The Vintage Auto Museum formally opened on June 26th 2004 by Ársæll Guðmundsson, who was at that point the officiating district manager in Skagafjörður. The museum was at the time a 600 sqm hall with a small reception. Only a few short years later, the extent of the museum had grown so much that 800 sqm needed to be added to the hall and a larger reception had to be built. In 2010, the project started and was finished in time for summer 2013.
Today, the museum has on exhibition 95 vehicles; cars, bus, motorcycles, snowmobile, agricultural machinery, small gyrocopter and alot of small knickknacks tied to the Icelandic transportation heritage. In front of the museum and around it, at least 250-300 vehicles and machinery in various condition, which intrigues the museum‘s guests. The museum‘s workshop is south of the museum, and are all the repairs and remodeling on the vehicles and machinery operated there.
The museum is owned by Gunnar Kr. Þórðarson and his wife, Sólveig Jónasdóttir. Gunnar has masters in Auto Mechanic and Sólveig is a primary school teacher. Gunnar has always carried a passion for the transportation heritage and from a young age he has collected a large proportion of the showpieces himself! Gunnar has also, througout the years, remodeled both vehicles and machinery with great success. But to ensure the best possible preservation of the showpieces of various sizes he had collected throughout the years, a warehouse had to be built, resulting in the opening of this magnificent museum for all to enjoy!
It is worth mentioning that after he museum opened, a few of the guests have donated both cars and machines to the museum in near to impeccable condition, and generous gifts like that are completely priceless. In addition, Gunnar‘s brothers, Sigurmon Þórðarson from Hofsós and Páll Hólm Þórðarson from Kópavogur have throughout the years been very helpful with the remodeling of various objects and in collecting showpieces across the country.
The official opening of the museum is from June 1st through September 30th every year and the opening hours are daily from 11 am to 6 pm. The number of visitors at the museum has been rapidly growing in the last years. Icelanders have been very efficient visitors over the years, but in the last two years visits from tourists have been rapidly growing, though specially visits from German, Austrian and Dutch tourists.
Before the museum is opened in early summer and after it has been closed for the winter, we still welcome groups by appointment. During springtime, the school groups (the oldest students, attending school the coming autumn) from kindergartens all over the country visit the museum and been very satisfied with the visits. Senior citizens from all over have visited the museum as well and it is delightful to see the joy in their expression while remenissing over a vehicle or machinery. Trips without a known destination is a thing among companies in Iceland to lift the spirits of their workers. Stopping by the museum on those trips has become more frequent and quite a few very delightful groups have stopped by.
The facilities ability to welcome big groups improved immensely with the new addition to the building, and now the hall can seat up to 70 people. The hall has been rented out for various occations with good success. During the summer of 2015, we started offering cake buffet with excellent success, and now those buffets are a steady part of the summer schedule.
Like so many know that run and operate a museum, financially the operation can be hard- specially with an official opening only 4 months out of the year. The museum has received invaluable financial support from SSNV- Samtök sveitarfélaga á Norðurlandi vestra (North West region association) in the past years. Without their yearly grants, there would not be grounds for the business to be kept open. The museum has also received a invaluable support form KS (Kaupfélag Skagfirðinga) along with few other establishments, and for that we are incredibly grateful.