Great Cars behind the Great Wall

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<ul><li><p>GREAT CARS BEHIND THE </p><p>GREAT WALLSo many deeds cry out to be done, and always urgently: the world rolls on, time presses. Ten thousand years are too long, seize the day, seize the hour! - Mao Tse-Tung</p><p>Story and Photos by Mark Dvornik</p><p>1967 Jaguar E-type</p></li><li><p>There are moments in time when a collection is put together in a way that truly takes your breath away. The Shanghai Auto Museum in China might very well be considered one of the eight wonders of the car museum world. </p><p>The cars in the museum sparkle under perfect showroom lighting, and visitors are treated to many special exhibits. It is evident from the moment you enter the museum that a lot of thought has been given to the visitors and their experience. According to Ms. Zhu, Director of Communication for the museum, the Shanghai Auto Museum tells people an objective auto history through the classic vintage automobiles created with the development of industry in the past one hundred years.</p><p>The Shanghai Auto museum opened with over 300,000 square feet of exhibition space for the public to roam and enjoy. Since the opening, Ms Zhu says, the museum has received over 500,000 domestic and foreign </p><p>1959 Pontiac Bonneville</p><p>1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Veloce </p><p>1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash</p><p>1960 BMW Isetta 300</p><p>2</p></li><li><p>visitors. Nestled on the outskirts of Shanghai and adjacent to the Shanghai Auto Expo Park, the stunning design boasts gorgeous flowing curves that symbolize the trajectory of vehicles at high speed. </p><p>The Great Wall in China dates back thousands of years, so anything built even a few centuries ago is considered new by comparison. Marking the first specialty museum of its kind in China, the museum </p><p>pays tribute to the automobile and its evolution, leaving visitors with a searing wonder of what is yet to come in the industry. Four sections smartly divide the museum: history, antique car, exploration and temporary exhibitions. Eighty cars span over 100 years of automobile history in Shanghai, the first city in China to have automobiles. </p><p>The knowledgeable staff greets visitors with cheer and genuine excitement. Eager to interact, the Chinese enjoy western culture. They are proud to offer the world their homage to an industry that is so American, celebrating its contribution to style, class, and elegance in the car world. </p><p>The public can enjoy over 300,000 square feet of exhibition space.</p></li><li><p>Since automobiles were first introduced, there has been over a century of innovation and design. Before the birth of the automobile, both in China and abroad, horses were used by humans to successfully move great distances and transact business with actual horsepower. The transformation from horse and carriage to automobiles is perfectly displayed and beautifully documented throughout the Shanghai Auto Museum.</p><p>The first display, an 1886 Benz Tricycle, is the first piece that proves the Chinese understand the importance of Karl Benz. In 1885, Benz installed a single cylinder 4-stroke gasoline engine on a simple </p><p>5</p></li><li><p>frame of three wheels featuring steel wheel rims and solid rubber tire, running at a speed of 1.5 kilometers per hour. And on January 29, 1886, Karl Benz applied for a patent on his legendary car, making it widely regarded as the first automobile in the world.</p><p>But this is just the beginning of the signature pieces on display. In 1902, Peugeot started to manufacture automobiles in France, growing the company over time to be known as one of the greatest innovators in automobile history. In fact, Peugeot was the very first to use its experimental rubber tire that had been developed by Michelin. Peugeot 39 two-seaters were made in 1902 with a four-cylinder engine placed in the front with a tilt steering wheel, similar to many modern day cars. </p><p>Visitors will also experience a spectacular, black Curved Dash Oldsmobile made between 1901 and 1904. Incredibly, 425 were produced in the first year making it the first American made car to produce in quantity. With a single cylinder engine, this car ran with 7 horsepower at 40 kilometers per hour, carrying two passengers.</p><p>As tour continued, discovered a spectacular Ford Model S car established in 1903. Thats right a Ford Model S, not a Ford Model T. During the first five years, Henry Ford and his engineers made nineteen different car models, naming each model in alphabetical order. The museum spared no expense in cherry picking some important </p><p>1957 Cadillac Series 62</p><p>A deconstructed vehicle hangs overhead, inviting visitors to experience the 3D anatomy of the car.