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Hit the Road! International Travelling Exhibition of the Hungarian Museum of Transport – First Stop Istanbul

The newest exhibition of the Hungarian Museum of Transport opened on the 26th of April, with the co-operation of the Balassi Institute, the Hungarian Institute in Istanbul. Two exhibitions opened simultaneously – one in the Hungarian Institute in Istanbul, the other in the Koç Museum – which commemorate the Budapest–Istanbul motorist tour, a significant race of the dawn of automobilism. The exhibition was opened by Balázs Hendrich consul general and Gábor Zsigmond, deputy general director of the Hungarian Museum of Transport, and will be displayed in Sofia and Bucharest later.

During the summer of 1912, nearly twenty brave Hungarian and foreign automobilists travelled from Budapest to Constantinople in a week – organised by the Royal Hungarian Automobile Club. Until the 1910s massive, “real” automobiles had taken the place of motorised carriages, which were a lot more compatible with the roads of the age. This way the first larger automobile tour could be realised. This event is being commemorated with the travelling exhibition of the Hungarian Museum of Transport.

At the beginning of the 20th century, at the dawn of automobilsm, driving a car was the privilege of a selected few. We find aristocrats, factory owners, and some specialists among the car owners. Long-distance tours were quite trendy at this time; while the technological capabilities of the new means of traffic could also be demonstrated. More grand tours had been organised before the First World War; the first tok place between 29th June and 6th July, 1912, which ended in Constantinople, crossing the Balkans. The tour lead over hedge and ditch, among the poor road conditions of the age.

The exhibition presents the social and international circumstances of early Hungarian. It presents the 1912 Budapest–Constantinople tour race through original documents, maps, photographs, and model cars, preserved in the Museum of Transport.