Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ferdinand Budicki Museum, Zagreb

Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is a pleasant 'mittel-europe' city filled with neat, pastel coloured 19th century public buildings and lots of cafe-filled pedestrian boulevards. It also has a very neatly presented motor museum.

Ferdinand Budicki was a Croatian motoring pioneer, opening up the first caryard in the city in the early 1900s. The museum is contained in the former car yard, now an empty warehouse covered in graffiti, a short distance from Zagreb central train station. It's a small collection but well displayed and exceptionally neat - the floors and walls are gleaming white! It doesn't seem to get many visitors as the two volunteers on duty the day we visited seemed surprised when we walked in. We had the place pretty much to ourselves but that has its advantages.

The first row cars was a selection of budget vehicles from the 50s and 60s, including a BMW Isetta, VW Beetle, Citroen 2CV and Ami, Renault 8 and a number of Zastava Fiat copies.

Vespa and contemporary furniture

Zastava built Fiats under license in Yugoslavia. This one is an ex-police vehicle.

BMW Isetta

Volkswagen oval

Renault 8

Citroen 2CV and Ami

Volkswagen Kombi

Mercedes Benz fire engine

The second row was all German, ranging from a Mercedes Benz Ponton, two Opels (these were General Motor's German car range and they are large for 1960s continental cars) and two DKWs, a neat F12 convertible and a lovely blue Auto-Union 1000.

German car row

With the exception of a Swedish Saab 96 (V4)

GM Opels from the 1960s

Opel Kapitan P2

The DKWs looked magnificent and we stopped to take quite a few photos. This drew the attention of one volunteers as the two DKWs were his. Although he didn't speak English and we didn't speak Croatian or German (his second language) we managed to have a very animated conversation about the pleasures of being a DKW owner. He even pulled out the keys and started up each of the cars for us. They sounded great and we noted that they both started up first pop, unlike ours!

Happy DKW owners!

He also owned the Audi 100S in the sportscar section.

There was a small military section, a couple of caravans, a nice Citroen H van and Renault Novaquatre-Berline set up as if in a mock garage. There was also a Tatra T51 body (missing wheels) awaiting restoration.

Citroen H van

Renault Novaquatre-Berline

Tatra T12 body. The chassis was separate.

They also had a fine collection of motorcycles and scooters, featuring a lot of DKWs, Puchs, NSUs and an IWL Berlin and Peugeot scooter.

Zundapp and NSU Prima

NSU and Puch scooters and mopeds

Peugeot scooter, Zundapp Bella and IWL Berlin

The farmers friend - Hanomag tractor

Messerschmitt restoration


A car brand few people remember - ZZ

So, if you are passing Zagreb and find yourself with a few hours to spare between trains, pop down to Ferdinand Budicki Museum for an hours distraction (and keep the volunteers happy).