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:
The Museum of Carriages in Čechy pod Kosířem is the only one of its kind in the Czech Republic, taking visitors back to the days when horse-drawn carriages were the main form of transport. The collection of historic carriages, coaches and sleighs was assembled over the last 25 years and counts 100 exhibits to date. The museum specializes in carriages made and used in the Czech lands and Moravia and includes a number of rare pieces used by the nobility in the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The share of SUV models in Czech car sales has gone up to nearly 32 percent in the past three years, making them the best-selling category of cars. While Škoda tops other manufacturers in the amount of models sold, it does not dominate the category as much as it does others through the compact Octavia and supermini Fabia. Car companies are now flooding the market with new variations of SUVs.
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.
The number of cars on Czech roads climbed last year by around 210,000 to 5.37 million. That’s more one car for every two citizens. In spite of that, the average age of cars also rose to fourteen-and-a-half years. The ageing of the Czech car fleet has been a constant since 2007 in spite of high recent sales of new cars. Czechs’ favourite car is the Škoda Auto with 1.82 million of its cars on the road with the second choice usually being a Volkswagen with just over 458,000 registered.
The number of passenger cars in the Czech Republic has increased by 116,000 to nearly 5.3 million cars in the first half of 2016, according to data of the Car Importers Association released on Wednesday. The average age of passenger cars has also increased, from 14.3 to 14.9 years. Škoda Auto remains the most popular make of car with nearly 1.8 million registered vehicles, followed by Volkswagen and Ford.