. And in 1975, the museum began to feel the effects. In addition, staff costs are becoming more and more expensive and, for reasons of subsidies, schools no longer come to the museum. In 1983, the province decided to close its doors. However, the Mahy family was authorized to take over the operation of the museum on their own.

Meanwhile, in 1978, the family created a non-profit organization “Autocollection Ghislain Mahy” (AGM), in order to preserve the collection.

In 1983, Ivan Mahy took over the management of the museum. He was helped by volunteers and the museum was once again very successful. Three years later, turnover has increased significantly. The museum advertises a lot, the public comes in droves. The proximity of Bokrijk Park is a boon as it attracts a lot of visitors.

In 1985, the Province considered the time had come to increase the rent: it was multiplied by five and now corresponded to the advertising and promotional budget of the museum.

AGM cannot financially support the increase of the rent and the negotiations are going nowhere. Vehicles presented in Houthalen must be transferred to another exhibition location.

1986: Autoworld.

A magnificent 8,000 m2 hall was available, located in the prestigious setting of the Cinquantenaire Museums in Brussels. Its metal structure with a span of 48 m without pillars was perfect. “The deal” was negotiated in particular with the ministers Herman De Croo (communications) and Louis Olivier (Public Works, owners of the building).

The inauguration took place in 1986 after the restoration of the building, located opposite the Army and Aeronautics museums (one of the largest in the world) and near the Museum of Arts and History. In addition to its architectural quality, the place has a symbolic value since between 1902 and 1934, almost every year, the automobile show was organized there. More than 200 mechanical gems have been welcoming you there for than 30 years and constitute what is considered one of the most fabulous automobile museums in the world.

But Autoworld actually only houses a quarter of the vehicles collected by Ghislain Mahy. The other vehicles, around 800, slept peacefully at the former Winter Circus in Ghent until 1997.

But Autoworld actually only houses a quarter of the vehicles collected by Ghislain Mahy. The other vehicles, around 800, slept peacefully at the former Winter Circus in Ghent until 1997.

1997: On the road for new adventure.

Already before moving to Brussels in 1986, the non-profit organization “Autocollection Ghislain Mahy” was looking for a larger place than the Circus to house old vehicles. Many contacts were made with the public authorities. The State sold several barracks and factories which had become vacated following bankruptcies or moves. AGM was looking for a group of large buildings with surrounding land. Ivan Mahy contacted many cities, including Antwerp, Blankenberg, Brussels, Ghent, Ostend, which were ready to provide a suitable building for the collection. Many sites were too expensive, too small or unsuitable.

In 1996, during a visit to Frasnes-lez-Anvaing, a curator informed Ivan Mahy about a factory for sale in Leuze-en-Hainaut. AGM visits the former “Ernaelsteen” textile factory, finds that it is perfectly suitable and meets the first alderman of Leuze. The latter, Mr. Jean-Pol Renard, was immediately very enthusiastic. Three days later AGM was informed that the town of Leuze had agreed to purchase the old factory with a view to install the future municipal automobile museum there.

From then on, Ivan Mahy and a few friends tackled a mammoth move.

For three years, they worked hard to transfer 800 vehicles, stored in the circular galleries and basements of the former winter circus of Ghent, to Leuze.

In addition to the ancestors, tons of spare parts, old equipment and tools will also invade the site, which despite its 20,000 m2, is already too small. The private library, one of the largest in Europe, is overflowing with tons of precious automotive documents, which are carefully classified and inventoried there.

2000: Opening of the Museum of Automobile “Mahymobiles”.

Over time, the ambitious project came to fruition and the future municipal automobile museum was named “Mahymobiles”.

The buildings had been used for a century by textile companies. It was necessary to arrange the whole thing in such a way as to make it not only accessible to the public, but also attractive. Through IDETA, an intermunicipal association in charge of economic and tourist development in the region, the Walloon region has allocated subsidies to take care of the reception center and the surroundings of the building.

A second amount, granted by Europe, is devoted to the exterior of the buildings: renovation of roofs and facades as well as the sanitation of the 5 hectare site.

The non-profit organization “Mahymobiles”, for its part, takes care of all the interior fittings of the buildings.

Mahymobiles today.

