Danville, CA, (January 1, 2009) — China’s first manufactured car line is now represented in the Blackhawk Museum in California by “the Red Flag”. The car joins other significant vehicles on display such as the 1962 John F. Kennedy limousine. Already, groups of enthusiasts and even field trips of school children have been visiting the museum to get a first glimpse of the masculine “Hong Qi” as the cars are known in Asia. “The arrival of the Red Flag in the United States is a historic first and from a country that has a growing passion for classic cars”, remarks Williams.
China manufactured a limited number of Hong Qi from the 1950s through 1970s for dignitaries and other officials. It is said that when Richard M. Nixon requested his own vehicle be transported to Asia during his stay, the government of China insisted he use a Hong Qi based on its superior mechanical quality and functionality. “It took three long years to gain China’s governmental permission to bring this car to America”, reflects Williams. “As President of the Blackhawk Museum, it is important to me to educate people about car culture everywhere and the Red Flag has great cultural significance”. The car is the very first collector car to ever be exchanged in the USA with China.
Williams is now embarking on his quest to educate the people of China about classic cars of both the United States and other countries. “I’ve been working for several years to bring significant cars to China so they can learn about history and see what they have only been able to enjoy on television and in books”. Williams has been a key factor in the design, construction and contents of the Shanghai Auto Museum. The second floor of this four-story eclectic masterpiece is named Blackhawk Pavilion and dedicated to Don Williams for the use of providing cars
to educate the public.
“I have provided cars for both the Pavilion level and the first-floor which houses historical vehicles”, says Williams.
The museum has been open to the public since 2007 and contains an extensive automotive library. There are still two floors to furnish before what Williams hopes will be a “global open house” where the world is invited to see the remarkable cars. The cars on display will rotate and there will always be fresh and exciting examples.
Until recently, the people of China have not had the opportunity to walk into a building and admire glistening cars of beauty. Now they can. “People everywhere should be able to enjoy classic cars and learn about their history, I’m happy to be a part of making this happen. It’s a great way to wrap up the year”, says Williams with a huge smile.
For more information, visit www.blackhawkmuseum.org.