Europe has many well-known car museums. Manufacturers like to exhibit their heritage, and the large, non-brand museums also attract many visitors every year. Every country has a number of museums where enthusiasts can indulge themselves and which are widely known as attractions. But there are still so many undisguised pocket-sized treasures. Like in Austria, which is home to numerous small and unpolished automobile history rooms.
For example, the uncle of the undersigned was in Austria a while ago to celebrate a pleasantly long holiday. He came across a museum in the Carinthian Ferlach that was pleasantly quiet because of the end of the holiday season. Austria, by the way, is bursting with smaller car museums, and one of them is the one my uncle went to take a look: Historama, Museum für Traffic und Technik. Of course he took some pictures, and the heritage he captured was mainly of German and Austrian cut. It is mainly the fifties, sixties and the first half of the seventies of the last century that you embrace. They take you into a time of edification and prosperity.
Lots of German work
Anyone who has a weakness for technology and all possible vehicles from those years should really visit the museum, I saw that immediately. History mainly houses a lot of German work. Various air-cooled Volkswagens go hand in hand with a few Mercedes-Benz copies, a nice four-door Auto Union 1000 S and a few Opels that exhale more than just history. Motorized two-wheelers, the Kleintransporter history and the larger transport vehicles (whether or not used for various government services are also discussed. And that is wonderful.
Typical Austrian recognition
Anyone who used to go on holiday to Austria as a child will recognize the PO Boxes. And those who were fascinated by large post-war trucks will immediately notice a beautiful Saurer, one of the showpieces of the collection. Also special: the ÖAF ENO 2 Elektropaketwagen, a model that served as a courier service car in several Austrian cities until 1982. Illustrious manufacturers such as Saurer and ÖAF were of Swiss and Austrian origin respectively, and fit geographical therefore very good in the museum.
Typ4, poor child
My eye quickly fell on the photo with a VW Typ 4 Variant that had been pushed away. Hidden somewhere between classic transport vehicles, he unwittingly told the story of the oft-maligned fourth air-cooled VW series. It was received with caution in 1968. To form an image and to name a few examples: that was also the year that Peugeot came out with the 504. NSU came out a year earlier with a very progressive (and considerably more expensive) Ro80, which shook the world. Ford and Opel had established their name with four- and six-cylinder mid-range cars. In the mid-sixties, Renault already gave substance to new practical uses with the R16. And competition from Japan (Mazda 1500, Toyota Corona RT4#) also formed a growing dot on the horizon during the second half of the XNUMXs, albeit cautiously.
Old guarantee of success
VW, however, held on to the old guarantee of success for its new top model, but that came to Wolfsburg on disappointing sales results of the Typ 4. These went hand in hand with the mediocre credentials from the first year of the Typ 4, which got much better in the following years, especially as the 412. We'll come back to that later. But not without mentioning that the carelessly parked Typ 4 Variant actually told the life story of this striking Volkswagen series. And which deserves much better than the historical commentary.
Museum pieces with their own story
Back to the collection, which reached me through a photo series. Every car had its story. And that also applied to every bus, every fire truck, every Kleintransporter, every two-wheeler, every public transport instrument. And that image was reinforced by the way of presentation. Just a piece of text there, but otherwise exhibited fairly from the loose wrist. I've been to museums before where I saw that too. Sometimes you can conserve something without preserving it. Let the exhibited tell its own story. The photos from Austria told their own story. And they did it so well that I now know for sure why I am going on a museum trip to the Alpine country with my uncle. And then I also want to go to the Historama in Ferlach. Because I can't get enough of that typical atmosphere of the past, which this unpolished Austrian show room exudes from every pore.
Thanks to Hans de Mooij