A new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London brings together fifteen diverse cars to explore how the automobile accelerated the pace of change over the past century and the impact it had on the broader world, from visual culture to climate change. One of the cars selected for the show is the legendary Tatra 77, designed in Czechoslovakia in 1934. I spoke to Brendan Cormier, one of the exhibition’s curators, to find out more about the exhibition, which will run until April 2020:
Although many people today crave the latest technology, there is a persistent, strong fascination with “veterans” – old-timey cars, trams and busses which appear on the streets are instantly surrounded by admirers, and the owners of these historic jewels bring them out on special occasions. Ostrava City Transport is now preparing to celebrate the centenary of the oldest trams in its collection – the famed No. 25 tram, a wooden model that hit the rails in 1919, cruising the city at 15 kilometres an hour.
Nearly a hundred veteran cars embarked from Prague on Thursday morning on a
three-day journey to the Slovak capital Bratislava and back.
The ‘1000 Czechoslovak Miles’ tour is organised by the Veteran Car Club in Prague in cooperation with the National Technical Museum on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia. Most of the vintage cars taking part in the race were made in the 1930s.
Prague hosted a get together of French veteran Peugeot cars on Saturday. In its 26th year, the International L'Aventure Peugeot Meeting brought together participants from France, Germany, Belgium, Austria and even Costarika with close to 80 veterans. There were six veterans from the Czech Republic. The oldest Peugeot at the event was a 172 M from 1928.
Veteran Tatra cars from around the country set off on a Veteran Ride from Prague to Marseille on Saturday marking 70 years to the day since the country’s famous travelers Miroslav Zikmund a Jiří Hanzelka set off on their first trip to Africa. The National Museum of Technology organized a special event for the public screening a film about the legendary travelling duo and showing authentic objects from their many journeys. They visited 83 countries with their famous Tatra 87, made over 150 documentary films and wrote over 20 books about their adventures. Jiří Hanzelka died in 2003, Miroslav Zikmund celebrated his 98th birthday in February.
In Magazine: Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová confirms breaking up with hockey player Radek Meidl, car enthusiasts put together a collection of veteran Skodas, Czech Radio joins the Street Piano initiative, Plzen prepares for its annual history festivities and a mammoth wins top prize for curiosity of the year.
The newly opened Old Timer museum in the Moravian town of Kopřivnice boasts a motorcycle that is the only one of its kind in the world, according to the institution’s owner. Only two JKB 450 motorbikes were produced in the 1930s by Czech brothers Josef and Bedřich Káňa and parts from the second have been used in the one on display. The museum also houses rare cars and other historical items.
A convoy of 30 historical U.S. military vehicles rode through Prague on Friday within celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the country’s liberation from Nazi rule. According to the organizers, the ride was organized not only in remembrance of US war veterans, but also to symbolically fulfil the unfulfilled wish of General George Smith Patton to liberate Prague. Although General Patton’s army could have progressed to Prague he was bound by an agreement with Russia to stop at the demarcation line in western Bohemia. The convoy´s arrival in Prague annually opens its tour of western Bohemian towns that were liberated by the 3rd U.S. army under Patton´s command. It will culminate with a ceremonial parade in the West Bohemian town of Plzen on May 3.
A museum centred on cars produced in the former Eastern Bloc is set to open at Strnadice in Central Bohemia in the middle of April. The RetroAutoMuzeum will contain around 100 cars made between 1948 and 1989, from Škodas, Trabants and Ladas to lesser known marques. Among the exponents will be a Škoda 120L driven by future prime minister and president Václav Klaus in the late 1980s.