They welcome you, keep you informed, guide you and take the outmost care to ensure that your visit to Autoworld runs as smoothly as possible. Who are these people whose faces you often only know?
For this second article we are meeting up with one of the museum’s seven guides. We have Yves, Eddy, Pat, Paul, Jean-Pierre, Agnès and Rodolphe.
Today it is the latter whom we meet and who acts as spokesperson for his colleagues.
“In a manner of speaking I’m the latest addition to the gang, having joined the museum’s guides some 5 years ago”. Rodolphe, an energetic and jovial septuagenarian, is a former architect and car enthusiast from a very young age. As an amateur driver he burnt a fair amount of rubber on the race circuits, and in 1974, together with several friends created the Club des Vétérans de Mercedès. “Apart from Eddy and Yves, not all of us stem from the automotive world, but we are all passionate about this fabulous history and have a frenetic longing to share our passion.” Autoworld offers guided visits every day, 7 days on 7, in French, Dutch, English for a flat rate of €85 per group of two up to a maximum of thirty persons. “In theory the visits last an hour and a half, but there have been times when I have spent more than four hours with groups of enthusiasts who had a pertinent question about nearly all the cars. And that’s what drives me. I adapt my guided tour to the profile of the visitors. The museum does not impose an overall format. I do come out with a fair number of anecdotes. That’s what the visitors appreciate.”
In Rodolphe’s life as a guide, two experiences particularly marked him. One with a group of young autistic children aged between 9 and 11 years; the other with visually impaired children between 12 and 14 years. “There was one accompanying person per visually impaired child, and we were with two guides from the museum for the entire small group. We handed over white gloves to each young child. One by one we guided them around the cars. They were allowed to touch all parts of the car. It was definitely one of the most moving moments of my life. It still gives me goose bumps. These young ones even made me discover details on the cars that I had never spotted.”
Rodolphe, similar to all his colleagues, enjoys spending time at Autoworld, especially during exhibitions when the demand is higher. “Showing visitors around the museum or an exhibition is a privileged moment of sharing”.