Just near to one of the major supermarkets/shopping malls is a Children's Museum and the collection of vehicles owned by the Jordanian Royal family. The vehicles are housed in air conditioned comfort and as it is a hot day today I thought I'd nip in and have a look. It is the Royal Automobile Museum.
Cheap enough to get in to –
Immediately outside is a 1947 De Havilland Dove. It was flown by King Abdullah I a number of times to Jerusalem where he would partake of Friday prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque. On one occasion he visited and was assassinated. His son was with him, Prince Hussein, who upon his return commenced flying lessons in the same plane –
Anyway, what follows are a large number of photos of the vehicles within the collection. Many you may recognise, many, especially the American ones, I’m not so familiar with. Each vehicle had a small info board with it but I felt it was too much to photograph all these as well – so if you really, really, really, want to know what one is you can come to Amman and I’ll pay your entry to the Museum to find out. Included are also a large number of motorcycles. However, in Jordan there are few on the roads. One restriction is that to own and ride one you must be a member of the Royal Automobile Club – which has fairly strict entrance criteria. There is a Harley Davidson dealer here, and a club, but that is nearly the sum total of motorbikes in Jordan. There are a few other makes, but not many at all.
My father always had motorbikes so I grew up as a pillion passenger. He had BSA's, a Norton and an Ariel. He always wanted the Rolls Royce of bikes, the Brough Superior (7th photo from the top I think) which was built in our city (Nottingham) but couldn't afford one. The fact that Lawrence of Arabia died after falling off one didn't put him off at all.
That's a much better collection/museum that one might expect in a country with no motor vehicle history or industry. I plan to make a special trip to Mulhouse one of these days to visit both the automobile and the rail museums there -- reputed to be among the best in the world.
Annie, no I didn't take the audio tour. I couldn't really be bothered. Maybe next time. Photo 4 of the painted Land Rover - it was painted during a cultural exchange with Pakistan. At the entrance is what is called a rolling chassis - i.e. everything on it but the bodywork. It possibly was an old teaching tool at a technical college. I know we had one at ours. The only Red Cross vehicle I can see is the Zündapp sidecar outfit. These were motorbikes and sidecars produced in Germany in the 1940's usually for the Wehrmacht (probably model KS750). It could well be one that was left over and utilised by the Red Cross later. I have no idea with the Red Cross what vehicles they used or how they came by their vehicles during WWII - you'd be in a far better position than I to answer that question.
K2, nice museum in Birmingham as well if you're ever in the UK.