Batmobile finds new home in Cayman museum

| 03/05/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand cayman Island local news, Cayman car museum(CNS): Alongside Elton John’s Roller, Idi Amin’s Merc and the first ever car to come to Cayman, the famous Batmobile from the original TV series is now permanently on show in West Bay and a key exhibit in the Cayman Motor Museum. The country’s latest and one of  its most unique attractions was opened on Saturday evening by the Premier McKeeva Bush, who said the owner’s investment showed confidence not just in the district but the future of the Cayman Islands. The museum is the realization of a dream by shipping magnate and vintage car collector, Andreas Ugland, who owns the collection of some 55 cars and 18 motor cycles now on show.

The museum, housed in a new purpose-built structure, brings together a significant number of Ugland’s cars and is likely to attract enthusiasts from all over the world. Ugland explained that before assembling the collection in Cayman it was scattered throughout the world with many in England, Canada, and Ugland’s native Norway.Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island local news, Cayman car museum
“Ten years ago, we acquired the land for the museum and began moving forward with our designs and working with government to secure planning approvals,” explained Ugland. “We were all set to break ground in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan paid us an unexpected visit and we were forced to put our plans on hold. About three years ago, we revived the project and began the process of cataloguing the collection, starting construction, and more recently packaging and transporting the cars to Grand Cayman. Finally, after more than a decade, it truly is a pleasure to share these motorcars and motorbikes with all who might appreciate their significance—and magnificence.”
At the special opening even on Saturday evening as he cut the official ribbon, Premier McKeeva Bush lauded the initiative and also marvelled at the cars, pointing out that when he was a boy in West Bay they knew about such machines but only ever dreamed of seeing them.
The premier compared Cayman’s financial services to luxury cars when he said the museum was a great fit for the islands and congratulated Ugland for his commitment and passion for the project. He also noted that the investment was a boost of confidence for both West Bay and the Cayman Islands and an indication that things would get better.
Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island local news, Cayman car museumThe museum officially opened to the public today (Monday 3 May) where people can see the diverse range of vintage, sports and luxury cars, ranging from the world’s first car to the incredible bubble cars of the 1960s. The museum provides an historical tour of motoring throughout the world as well as Cayman with an exact model of the first vehicle ever to be driven in the Cayman Islands—a 1905 Cadillac—which has a place of special prominence in the museum.
Of special interest both to children (and “adult children”) is the ultimate crime-fighting vehicle, the original “Batmobile” that squired Batman and Robin around Gotham City in the 1960s television show. An exact replica of the “Batcycle” is also on display. Moviegoers will recognize the 1929 Yellow Rolls-Royce that appeared in the movie of the same name, and “royal watchers” will be attracted to the 1956 Daimler DK400, Queen Elizabeth II’s first limousine. Racing and speed aficionados will marvel at the sleek Ferraris (nearly a dozen classics, all in mint condition), Maseratis, Corvettes, and Jaguars.
The museum is located on North West Point Road in West Bay – just past the Boatswain’s Beach. It is open to the public 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday. Entrance fee is CI$15; children (under 12) CI$7.50; toddlers (under 5) are free. On Saturdays, resident adults get a look for CI$10 and children CI$5.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to Mr. Ugland for his contribution & enthusiasm in building the museum, along with adding many of his own vehicles for display.

  2. Anonymous says:

     A great idea – the tourists will love it definately which is another positive for the island – 

    Just a suggestion could Cayman have a  Culture / Family  weekend  whereby for a couple of days each year  there is free entry into attractions in Cayman  such as this one – to encourage people to get out and about and experience / visit places they may not normally go to  . 


    Also perhaps free passes for the island pensioners ?

  3. Say It Aint So! says:

    Andreas, thank you for considering Cayman to house your car collection. This is another attraction we will all appreciate visiting except for the Cat Boat museum guy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    To Monday 9:52 – why does this story have to be about Culture??? Can’t you just see it for what it is, educational, interesting, a new attraction and a verrry nice place for car buffs to visit, no matter what nationality one happens to be. There’s culture right next door at Boatswains Beach, when was the last time you visited??? There’s culture at Pedro St. James (Pedro Castle to us) but I don’t see many of us when I visit (except some staff). Narrow-minded people like you would make me embarrassed to be Caymanian, if I weren’t so confident of who I am – a proud, educated Caymanianwho gained a greater appreciation for life as a whole by opening my mind to all the world has to offer. Try it.  

    A simple story about a car musuem really shouldn’t have to draw antagonistic commentary but people like me will always respond to folks like you.

  5. Turtle's Head says:

    A maritime museum – dedicated to the history of small craft used to hunt endangered species to the edge of extinction.

    We could sell two for one tickets to the Turtle Farm.  See how we slaughtered them and then try eating some for yourself  . . .

  6. whodatis says:

    The naysayers have it all wrong on this one.

    I would be very keen to check out the "Cayman Motor Museum" if I was a visitor to these shores!

    A simple browse through the brochure and I’d be fully persuaded.

    Its quirky, unexpected yet obviously done to the highest possible standard.

    Great move Mr. Ugland and thank you very much sir!

    As a fellow car enthusiast you can guarantee you have yourself one more excited patron right here.

  7. Joe Average says:

    Thanks Andreas. It sounds likea great attraction and I’m certainly going to try and pay a visit.  But there’s a problem:  I have a Rolls Canardly.  I roll it out the drive and it can hardly make it up the road.  Would you be interested?