Mahymobiles was opened to visitors on 29th September 2000.

Ghislain Mahy’s collection has two very unusual aspects. The collection is privately owned but, in March 1978, the Mahy family created a charitable foundation in order to prevent dispersion or compulsory sale following the death of a family member. 

The second is the collection’s theme. It is probably unique worldwide in containing at least one example of every important aspect of automobile development. The Mahy collection is one of the largest in the world and includes more than nine hundred and fifty cars, sixty motorcycles, a collection of bicycles, children’s cars, some horse-drawn carriages and sleighs.

Mahymobiles shows automotive history from it’s humble beginnings at the end of the 19th century to the present day.

Mahymobiles has only one ambition: to share with everyone the passion for automobiles that drives the Mahy family.

After Ghislain Mahy, his sons Ivan and Hans, today it is his grandson, Michel Mahy, who has taken up the torch.

In 2020, he had the idea of ​​taking 40 vehicles out of storage that had never been exhibited before, having them photographed by a professional photographer, Wouter Rawoens and this is how the book “Mahy, a family of cars ” was published by Lannoo editions.

The book is full of photos that fascinate and challenge, and tells the little story, the adventures or misadventures of these ancestors. In 2021, a major exhibition inspired by the book was organized at the Vynckier site in Ghent. This was an international success and a second exhibition took place at Autoworld Brussels in July and August 2023. Around ten ancestors are permanently exhibited at Mahymobiles. The book published in 3 languages ​​(FR, NL and EN) is available at the museum shop.

Currently the “Mahymobiles” museum offers visitors a 2.5 hour walk over an area of ​​6000 m2 (6 rooms) with more than 300 vehicles on display. The exhibitions and scenography’s vary over time.

In addition to classic vehicles with 2, 3 or 4 wheels, you will also discover old toys, miniatures, dioramas, enameled plaques, neon signs, oil cans, tools, jukeboxes, posters and photos,… in short, thousands of objects linked to automobiles and road transport which are presented on the floors, walls and in the air in a cozy and mysterious atmosphere.


How long does a visit last?
The visit lasts on average 2 to 2.5 hours, but some serious enthusiasts don’t have enough of a day to see everything!

I come by car, motorbike or bicycle, where can I park?
The museum has a large free car parking located 80 meters from the entrance.

Is it permitted to take photographs or videos?
You are welcome to take photos or videos during your visit. Donʼt forget to add them to our Facebook  page. For commercial or professional use, an authorization request is necessary.

Is the museum accessible to wheelchair users?
All rooms (6000 m2) are accessible to people with reduced mobility. People with reduced mobility can park their car on the lawn right in front of the museum entrance door.

Can I pay with a credit card or in cash?
Yes, the museum has a Bancontact/Visa terminal and also accepts cash payments. Checks are not accepted.

I have a discount card or voucher. Should I book my visit in advance?
No, you can come to reception without reservation.

How long does a guided tour last?
The guided tour of the Ghislain Mahy room lasts 1 hour. The guide will adapt the visit according to the age of the visitors. After the guided tour, don’t forget to allow an extra hour to discover the other five rooms.

Are dogs allowed in the Museum?
Dogs are allowed, provided they are kept on a lead.

Iʼm getting married/organizing a golden wedding anniversary/celebrating an important event.
You are welcome to hold a photo shoot at Mahymobiles (by prior arrangement, please). Room rental (banquet, event or meeting) and catered meals are possible upon reservation. To rent a ceremonial car, however, you will need to contact a vehicle rental professional.

1000 oldtimers – thatʼs amazing – are they all on display?
Over 300 vehicles are on permanent display at Mahymobiles in Leuze-en-Hainaut and a further 200 or on display in Brussels at Autoworld. Vehicles stored in reserve are exchanged frequently with vehicles on display.

So how big is Mahymobiles?
The building covers a total of 20,000 square meters with 18 halls. Six halls (6,000 square meters) are open to the public. The Centre is surrounded by a 5 ha plot of land including meadows, a storm basin, lawns and a large parking.

