Early Exhibitions with Chinese automobiles.


The oldest automobile show in China I know is the exhibition organised by the National Good Road Association of China in Shanghai, September 1931.

Entrance to the National Road Exhibition, 1931.

With your entrance ticket you could win a car: first price Buick sedan, second price Ford Town Sedan and third price Morris Minor Sedan. You find the cars in the advertisement here under.

Newspaper advertisement of the show.

At the show was China’s first truck, the Minsheng 75. You remember the truck from an earlier China Car History article.  When the truck factory was destroyed by the Japanese invasion in Manchuria, the Shanghai people organised a demonstration, with the Minsheng truck in front.

The Minsheng truck at the exhibition.

The second show in this list is the North China Trade Exhibition in 1951. Both the Tianjin Jeep and the Tianjin Station wagon were exhibited here.

The Station Wagon at the show.

In October 1958 in Beijing the National Exhibition of Industry and Communications was organised. The first generation Made in China cars were here to see: Heping first model, Jinggangshan two-door prototype, Hongqi CA72 prototype  and Dongfeng CA71. A beautiful colour film with images of the show you can find at youtube (the cars at 8:29).

1958 Beijing exhibition.

A year later (1959) a second Industrial Exhibition in Beijing to show the achievements of the Chinese society was opened. Here the Hongqi CA72 prototype, the Beijing limousine and the Haiyan CK730 (first series) minicar were exposed.

Beijing Industrial Exhibition 1959.
Hongqi CA72 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, September 1960.

From 1959 till 1965 the Hongqi CA72 (production model) made a world tour along Fairs. Via the Leipziger Messe in East Germany, the fair in Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Poznan (Poland) and Tokyo to Paris (Foire de Paris).

Hongqi CA72, Leipzig 1959.
Hongqi CA72, Paris 1965.
Shanghai Industrial Exhibition Pavilion

From 1967 on there was a permanent exhibition in the Shanghai Industrial Exhibition Pavilion.

The cars shown were the Haiyan SW710, the Shanghai SH760 and the Shanghai SH761 parade car. And some buses.

SH760, SH761 and buses at the permanent exposition in the  Industrial Exhibition Pavilion.

The parade car was used to photograph important guests, like Edgar Snow on the next photo (sorry for the bad quality).

In 1969, “Automobiles from China on Show” was seen in Macao. I am not certain, but I think the same show had already been in Hong Kong in 1968.

Haiyan in Macao.

The exhibited cars were: Hongqi CA770, Haiyen SW710, Dongfeng BM021 (three-wheeler), Beijing BJ212, exhibited trucks: Jiefang CA10, Jiaotong SH142, Beijing BJ130.

Hongqi CA770, Beijing BJ212 and BJ130 in Macao 1969.

To end this story with one the most important places where you could see Chinese automobiles in those early years: the bi-annual Canton (Guangzhou) Trade Fair. Here some examples of exhibited vehicles:

April 1969, Chinese Export Commodities Fair, Spring Fair. Hongwei GZ140

At the 1969 (Spring) Chinese Export Commodities Fair in Guangzhou the Hongwei GZ140 (first series) (made in Guangzhou) 3.5 ton truck was exhibited. Here also a better picture of the truck in the streets of Guangzhou.

Hongwei GZ140 (first series), November 1978. Photo Oliver Barnham.

At the Spring (April) 1976 Fair, three prototypes based on the Beijing BJ212 were shown.

Beijing BJ212C, Guangzhou GZ215A, Guangzhou GZ215. Canton Fair, April 1976, photo Oliver Barnham.

At the April 1978 Fair, trucks made by the Lingyuan Auto Works, named Liaoning LN140, were exhibited.

Liaoning or Linghe LN140, Guangzhou Spring Fair, photo Oliver Barnham.

Like always: please comment! Send additonal info (shows we missed, pictures or newspaper articles about the shows we mentioned here) etc.! Very welcome!


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[…] already showed you the Guangzhou GZ215 and GZ215A , derivates of the standard Guangzhou GZ212 (Beijing look-a-like). […]