The Mahy collection: 'The Reserve'

A vast row of factory buildings among the rolling hills of Hainaut. Nothing is made here now, apart from history.

An acrid smell of rust and engine oil hangs in the air and the only sound here is a pigeon flying through the broken windows. A thousand cars stand in the swirling dust, bumper to bumper, mudguard to mudguard. Slowly dwindling away into their own oil. Legendary racing cars, elegant limousines and obscure fourwheelers, each with a story of their own.

What if we were to shine the spotlight on a selection of these vintage cars and their histories? An exposition, beautiful photos and a luxury book does just that. Naked and with backlighting.

A few stories to discover ‘live’ during the expo…


It once was a shiny racing car that belonged to a young king, but nowadays the Aston Martin DB2 looks miserable in faded, peaceful red. The car had no headlights, no grand grille, and it was strangled by a tow rope. Grandfather Ghislain Mahy bought the damaged British car more than fifty years ago. Something was wrong with the chassis number and below the stylised bonnet there was a Triumph engine. And this was a good thing, because Aston Martin’s engines had a bad reputation in those days. Inquiry with Aston Martin in England led Mahy to the Royal Palace in Brussels. Anonymously racing along the Belgian roads in a convertible, however, wasn’t so easy for members of the royal family. The Aston Martin was sold, and the new owner crashed the car to damnation. Three years later, King Baudouin bought a new Aston Martin. With a roof. In 2011, this one was sold by auction for 333,500 euros.


At the Geneva Motor Show in 1948, Delahaye introduced the 135 MS. Our 135 MS Ghia is a unique cabriolet with a bodywork that was built by Ghia in Turin. A coupé from the same year was built by Ghia-Aigle in Switzerland and it is regarded as one of the most beautiful showpieces in car history. The fast car with a white convertible top was sold and later disappeared without a trace.
This Ghia is a vague yet legendary shadow for car historians. A height of elegance that has been reduced to dreary scrap. Today the Delahaye 135 MS Ghia cabriolet is located in Leuze-en-Hainaut. But nobody knows. The deep cobalt is covered in layers of steelblue paint and patina, the chrome bumper looks tarnished and is half ripped off. A long time ago, the Delahaye Ghia was resting in an old factory situated in Koningsdal, a street in Ghent, when a group of rascals broke into the factory, smashing some headlights and mirrors and running over cars, including the most charming car that doesn’t exist.

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