What types of vehicles are stored in the reserve collection?
The reserves are made up of all types of vehicles, coming from all over the world and from all eras. Most of these are protected by a thin layer of oil. This technique, however, has a drawback: the oil layer becomes covered with dust and it is impossible to clean them regularly. On the other hand, when they return to center stage, after a few days of cleaning, they are sparkling. Their condition varies: some are in perfect original condition, others are being restored or have been restored, still others are proud to display their original patina.

Iʼm searching for information or illustrations about a particular model. Can the Museum help me?
The Museum maintains an extremely extensive library of photos, magazines, brochures, manuals, technical material etc.- some 40 tons in total! For a small donation a volunteer archivist will try to track down the material you need and photocopy it.

Where are the vehicles restored/maintained?
We have a large restoration workshop. Our current priority is light re-commissioning of cars first restored some years ago. Clearly, a vital task for conservators, who are all volunteers, is keeping rust, woodworm, and, in some cases, moths at bay. We are aware of the dangers of over restoration and try to maintain the normal used patina of the vehicles.

Do you hold courses in restoration techniques?
From 1950 to 1997, Ghislain Mahy (†1999) restored around 250 ancestors, with the help of friends and volunteers. The Mahy family has always dreamed of founding a restoration workshop in Leuze-en-Hainaut. Vehicle restoration will be possible again but there will not be any “restoration training” strictly speaking, but it is obvious that volunteers will be able to learn on the job.

Iʼm looking for a missing part for my restoration project. Can you help?
We have acquired many tons of spares over the years, most of which are vital to cars in the collection. Duplicate, or unused, pieces are sold in the antique shop.

Who owns the vehicles in the Mahy collection?
In order to avoid any dispersion in the event of death, Ghislain Mahy (1907-1999) founded a Non-profit Association (ASBL) in 1978, called “Autocollection Ghislain MAHY” (AGM). The old vehicles now all belong to the ASBL A.G.M.

How do I become a volunteer at Mahymobiles?
For anybody with a interest in the preservation of this extraordinary heritage, a warm welcome awaits in Leuze-en-Hainaut. You donʼt require specific skills to volunteer but do need a ʻcan doʼ attitude and a willingness to work in a team. When you work is up to you and you can usually find a task suited to your interests e.g. mechanics (experienced or beginner), panel beaters (experienced or beginner), guides (all languages), researcher, archivist, publicist etc. Just call in during our opening hours or send an email to [email protected]

Can I make a donation to the collection?
Do you have an old vehicle or any other automobile object or document that you value and/or that you need to part with, and you have the feeling that it will be in good hands at Mahymobiles? Contact us without obligation. We will be happy to help and advise you. Ghislain Mahy has always tried to save as many vehicles as possible from demolition and to preserve automotive heritage. The non-profit organization wishes to maintain this tradition but reserves the right to evaluate the interest of each donation before accepting it. The non-profit organization “Autocollection Gh. MAHY” is grateful to the many donors for the donations of cars, parts, tools and documents (books, photos, magazines, postcards, brochures, press kits, any “automobilia” object, etc.) received over the years.

Are cars in the collection roadworthy?
Almost all of the cars in the main hall and a small proportion of vehicles in the reserve collection are roadworthy. Many are kept on axle stands to preserve the tires. Batteries have been removed and petrol drained to comply with safety legislation, so all would need light re-commissioning for use on public roads.

Where do your old vehicles come from?
Since the 1950s, Ghislain Mahy has always wanted to save vehicles from demolition. They were generally purchased for scrap price or received, which is still often the case today. During their numerous travels to the four corners of the world, Ghislain Mahy and his sons discovered these vehicles along the road, at wreckers or second-hand dealers, at stock exchanges like Hershey and Beaulieu, during auctions, etc… and often brought them back to Ghent using an old truck and a double trailer. When the truck broke down, it was not uncommon for one of the old vehicles to tow the truck! ! ! Since 1995, the collection has only very exceptionally purchased vehicles. About half of the collection consists of donations.

Does the Museum ever sell cars?
The short answer is no. Very occasionally the trustees rationalize the collection by selling doubles to make room for more modern classics.

Can I adopt a car or help financially to restore it?
If you would like to help us to restore a particular vehicle, do not hesitate to contact us to discuss it. Any help in preserving old vehicles is welcome.

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