Apart from all things petrol, my other great love in life is skiing. In January I made my annual pilgrimage to Austria and the winter wonderland which is Obergurgl, having not been to that resort for a number of years. With record breaking snowfall, sunshine conditions and miles of miles of fast challenging skiing, I settled in for ten days of sheer bliss.
Over dinner one evening, conversation turned as usual to cars, and someone asked if I’d ever been to ‘that museum place’ in Hochgurgl. Apparently ‘there were a few bikes and cars on display’ and being a Petrolette I’d no doubt enjoy it.
Without wishing to sound harsh, the thought of abandoning a fast day on my new Atomic Race Skis to go to a little museum simply didn’t appeal, so I nodded with thanks and parked that idea.
Then came the mother of all snow days… the lifts were shut, the traditional stubes and restaurants filled up, and people made their way to the gift shops to purchase edelweiss, fridge magnets and bottles of Stroh (so high in alcoholic content that even a top fuel dragster wouldn't turn up its nose).
I was reminded of ‘that little museum place’ so sent an email to ask if it was open and enquire if anyone was available show me around for a Sisterhood article. I made my way to reception, booked myself a taxi and a brave driver and headed up the mountain whilst all else rushed back down – the things I do for you lovely lot.
We reached a lift station which had a large carpark outside. He stopped the taxi and gestured for me to hop out. I repeated the name of my destination ‘Top Mountain Crosspoint’ and he nodded and again gestured for the mad English woman to get out, so he could ferry people back down to the warmth and comfort of the resort from which I’d come.
Once I navigated myself past the frozen skiers, shiny black gondolas and followed the entrance signs, I found myself in a large room, full of beautifully lit and maintained vintage piste-bashers, ski-dos and high speed motorised toys generally designed to tackle snow at speed. So, this was it, quite a good little find and worth a taxi ride – or so I thought.
Upon leaving the room I spotted a staircase with some amazing motorcycle art and arrow signs. I made my way up the stairs expecting a new room full of antique gondolas which wasn’t going to hold my attention long in all honesty.
I turned the corner and what can only be described as eutopia opened before me. To my right, four Brough Superiors glistened under spot lights – four! To my left a bespoke and hand detailed Indian Motorcycle, with enough grunt to stop the rotation of the earth lazed in a regal shade of royal blue and the most blinding chrome I’d ever seen. Continuing out in front of me, approximately 200 motorbikes and cars representing over 100 marques nestled together, blissfully unaware that they were on display some 2175m above sea level in what can only be described as the ultimate collection, in the ultimate location displayed in the ultimate style.
Soon to join me was Atilla Scheiber, who, with his twin brother Alban, had tirelessly worked to build the collection, the dream and the destination of Top Mountain Crosspoint – hoteliers, ski school operators, cable car entrepreneurs and owners of the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road. They are themselves keen motorcyclists whose passion for engines comes from father Alban Scheiber Snr., a former professional racing driver and famous pioneer of Tyrolean tourism. Atilla's great passion is the Indian Marque, and he proudly shows me around his provenience collection of these stunning bikes.
Displayed to maximum effect on a Board Track Racing layout, the machinery ranges from police and army equipment, pure bread racing machines and some glorious veterans that are quite simply bicycles and the great, great grandfathers to what we find on the road now.
Atilla freely admits that the collection is led by his heart, and whilst he has a broad idea of his next investment pieces, he and his brother enjoy travelling the world and tracking down bikes for the sheer joy of ownership.
The pure commitment and love of automotive is clear for all to see and whilst he has a huge appreciation of modern supercars and bikes (of which he owns many) the unusual, quirky and rare pre-1980 will always grab his attention. As he says, they are the ‘balm for his soul which forever keeps him striving for more’.
Having spent a good few hours in awe, picked up my jaw, wiped off the drool marks on one or two pieces and genuinely resisted the urge to try and smuggle out ‘just one’ Atilla kindly invited me for coffee and a much-needed seat on which to gather my thoughts.
Again, I turned a corner expecting an unexceptional lift station café, only to be greeted by a state of the art ski / motorcycle restaurant boasting 300 seats, with a further 400 outside on the terrace. More priceless motorcycles hung from the ceilings whilst massive log fires roared surrounded by antique skis in this ‘wooden and metal chapel’, celebrating all I adore.
The restaurant has a unique industrial warmth to it, inviting you to stay and simply savour the sights, sounds and flavours of this totally overwhelming venue.
I discover that in fact Top Mountain Crosspoint sits on the Italian Border, and The Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road, which is acknowledged to be the most beautiful road to Alto Adige is also owned by the Scheibers. Therefore, the proximity of this bucket list road reflects in their menu with amazing locally sourced specialities from Austria and Italy alike.
Ever the Gentleman, Atilla both offers to drop me back at my hotel in his mighty Porsche 4x4 rocket ship (he’s awaiting delivery of his new Lamborghini Urus – of course) after his next meeting, or offers to call me a cab. I opt for the latter option as there is only so much snow, high octane Italian coffee and motorcycle porn a lady can bear.
That said, on my last day I had to park my beautiful new skis and revisit Eutopia just to check I hadn’t got stuck in a snowdrift and hallucinated the whole experience, thankfully I had not. Atilla once again came to meet me with coffee and patient answers to every question I posed.
And so my fellow speed adoring sisters, I urge you to pay the Top Mountain Crosspoint a visit for yourself. And rest assured, we have already put the idea forward to the respective principals regarding The Sisterhood Of Speed Rally from the Ace Café to the Top Mountain Crosspoint – watch this space, it’s going to be an all time high!