Historic Vehicles & Culture

    The Past 70 years of China’s Automobile and People’s Life

    China celebrates its 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 2019. In the past 70 years, great changes have taken place in China’s automotive industry. Plenty of classic cars surged during this period and profoundly affected Chinese style of life and way of travel.

    Shanghai Auto Museum, China’s first professional auto museum, launches – Chinese Automobile and Lifestyle exhibition named “70 years we went through Exhibition”. Taking the development of automobile industry and people’s lives of new China as main line, the exhibition reproduces multiple of classical scenarios concerning ordinary Chinese people and automobiles in the last 70 years by displaying over 20 national classic cars produced in various generations and over a hundred of auxiliary exhibits regarding national living memory. Walking in the exhibition, visitors will fully experience the history of China auto life.

    Multiple of classical national cars developed since the founding of new China are exhibited. Hongqi CA72, produced in 1959, enjoys extraordinary historical significance, marking the beginning of China automobile dream. It is the first generation of China-made high-end car put into service, the gift car for the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, as well as the chief car of national leader. The museum renovates the car to the best condition in strict accordance with the original manufacturing technique of Hongqi. Hongqi integrates various national elements in its design. Specifically speaking, the front air intake grille is much alike Chinese traditional fan, the taillights are designed referring to the large red palace lantern in ancient times, the dashboard adopts Fujian lacquer technique and moreover, the seats are filled with Hangzhou brocade. Hongqi CA72 is permeated with Chinese elements, thus building internationally renowned China automobile brand.


    Hongqi CA72, 1959

    Bulletproof Skoda VOS is also displayed at the exhibition. This exclusive car was given by the government of Czechoslovakia to Chairman Mao Zedong as a national gift on May 9, 1952, symbolizing the international friendship at the beginning of New China as well as at the age of passion.

    Hangzhou Brocade

    Front Grille

    Symbolic Red Flag


    Bulletproof Skoda VOS

    Another collection treasure of the museum is Shanghai SH760A produced in 1974 that loads more memories of Shanghai people to the large extend. Upgraded from SH760 and put into production in 1974, SH760A is the second generation product of Shanghai car. Next year Shanghai Auto Factory achieved annual output of 5000. Shanghai car had been the main line for administrative organs, enterprises and institutes as well as VIP reception during its start-up and 1980s. Shanghai car, as the only mass-produced official vehicles in China before 1980s, was not only a symbol of modern life, but also engraved with the passion age of the early years of reform and opening-up.

    Shanghai SH760A, 1974

    Furthermore, in the exhibition there showed many unique models like Haiyan SW710, Shanghai SH58-1 and Shanghai 250K. They all witnessed the unremitting efforts and continuous attempt of Shanghai automotive industry workers in making cars more popular, and they also stood for the beginning of automobile diversification in new China.

    BJ212,250K,SH760A(Left to Right)

    In addition to the classical cars, the exhibition reappeared diversified scenarios with distinctive characteristics of times in forms of display areas.

    The display area themed “Labor is the Highest Honor” reappears the society in 1960s when production and construction were booming. In that age, shouldering the great responsibility of national construction, trucks and tractors were both the necessities of production and life and the symbol of that passionate era.

    Our Happy Time

    The display area of “Our Happy Time” fixes our childhood memory on toy cars and big Jeep. The old pictures guide visitors to recall the childhood, growing up and the gently flowing time.

    Our Happy Time

    The display area of “The way we travel” demonstrates many Chinese people’s stories regarding transportation in their running for life.

    “One car, one generation, one home and one nation.” Shanghai Auto Museum impressively tells the story of China on wheel through auxiliary exhibits and scenarios that seem to be ordinary but are full of age memory and living details. Accordingly, the viewers could experience distinctive time features and meanwhile spend a wonderful time with friends and family in edutainment.

    Shanghai Auto Museum, founded in 2007 and covering an area of 10,000 square meters, is committed to presenting automobile development process of China and even the world, promoting auto culture and telling every vital stage of automobile in history. Through the forms of exhibiting, events, science popularization activities etc., Shanghai Auto Museum strives to close the gap between Chinese people and classic cars,achieving the aims of inheriting auto history, popularizing the auto knowledge and spreading auto culture.


    Shanghai Auto Museum

    Guian Zong
    President of Classic Vehicle Union of China

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    FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) is the worldwide organisation dedicated to the preservation, protection and promotion of historic vehicles and related culture, as well as their safe use. Since April 2017, FIVA has been a non-governmental partner of UNESCO, and continues to pursue its successful FIVA World Motoring Heritage Year programme.

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    La FIVA est la seule organisation internationale de son genre à s’être fixé pour objectif l’encouragement d’une utilisation sûre des véhicules routiers historiques à propulsion mécanique au même titre que la préservation et la promotion de la culture des véhicules routiers en elle-même. En 2016, la FIVA a célébré son 50ème anniversaire avec le programme « Année du Patrimoine Automobile Mondial » sous le patronage officiel de l’UNESCO.

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