The Best Things Come In Fours: Top Mountain Crosspoint
A truly ambitious plan to install a Motorcycle Museum, a top modern mountain gondola terminal, a road toll station and a restaurant under one roof. Attila & Alban Scheiber were convinced about their superb “Top Mountain Crosspoint” project rights from its start.
We met Attila Scheiber and wanted to know more about the new showpiece at 2175 meters above sea level.
Attila, when did you have the idea to build the “Top Mountain Crosspoint” and how long did it take to put your vision into practice?
Already 10 years ago we thought about replacing the old T-bar ski lift, dating back to 1978, by a state-of-the-art mountain gondola. Besides financial reasons, there were many other strategic and planning questions.
Only six years ago we started planning the project properly. The old road toll station was decaying as well, and we knew that we wanted to unite all different parts under one roof.
The building’s architecture reminds of a giant snow cornice © Benedikt Steiner / Ötztal Tourismus
A new road toll station for the summer season and a new ski lift for the winter almost required also a restaurant. So we had already three features in a single complex.
5 years ago a Motorcycle Museum came into our minds: this was the final touch! Why not adding also a museum to the same building.
Nostalgia advertising posters of motorbikes in the restaurant area © Benedikt Steiner / Ötztal Tourismus
How long did the construction works take?
Not very long, we started in the autumn of 2014 with excavation and piling-up works, then the foundations were laid.
After a winter break we restarted again in spring 2015. The whole complex was completed within only 6 months – also thanks to the convenient weather conditions.
Were you sure about being Europe’s highest Motorcycle Museum before you started?
Yes, quite sure. I have seen almost every motorbike museum in Europe. But it wasn’t the main reason to beat a record, we wanted to be Europe’s best museum in terms of quality!
And I think we are on a good way to achieve our goal – as many experts have already confirmed.
Europe’s highest Motorcycle Museum at 2175 meters above sea level © Alexander Lohmann / Bergbahnen Obergurgl-Hochgurgl
The ski area was our playground – and the best way to explore it was on a motor vehicle.
When did you come in touch with motorbikes for the very first time?
Very early. At that time we were only four children in the village. And there was no playground in the surroundings. Our play area was the ski slope and we explored it on motor vehicles.
When I was 6 years old, I received the first mini-motorbike as a present – it was a Gilera. Two years later, we already used trail motorbikes uphill and down dale. I was taken by this passion!
This is only one out of more than 230 motorcycles on display © Benedikt Steiner / Ötztal Tourismus
In the meantime you have collected more than 230 motorbikes for the museum. How did you search for such rarities?
We had already a collection of American motorcycles. And we tried to find other rare vintage vehicles by focusing on the most renowned makes of every country.
Of course, we are not the only ones looking for such precious items. Luckily we found some of the great exhibition pieces at auctions and public sales, like in Stafford/England or in Las Vegas.
Do you take care of the bikes yourselves?
Yes, of course! 2 mechanics take care of the motorbikes and do the regular maintenance works. Our aim is that over 90% of our exhibited bikes are roadworthy (remark: at the moment 80% of the motorcycles in the museum are ready for the roads).
If necessary, we have also some experts specialized in certain motorbike makes.
Which one is your favorite exhibition piece?
It’s almost impossible to answer this question. I am very fond of German motorbikes like BMW, English ones like Brough Superior, Americans like Indian and also Italian motorcycles like Moto Guzzi.
Our latest exhibit ranks among the undisputed highlights! It is the oldest motorbike world-wide, a “Hildebrand und Wolfmüller” dating back to 1896!