  8. Anonymous says:

    WOW. A Maritime Museum. Now that sounds like fun – NOTTTTTTT!

    Instead of complaining about what somebody else is doing with THEIR own money – go see if Credit Union or CIDB will give you a loan so you can open one. HA

    Once there is space, The Catboats and Schooners belong in the Museum on the waterfront – where the rest of our "Caymanian Heritage" is stored and preserved. Why do the cat boats and schooners need there own building? I think it isn’t on Mac’s agenda because he knows that it will be a BIG waste of money to build it. The last time I checked there was a cat boat or schooner at the Museum on display already. As well as the metal one GOVERNMENT put near the courthouse out in town near heritage square. 

    This is one more attraction we can add to our list! I’m glad Mr. Ugland decided to build his museum here.



  9. Anonymous says:

    Good!  Very interesting!

  10. Anonymous says:

    cool !

  11. Anonymous says:

    To 09:52 it is this type of negativity that tries to tear down anything anyone does as not being good enough. That goodness this limited mentality is a minority within the country.

    Sit on the couch and complain about what other people are actually doing were it an Olympic sport…you would be a metal contender for sure.

  12. Anonymous says:

    what is there not to agree with…..a properly done and managed attraction that does not depend on any funding from govenment….thank you Mr. Ungland.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I personally do not agree withthis. What does this have to do with the Cayman Islands? Did we build cars back in the day? I don’t think we were known for our automotive engineering? Nope…..

    Why don’t we have a Maritime Museum showcasing our catboats and scooners? Since that is more of OUR CAYMANIAN Culture?

    Oh that is right cause it ain’t in the Big Mac’s Agenda to preserve OUR culture….only to sell it off and makes us drones of the USA Culture…..

    • Anonymous says:

      complain complain complain…


      and what have you done to preserve OUR culture ?


      nothing but complain complain complain…


    • Anonymous says:

      Oh come on, do you think collector car museums are only in Detroit? This is Uglands passion and trust me, the admissions will never pay for the inventory much less the land and building.

      If you want a Maritime Museum, why don’t you do one? I am sure you will get the support and funding with a decent business plan…. but is this your passion?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear. So you object to a private investor bringing something new to the island?

      You think the nice man should have built you a maritime museum instead, you deserve it after all right?

    • Anonymous says:

      Closedminded people like you have nothing positive to contribute.  You complain about everything and do nothing.  Why don’t you set up your own maritime museum instead of complaining about somebody else’s good idea.  We need every good idea we can get considering the mess we were left in.  Bitterness, envy, jealousy and a lot of other words I can think of to describe your post.

      • British Bulldog says:

        Friend, you need to undertake the study of literature to appreciate what the writer was actually saying here.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with you. But please don’t stop here. Was the light-bulb invented by a Caymanian? Was the Wheel invented by a Caymanian? We shouldn’t use any form of electricity, as this is against our culture. We shouldn’t allow cars at all on the islands (be it in museums or on the roads), because they are built by Germans, Japanese and Americans, that don’t know anything about our culture. Instead of bowling, we should throw coconuts against cows. Instead of teaching our children foreign languages like French or Spanish, we should teach him how to play domino. We don’t want to grow, we don’t want developments. We were happy back then with dem catboats. If somebody would open an art museum and would show paintings like the Mona Lisa, I wouldn’t go. The stuff isn’t interesting. Has nothing to do with us and our heritage. If the US President would visit Cayman, I wouldn’t go to see him. Only if he buys some Turtle Stew from me, maybe. I programmed my TV in such a way that I can see only local TV stations. For me, the local newspaper shouldn’t refer to any news that’s happening outside of the island – Caymanian news only, please. I don’t want to see what’s going on in Europe or the US. I live happily here, dreaming about the good old times – and I just realize that I will stop using computers and the internet pretty soon, as they have also nothing do to with our glorious past. Therefore this will be most likely my last posting.

    • Anonymous says:

      All I can think of is "Stupid people write Stupid things".

    • Jack McBush says:

      (a) Whining crabs-in-a-bucket like you need a good a$$-kicking for making the species look stupid.

      (b) I’d wager a pint of brew that you’ll get more belittling comments than anyone else in the last couple of months.  This post defines small-mindedness. (PS – a beer is a fermented and alcoholic grain-based drink that was invented, wait for it… NOT ON CAYMAN).

      (c) Cayman’s culture is supposed to include happy, friendly and welcoming people.  Fortunately most are like that.  You are not. 

      Now go be ashamed of yourself.


    • Anonymous says:

      To 9:25 -oh, just shut up!  At least now there is somewhere and something (non-criminal) else for kids to go to and do.  Maybe they can learn something aswell (other than talking on their cell phones).  Mr. Ugland, thank you very much.

    • Beachboi says:

      You dont agree.  SO WHAT!!!!  Why dont you try to convince one of our wealthy Caymanian families to open a maritime museum?  We have lots of them but they chose to hoard their money and pay family members huge salaries to do nothing but drive around in Hummers  while they pay the "little guys" $5.00 per hour to bring them success.

      I have an idea for you.  Since you cant seem to stop beating that dead horse named "culture" why dont you convinve Mike Adam to allow some of the old Caymanian generation to slaughter turtles in George Town like they used to.  I remember when they did that at the craft market and sold the meat in plactic bags!!

      Oh what a tourist attraction that would make! 

  14. Anonymous says:

    Where is it?

    CNS: North West Point Road in West Bay – just past the Boatswain’s Beach