Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The 1934 Auto Rally “Yerevan-Gorky-Yerevan” (Part 1)

It is well known that after its invention, the car did not immediately gained widespread acceptance among the population. For boosting the popularity of vehicles at the down of the automotive industry, various competitions and races were organized, in order to show all the possibilities and advantages of the self-propelled carriages. Horse-drawn carriages, however, refused to back down on their positions for a long time, particularly in backward countries, among which was undoubtedly Armenia. Until the 1920’s, the number of cars in Yerevan could be counted on the fingers of two hands. As for busses for intracity travel, they did not exist at all.

For the popularization of motor transport in the USSR, it was decided to organize campaign rallies. There must have been dozens of such rallies in the history of Armenia, but, unfortunately, we have information only on few of them. One of them, for example, took place in 1934. The data about it is thoroughly presented in the local press, more precisely, in The Yerevan Worker (No. 61 of 17 July 1934). The race Yerevan-Gorky-Yerevan started on 6 July and had a total distance of 6500 kilometers. The route laid through the cities of Moscow, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Batumi, Novorossiysk and Gorky. The event was organized by the Gorky Proletarian Sports Society "Dynamo". The convoy was comprised of 3 vehicles: 1 Ford and 2 cars of the Gorky automobile plant production. During the race, the organizers tried to find out how durable, compared with the American counterpart, the latters were. Further, from the same press, we learnt that the rally participants arrived in Yerevan on 22 July at 18:00 local time.
To be continued…