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"NOESIS" – is an Intellectual Auto-Collection of Science Center and Technology Museum in Salonika

14 августа 2015


Almost an “axiom” statement “Greece has got everything!” which withstands any challenge is not particularly confirmed in respect of automobile collections and car museums on the territory of this country.
Only two places are known where the clusters of the most celebrated representatives of “the world-wide automobile stardom” have been noticed – in Athens and Salonika.

Today’s story is about a small, but qualitatively selected “single-hall” collection of historical cars in Technology museum in Salonika - Science Center and Technology Museum "NOESIS".

The museum is situated in the suburb of Salonika on a mount with a panoramic view of the Aegean Sea in a contemporary design building reminiscent of Archimedes’ lever 1,500 sq. km in area.
The museum is a non-commercial cultural educational base and is destined to aid development of Technological Culture. It creates an appropriate medium to inform general public about the last events in science and engineering.
....This is from an official press release. As a matter of fact it is a big scientific entertainment centre with a planetarium, cinema,

thematic exhibition of ancient Greek technologies

and “Technopark” Hall of the "hands-on area" kind, where a great number of interactive exhibits from all science fields is located.

But we were inexorably attracted by a small car collection – possibly we can find there some exotic “auto-artifacts”, and with a nameplate “made in Greece” yet!

The collection consists of more than 40 vehicles and a great number of historical auto-accessories.
It is said in the collection museum description that the exhibition includes 5 main thematic fields: mass production, city and environment, technology achievements, design and society, speed.
But this division is very conventional and we are not going to represent the exhibits in this classification in our article. Everyone can do it singly walking around the exhibition in the virtual tour mode which our website offers. We are settling upon the most interesting and exceptional.360carmuseum.com

It could be argued that few people have heard about such French company as Ch. Montier & Cie. However, it was one of the most successful companies before the war performing in the form of freelancer production, specialized in high-priced and sportive cars sector almost always based on the spare parts of Ford automobiles.

Ch. Montier & Cie was founded in Paris.
The automobile presented at the museum stand - the Ford-Montier Special 1924 – is based on the components of the Ford-T and was preserved and restored by Mr. George Anagnostu (Γιώργο Αναγνώστου).

Nowadays it is one of the two remained cars of this type. The second one is in possession of a museum in France.
The body was made during the period of 1924-1927, and its engine was built in April 1924 in the USA.

I was always fascinated with the automobiles of the Datsun brand. What by? Evidently, by some mystique similar to the mysteriousness of their Motherland – then closed for the whole world yet – the Land of the Rising Sun. Their sport character, construction peculiarities and outstanding specifications culminated in a solid cult of these cars’ sympathizers.

The most civil version of the Datsun Bluebird 1200 of 1961 is presented here. This is the second line’s model which became one of the first world successes of the factory having provided very good sales at home and outside Japan.

The Fiat 509 of 1925 model settled itself very snugly ... probably more comfortably than others...in a separate stylized retro-garage.

This is one of the first multifunctional cars and also is a real manufacturing, technical and commercial knockout of the Fiat.

The automobile was spread in many versions the most popular of which is the variant on the museum display.
This car was for the first time used in Athens on 15 July, 1929 and within its life it changed seven owners.

And this is a true series limousine among all mini cars – the BMW 600 of 1957. This is a lengthened version of the legendary Isetta model.

The automobile was produced in August of 1957 with a unique single back door to step into the car at the rear and a front entrance door the same as the Isetta had.

A new body form, enhanced stability, increased power and a two-cylinder motor boxer from the BMW R-67 motorcycle drew the "600" model very near to the notion of a real small car which was able to house and carry a whole family.

Personally for me the Auto Union – DKW 1000S of 1958 was an exotica, which I have never seen before.

Established in 1919 the company DKW together with Audi, Horch and Wanderer founded the concern Auto Union.
Series 1000 and 1000S was introduced in 1958, however, the automobile came into production in 1959 staying on the assembly line till 1963. The following versions of the automobile were made: a 2- and 4-door sedan, a 2-door sport version, a 3-door station wagon and a cabriolet (the last from the Karman workshop).

This car managed to achieve very good sales and especially important sport successes at home and outside Germany. .

Here is a very rare sample – the cabriolet BMW 700 of 1961, made by the firm Baur from Stuttgart. The car was introduced to the public in 1958 at Geneva Motor Show having become the successor of the "600" model.