</p></li><li><p>models to demonstrate the evolution of the Ford.</p><p>In the early days of automobile making, each car was unique with its own parts that could not be used on any other car. In order to promote efficiency and reusability, the manufacturer decided to standardize, so that parts could be used for any car of the same model. The American Cadillac Model M was among the first to be standardized. </p><p>But not to be left out, the Shanghai Auto Museum proudly displays a Ford Model T. The Ford Model T started its production run on October 1908 becoming the first car made by the assembly. The </p><p>selling price was lower than $300 enabling ordinary families to buy cars, promoting America as a country behind the wheel. Within 19 years, the sale volume of Model T reached more than 15 million. </p><p>When you walk into the main atrium of the museum, you see the spectacular Heine-Velox V12, a dream of Gustav Heine who invested the money he made in the piano business to build a luxury vehicle. The $25,000 price tag made it twice as costly as a Rolls- Royce of the time. The Heine-Velox V 12 is considered the first US automobile in history to use a 4 wheel hydraulic braking system. </p><p>1907 Cadillac Model M Touring Car.</p><p>1950 Ford Club Coupe</p><p>7</p></li><li><p>SINCE AUTOMOBILES </p><p>WERE FIRST INTRODUCED, </p><p>THERE HAS BEEN OVER A CENTURY </p><p>OF INNOVATION AND DESIGN</p><p>THE TRANSFORMATION FROM HORSE AND CARRIAGE TO </p><p>AUTOMOBILES IS PERFECTLY DISPLAYED AND BEAUTIFULLY DOCUMENTED THROUGHOUT </p><p>THE SHANGHAI AUTO MUSEUM.</p></li><li><p>Spectacular cars from the 1930s include the BMW 319, the Chevrolet Suburban, a Ford Model A and a Buick Century 16. However the Rolls- Royce Phantom III dominates the Shanghai Auto Museum floor. Mounted with a V12 engine, this surprising Rolls-Royce has 180 horsepower. Thats right, 180 horsepower in the 1930s. But the performance was as amazing as its interior with a walnut dashboard and a pure wool rug extended into the trunk. </p><p>Moving through time in the museum, youll encounter a red Maserati EBS from Italy, affectionately known as the battleship of the time. A long hood with a powerful straight 6 cylinder engine underneath, the Maserati EBS won the 1948 International Formula Grand Prix held by the Silverstone circuit in England.</p><p>Cars from the 50s and 60s especially warm the Tail Fins and Chrome heart, and a beautiful 1959 Pontiac </p><p>Bonneville featured in the museum is no exception. The Bonneville played an important part in introducing the greatest marketing inspirations: the split grill. The model on display in the museum has a luxurious trim with tri tone leather chair seats and a shiny chrome instrument panel. With a 6.4 liter V8 engine output to 260 horsepower, the Pontiac Bonneville was awarded Car of the Year by the automotive media. </p><p>With only 206 produced, the 1959 Hongqi CA72 was the first work automobile. Although the car design was influenced by foreign car types, the CA 72 also has many Chinese elements. If you look closely, youll see the tail was designed to mimic the shape of the Chinese folding fan. The whole car looks beautiful, majestic and truly gorgeous, but the inner and the outer designs and decorations have the splendor of Chinese style. </p><p>The Shanghai Auto Museum does a </p></li><li><p>spectacular job of showcasing the integration of engineering as art. The exploration section incorporates the latest of technology and human creativity. In it, youll find an entire automobile in pieces, suspended in a stationary mobile. The deconstructed car hangs overhead, inviting a moment of scientific exploration as you experience the 3D anatomy of the car. </p><p>No collection would be complete without the American icon: the Cadillac Series 62. Parked in Chinas Graceland to cars, the Shanghai Auto Museum, is a beautiful 1957 Pink Cadillac. For that model year, Cadillac updated all their models in this series, equipping them with a V8 6.0 L engine and a massive 300HP. The chassis was a new X-Frame, increasing the strength and rigidity of the body.</p><p>Theres so much to explore and experience at the Shanghai Auto Museum. Ms. Zhu says, Visitors will be fascinated by the charm of the auto culture with the exhibits of any brand from any country.</p><p>And if you love cars, there is no better place to put on your international must-see museum list than The Shanghai Auto Museum. For they truly have great cars behind their Great Wall.</p><p>1974 Hongqi CA770</p><p>10</p></li></ul>