China’s Tryst with Historic Vehicles
Though Chengdu may not be a city, which could be considered top-of-the-mind, when thinking of the most important Chinese cities, it is a rather large city (in the Chinese context) of over eight million inhabitants, with another 22 million in the greater Chengdu area. More importantly, Chengdu is a historical city of considerable significance, with its past tracing back to the third century before the Christian era.
Thus, it is only but symbolical that the third museum to house historical vehicles in China (after Beijing and Shanghai) would be Chengdu. The Sanhe Classic Car Museum (SCCM), with a covered area of over 20,000 square meters, features a lavishly constructed and beautifully illuminated museum for historic vehicles, a “retro street,” a children’s entertainment area, an art gallery, a theatre, a library, as well as a coffee shop and a souvenir centre.
Huang ZongMin (or Jason Huang, as he prefers being called), China’s biggest classic car collector, is the owner and curator of SCCM, as well as the chairman of Sanhe Group, which is one of the leading dealer groups in Southwest China, retailing Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Lotus, Morgan, Audi, Volvo, Inﬁniti, Toyota and Honda cars.
China’s largest private historic vehicle museum has a collection of around 230 historic cars, spanning more than 30 marques, with cars dating from the early 1900s, to the 1990s. As well as a Benz Patent Motorwagen replica, the museum also houses a 1906 Cadillac M, a Napier 15HP from 1910, a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, an Auburn 851, a Packard Super 8, a Maserati 3500 GT and an Aston Martin DB4.
More interestingly, the museum has several Chinese built Hongqis, the car used by senior members of the Communist Party and government officials. In 2008, the Sanhe museum exchanged a 1965 Hongqi CA770 with Blackhawk Museum’s Benz Patent Motorwagen. In 2015, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, Chinese carmaker FAW, which owns the Hongqi brand today, and SCCM donated a CA770 to Cité de l’Automobile – Collection Schlumpf, at Mulhouse, France.
In 2016, Jason Huang became the ﬁrst Chinese collector to participate at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with his 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, winning the runners-up award in the Silver Ghost class. Two years later, in 2018, Huang’s Hongqi CA72 was awarded the Chairman’s Trophy at Pebble Beach. A 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom III was the class winner in the RR Phantom class.
On 6 September last, SCCM managed to get the permission to put historic vehicles on the roads of Chengdu, organising a drive of 22 beautiful historic vehicles to the inauguration of the Chengdu Motor Show. Five of the cars remained at the exhibition grounds, to provide short rides to visitors to the show, giving them a taste of automotive history, with many, for the first time, getting to ride a historic vehicle.
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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.
For more press information, or to speak to a FIVA representative for a specific country, please contact Gautam Sen, FIVA’s Vice President Communications on firstname.lastname@example.org, +33(0) 6 87 16 43 39 (mobile), or +33 9 66 12 44 64 (landline).
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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.
Afin d’obtenir des communiqués de presse plus détaillées ou de parler à un représentant de la FIVA pour un pays spécifique, veuillez contacter Gautam Sen, directeur adjoint de la communication de la FIVA, à l’adresse email@example.com, au +33 (0)6 87 16 43 39 (mobile) ou au +33(0) 1 53 19 14 20 (fixe).