Things to do - Car and other vehicle museums

Musée des Blindés, Saumur (20mins) This museum has 800 military vehicles (tanks, armoured cars and artillery pieces), 200 of which are operatonal, from 17 different countries. The museum traces the history of armoured vehicles from 1917 to current day.

Musée du Moteur, Saumur (20mins) The museum has over one hundred internal-combustion engines dating from 1898 to the present day. Most of the engines are in working order and evoke their history and their use in industry, agriculture and transport. There are car engines from different countries and categories including racing (Peugeot V10) and collection (E-type Jaguar).

Musée Régioinal de l'Air, Marce (1hr) The Air Transport Museum at Angers Airport covers the historical period 1907-1970 and was created by some local aviation enthusiasts who were determined to keep memories of those great men and their flying adventures alive. Visitors can enjoy watching planes being restored and there are about fifty aircraft still in flying order displayed here.

Le Musée Cadillac, Langeais. (1hr) This is set in a chateau, and contains over 50 Cadillacs, which is the largest Cadillac collection in Europe, from 1926 until the present.

Musée Maurice Dufresne, Marnay. (1hr 10mins) This museum has more than 3,000 antique machines and motorised vehicles, including a collection of cars, trucks and motorcycles. It is located on an estate of over 6 hectares in the mill at Marnay

Musée Auto Moto Velo, Châtellerault (1hr 30mins) There are over 150 motorbikes, bicycles and cars here from the last 130 years, in particular from the period around the 1930's, as well as and collections of engines, lamps, posters and old documents. The rarest cars in the collection are the 1893 Panhard et Levassor and the 1929 Voisin C14.

Musee Chez Manu, Migné-Auxances (1hr 30mins) This is a museum like no other, full of objects from the past, including old cars, toys, bicycles, tractors and military equipment. There is a 1912 Renault AX, a collection of pedal cars, a 1924 fire engine, Merlin steam engines and even a Sikorsky helicopter.

Domaine de la Petite Couère, Châtelais (1hr 40 mins). This is a nature park of 80 hectares with a little train and over 300 animals. There is a tractor, bicycle and car museum; more than 40 exhibitions of old games and roundabouts and a village where time stood still at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Musée du Poids Lourds, Montrichard (1hr 45mins) This Heavy Truck Museum is a collection of vehicles all in working order, which trace the history of road transport from the First World War to the 1970s.

Vernon Automobile Museum (1hr 45mins) In the 17thC Chateau of Vernon discover a collection of more than 40 classic sports cars from the 1920's to the present including a Delahaye Torpédo type 87 Kelsch (1921) and Dodge Viper GTS (1997) which raced at Le

Musée Monet et Goyon, Melle (1hrs 50mins). This museum tells the story of this French brand of through its prestigious collection of motorcyclettes manufactured between 1917 and 1959. In total there are about 40 different mopeds and accessories.

Musée des 24 Heures (Musée Automobile de la Sarthe), Le Mans. (1hr 50mins)This museum which is at the main entrance to the Le Mans circuit has a fine collection of classic cars including many legends from the most famous races. It now has over 100 exceptional cars and dozens of films and archive photographs.

Musée Automobile de Vendée Talmont Saint Hilaire (2hrs) This has a collection of around 200 vehicles (cars, bicycles, motorcycles and horse drawn carriages) dating from 1885 to prototypes for the future. The Museum houses 45 different makes, ranging from the 1885 steam-engined De Dion Bouton to modern and advanced prototypes from Italy like the SOGNA and VERA one-off cars. Each year three or four "new" old cars join the Collection on display, coming from the reserve stock after having undergone a complete restoration.

Espace Automobiles Matra (Matra Museum), Romorantin Lanthenay (2hrs) Housed in a former industrial building, the Matra Museum covers the history of Matra, from road cars for LeMans to Formula 1 racing cars.

Musée de l'Automobile de Valencay(2 hrs 10mins) This museum covers 1600 m2 and has a permanent exhibition of some fifty vehicles (from 1898 to 1971) in working order, from a Ford model 'T' to a Formula One racing car and there is also a collection of spare parts and vintage posters.

Motorcycle and Cycle Sports Museum, Gensac la Pallue (2hrs 30mins)Here in times gone by, the races at the Cognac race circuit and the Mullons Moto Cross drew crowds of fervent spectators. There are more than 150 exhibits on show in this museum.