The automobile has got an infantile smile, not peculiar for the image of a modern “black Boomer” ... and there is something clean and attractive in it.

The next car sticks out tongue wickedly ...with its spare wheel!!! This is the Renault Dauphine — an automobile of the French company Renault, produced from 1956 till 1967.

It was introduced in 1956 with the purpose to replace the 4CV, which was the first post-war model of the Renault. The Renault Dauphine was assembled in many countries of the world such as Australia, Mexico, Belgium and Ireland and under the license in Italy, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, the USA and Japan.

This Mercedes-Benz 170 S of 1949 is half lucky. Its one side is restored ideally and its other side is left in virgin blight of its long years.

What did the organizers of the exhibition want to show by this? Maybe they wished to testify that the car was of a pre-war origin (its non-renovated part impersonates this), bit it returned to the production already in peace time and actually became just the automobile which helped stimulate the development of the company Mercedes.

The automobile of the DAF brand having an amusing name Daffodil 750 of 1964 revealed all its interiors and its engine exposing them for more detailed observation and studying.

The design began in 1954 and the principal idea was an attempt to build a small luxury car, which could compete with others because of the automatic gearbox in the standard package.
The name Daffodil worked well in some markets, but more luxuriously equipped variant of the DAF 750 was famous as the DAF 30 in Germany.

Well, here is one more representative of German car industry, only in its Eastern part.

The IFA F9 was a compact sedan produced under the auspices of Russia and eastern Germany during the period from 1950 till 1956 and initially made at the factory in Zwickau belonging earlier to the Auto Union. In 1953 the production was passed to the former BMW plant in Eisenach, where afterwards the Wartburg 311 was produced.
This pre-war DKW model, which was made with the emblem IFA after World War II simultaneously with the production of the same automobile under the DKW brand, recovered the plant in Western Germany.

At last we got to genuine Greek exotica!! And the first and definitely the brightest exhibit of the whole exhibition (it indeed stands on a separate pedestal) is the Nerion Chicago of 1974.

This model is considered to be the first Greek automobile based on the idea of Greek ship-owner and millionaire Giannis Goulandris. He founded the company to produce initially electric automobiles, but soon discovered that he wants to build something bigger than usual cars. In the result his idea passed into the wish to make a luxurious sedan (limousine) which was able to go off roads.
Giannis Goulandris wanted to create something in the style of “retro of the 30s” with a brutal chic (hence the name “Chicago”), but in the end he remained not satisfied enough with somewhat inelegant final result, which he called “mountain dinosaur”.
The automobile was built in 1974 within eight months on a steel chassis at the dockyards Neorion in the town of Ermoupolis on the island of Siros and had an aluminum body.

The coordinator of the project was the industrial designer Georgios Michael. The АМС V8 engine, the gearbox and the differential are “foreign” elements of the Jeep Wagoneer.
This exclusive automobile was built only in two copies: the red one is on the display in Technology museum in Saloniki, and the second is blue and as it is supposed it settled finally in a private collection outside of Greece.

Let’s pass from a fail gangster car to a city “tramp”. Exactly this way the name of that Greek concept car ΕΛΒΟ ALETIS 2001 is translated.

It was built by the company ΕΛΒΟ together with the TWT (an idea inspirer Δημ. Βαρτζιώτη ), in cooperation with the firm Pininfarina and the Greek industrial designer G. Liamadis.
The automobile was for the first time shown at Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (International Motor Show) in Frankfurt in 2001.
This is a multi-purpose vehicle for rest with a high technology approach aimed to a tourist market and young people. The automobile is based on the aggregates of the Volkswagen Polo.

The company ΕΛΒΟ (the abbreviation from Elliniki Viomihania Ohimaton: Greek automobile industry) is a Greek manufacturer of transport means located in Saloniki.
The company started its business as the Steyr Hellas SA on assembly of production machines, motorcycles and agricultural tractors of the Steyr and Puch models.

In the following years the ΕΛΒΟ became a large-scale producer of military and civil cars for different appliances (all of them are based on the Steyr models with the Steyr engines), military jeeps (Mercedes-Benz G-Class under the license), vehicles according to individual orders and buses.

We will rather stop. Watch all the rest more attentively traveling by means of the virtual tour. We dare to say in the conclusion that there is everything in Greece: outstanding world auto-bestsellers and homemade exotic customized and conceptual cars!

Dear friends, team of 360carmuseum.com is very enthuisiastic about cars. Not all interesting articles are posted on the website. You may find more in social networks.

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