A very nice selection of early cars with the added historical interest that some were in the Kaiser's fleet.
In the fourth picture, the line-up, I think you are correct that the car on the left is a Daimler.
The one next to it, and the one at the far end of the line, have a distinctive wedge-shape to the front of the radiator. I think they may both possibly be Mercedes. The others defeat me.
Cars from the 1920s. Yes please, I for one would love to see a selection from your negative collection.
I wish I could find the sort of negatives you find at flea markets. All I have found for years have been cardboard boxes or cheap albums of terrible Instamatic holiday snapshots. Not even worth considering.
With so many scenes from the imperial limo fleet, you either have private pictures by someone involved with the garage, or maybe the negs of a collection sold as a set to admirers of the imperial family.
The soldiers were obviously enjoying a better WW1 than many other young Austrians.
Ever since I first looked at your early car pictures something was niggling in the back of my mind, but I couldn't think what.
I have just looked at them again, and realised what it was.
All the cars except the one in the first picture, which may be visiting from another country, have the steering wheel on the right hand side of the car.
Then, from somewhere in the muddled database I call my memory, I vaguely recalled that until the 1938 annexation by Nazi Germany the "rule of the road" in Austria was links fahren, or drive on the left. I don't think Austria ever went back to this after the war.
As far as I can recall, the only other European mainland country that drove on the left before 1938 was Czechoslovakia.
I think Sweden did also, but changed over some time in the 1960s.
Am I correct in this, or is my memory playing me tricks?
I think Sweden changed in 1967. I do recall it happening. I also remember right hand drive vehicles in the in the mountainous areas going into and out of Italy in 1961. My father said it was so the driver was better able to cope with the difficult mountain passes. When the vehicle was on the outside the driver would have a better view of where the edge of the road was.
I see I was only partly correct about Austria and Czechoslovalia, and that there were a few other countries, formerly part of the old Austro-Hungarian empire that changed over during the 1920s and 1930s.
European geography of the 20th century can often be quite confusing.
Your father's reason for seeing right-hand-drive vehicles in the Italian Alps was also given to me by Fiat in Italy in the 1960s. At that time Fiat built a number of heavy trans-European trucks with right hand drive for that reason. I'm not sure if they still do.
Interesting also to read about the Yungas Road in Bolivia. It brought back memories from the 1970s when I was one of a party of European motoring journalists taking part in a test drive of trucks across part of the Sahara in Morocco organised by Volvo. We had to cross the Atlas mountains, and found very similar roads.
I think I posted this picture a few years ago so some of you may have already seen it. Taken on Kodachrome 64 in a Kiev Contax-clone and processed by a while-you-wait laboratory in Marakesh.
Hi Peter, you are right, my forefathers drove "links". Maybe the first picture is a reversed image, the only one copied from a glas stereo slide. It is easier to find out the correct side while copying plates. Austria changed from left to right hand traffic in stages from 1921 to 1938. In 1938 at the latest, the German - Reich road rules became effective in the whole country.
Here are some adiitional pictures from the 1920`s:
A Graef & Stift VK1, made from 1920 till 1925. The Graef brothers founded the company in 1896 and in 1901 Mr. Stift joined the company. From 1904 on they built most of the cars for the Austrian royal family, later they made busses and trucks, now it is owned by the German MAN truck factory.
The other car looks like an Austrian made Steyr XII.
A Mercedes Typ 15 70/100 from 1924. They built only 1000 of this model, really expensive if you want to buy one today.
Austin Seven, a stereo glas-slide picture from a box marked with 1929.
A Daimler, maybe a Austro-Daimler from 1928
A 1927 OeAF ( Austrian Automobile Factory ) Type AFN for excursions to the hills and woods surrounding Vienna. OeAF, former known as Austro-Fiat was founded 1907. The company, now owned by the German MAN is still producing trucks and military vehicles.
A unknown truck from the Austrian Postal Service.
A Czech Tatra 11 from 1923. I know the location ( about 100km west of Vienna ) where this picture had been taken.
A street scenery from the center of Vienna, 1931. The building at the left is the famous opera house. This one would be suited for a "now and than" picture, but standing in the middle of this crossing today is absolutely dangerous for life...
Another wonderful selection of cars from your collection of old glass plates.
One of the things that struck me was how massively engineered cars like the Gräf & Stift and the Steyr were compared with the majority of British cars of the 1920s. We had the big heavy cars here, Bentley, Lagonda, Daimler, Rolls-Royce etc, but the smaller more lightly built cars were made in greater numbers and were more popular, or perhaps I should say more affordable.
I think one of the main reasons was the size of the UK compared with the size of most European mainland countries. Average distances travelled were shorter, and the roads were very much better surfaced. I believe that during much of the 1920s and part of the 1930s the UK, particularly England, had more miles of well-engineered tarmacadam-surfaced roads than any other European country.
The picture of the Austin Seven interests me. The Austin Seven was one of the most widely copied cars, either built under licence or pirated, of the era. In Europe, BMW built it under licence and called it the Dixie.
The body is certainly different from any Austin Seven body built by Austin in England, but it does look similar to one or two Dixies I have seen in German car museums or exhibtions of classic cars. Could it, in fact, be a Dixie?
I think you are right. I just enlarged the original picture and noticed a round radiator cap, which could be the BMW emblem. A Austin was my first thought as i copied that picture. But why should a guy from Salzburg ( the box is marked with "Salzburg" ) buy an English model, when he could buy one in Bavaria, a few km away. A former neighbour and friend of my grandfather had a 1926 Dixie ( two seater racing version ) in his garage.
Post by belgiumreporter on Jul 17, 2014 10:57:58 GMT -5
Hi MIK, i am currently helping out at our county crime lab (forensic) in digitizing their photo archives. They consists of thousands of 5x8" glassplates dating back to 1920 (what happened with the archives from before that date nobody knows). For me this is a threasure throve of time travel, even though the negatives contain grusome facts, murder victims, decayed bodys, arresting of traitors after the war, but also scenes of car and other accidents. As a civillian i am not allowed to publish any of this material and i don't know what will happen with the archive. Somehow it reassures me that digitizing all of this will give it a chance of survival and maybe one day in the future some of the less grusome images may come up for publication. against the rules and exclusively for camera collector i'll show you just one of the "crime scene" images, it's a car (modelT ?) against horse and carriage accident that happened somewhere in the 20ties. I can't point out where exactly as i don't recognise the street, but it must have been somewhere around Antwerp. On a technical note, these 5x8 negtives are very sharp and contain an incredible amount of detail, on the Original scan i can zoom in and recognise the house numbers, read the names on the door bells and clearly see the expression on peoples faces even though they are standing way back. Thanks for posting your car pics i've really enjoyed them