Automobile Museum of the Year Award


The Automobile Museum of the Year Award is an annual recognition award that aims to raise the recognition and profile of automobile museums. The aim is also to share good practices between museums and help improve customer satisfaction.

Award criteria

The award seeks out the best achievers, i.e. those who have done their job in a remarkable way. As it is impossible to define the absolute best, the award is given out to a museum that has made a significant contribution to the visibility and impact of automobile museums in society. The museum’s activities are bringing new or different perspectives, ideas, and thoughts to the automotive museum sector. Strong development work, diverse collections, a successful focus on details such as a particular type of vehicle, cleanliness, and noteworthy thematic exhibitions are all noteworthy aspects of the award decision. In addition, the Special Award of the Year may be given to a museum, working group, project, or individual for a significant museum work or a long-term contribution to the development of the automobile museum sector.

Chosing the Automobile Museum of the Year

The Automobile Museum of the Year is selected on the basis of feedback or nominations from the members of the Advisory Committee of Finnish Automobile Museums. The museum with the most support is the winner. However, the association reserves the right to make the final selection. The secretary shall organise the vote, collect the votes, and have the result approved by those entitled to vote.

Each automobile museum participating in the Advisory Committee of Finnish Automobile Museums has one vote. They can also vote for their own museum. As a general rule, different museums are selected each year, but an exceptional number of consecutive successful years in line with the award criteria may qualify for a consecutive or repeated award. As a rule, the evaluation period is one year back from the time of voting.

Award and award ceremony

Mobilia donates a trophy and produces a certificate. The award is given out as part of the programme of the Lahti Classic Motor Show or at a similar event.

Automobile Museums of the Year

2022: The Finnish Motorcycle Museum

The jury noted the pioneering way in which the museum’s activities and ongoing development are funded. The selection of Riku Routo and the Finnish Motorcycle Museum as the Automobile Museum of the Year was also based on the fact that the museum has largely been built on the open-minded ideas and efforts of one man, whereas many museums usually have a backing organisation or association with resources to support their activities. The museum was built in line with the modern world and by recycling demolished buildings in the surrounding area in an elegant way – being ahead of its time in the circular economy. In the more than ten years it has been open, international drivers and a chain of cafés have joined the journey. The museum, located in the harbour landscape, has become an active centre for summer events.
Find out more about the museum here.

2021: Due to the COVID19 situation, the prize was not awarded.

2020: Vehoniemi Automobile Museum

The Vehoniemi Automobile Museum was chosen as the Automobile Museum of the Year based on the long-standing work of the Olavi and Lilja Sallinen family, now in its third generation, on automobile culture, the right dose of creative madness, and business expertise. A good example of this is the well-planned and executed crowdfunding campaign that enabled the expansion of the museum in summer 2019.
Find out more about the museum here.

2019: Espoo Car Museum

The Espoo Car Museum’s award is based on the museum’s long 40-year history, which is still based on strong volunteer work. The Espoo Car Museum is the oldest automobile museum in Finland and one of the largest, displaying more than 200 vehicles, as well as small items related to road traffic. The museum is located in an idyllic old stone cowshed near Lake Bodom in Pakankylä, Espoo, a stone’s throw from Ring III.
Find out more about the museum here.

2018: Vaasa Car and Motor Museum

The Vaasa Car and Motor Museum’s award is based on the cultural value of the museum building, the exceptional proportions of the building, which has been restored through voluntary work and recycling, and the museum’s vibrant activities. The Vaasa Car and Motor Museum is run by the Vaasa Veteran Car Association, which has been running the museum since 1981. The museum was established on Varastokatu, and in 2010, it moved to its current premises on Myllykatu in Vaasa. The building, now over 130 years old, is a warehouse built in 1939 by the local hardware store C. J. Hartman. The building is a listed building. The Finnish Heritage Agency has supported the restoration of the building. The museum displays cars from the early 1900s to the present day, as well as a variety of engines since there have been several well-known engine manufacturers in the Vaasa region. In addition to a large collection of bicycles, the museum’s collections include gravity racers, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and mopeds. As the renovation of the building has progressed, the number of visitors to the museum has increased and looks set to continue to grow.
Find out more about the museum here.

2017: Car museum Myllyn vanhat autot, Ylämylly/Liperi

The award is justified by the museum’s remarkable rate of expansion: The museum opened in the summer of 1999 with 60 cars on display in 1,200 m² of space. Since then, the museum has expanded every two years and now has over 4,000 m² of exhibition space and 700 m² of storage. More than 200 cars, 20 trucks, 10 vans, and 130 motorcycles and mopeds are on display. It was also considered important that the museum is a family-owned business and that the vehicles in its collection are owned by the company or by people close to the owners. The museum is also open to the public with extensive opening hours. Keijo Hirvonen, the founder of Myllyn Vanhat Autot, received a particular mention in the award citations, as he has been a museum car enthusiast since the 1960s and was involved in founding the hobby-based Ylämylly Old Cars Museum as early as 1979. Keijo and his family actively participate in recreational driving events with the museum’s vehicles.
Find out more about the museum here.