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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Samsung Transportation Museum Part One


Samsung Transportation Museum by Thomas Tompkins

Last Tuesday I had the chance to visit the Samsung Transportation Museum, a museum of automotive history about an hour outside of Seoul, South Korea. If you’re ever in the area, it’s well worth a visit, especially since you’re unlikely to see any classic cars on Korea’s roads.

It is possible to get there using public transportation (there are directions on the museum website), but my husband and I actually took a taxi from our hotel and paid the driver to wait while we toured the museum, so we’d have a ride back. (Well, actually, we took the driver in with us, so he could tour the museum too.) It's also possible to rent a car or to hire a car and driver, but the taxi option was easiest.

The collection’s rather eclectic, with most of the cars being European. I’d hoped for more local flavour, but I’m not complaining. The museum is divided into eight sections, and I’ll be looking at all of them over the next few days. There are a lot of cars, beautifully restored, as far as the coachwork goes. The engines weren’t available for inspection but I’d be surprised if they weren’t immaculate as well. Do take a camera. I was glad I had two along as my main camera didn't like the lighting conditions in some of the galleries and I had to switch to my backup camera.

The first thing you notice after entering the lobby is, appropriately enough, a replica of the 1886 Benz Patent MotorWagen, the first gasoline-powered car. At least it’s the first thing you should notice, but I didn’t actually see it until I was on the way out. To be fair, there was a class of schoolchildren standing in front of it when we arrived and I immediately got side-tracked by a gleaming silver beauty to the left. But that’s for tomorrow, when I talk about the cars in the “Beauty” section located in the first floor lobby. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of the 1886 Benz. Since I can't read Korean and the English captions were brief, I don't know if it's one of the working models built by John Bentley Engineering.
1886 Benz Patent MotorWagen Replica by Kate Tompkins

1886 Benz Patent MotorWagen Replica

1886 Benz Patent MotorWagen Replica

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