Monday, November 30, 2009

Ride into the New Millenium !

As you enter the arch where the grand old locomotives are on display at the National Museum , you will certainly see a fine display of the different models of vehicles through time.

Looking at these modes of transport, I couldn't help thinking wasn't it only a little more than 100 years ago, travel was mainly by waterways in our country. In the virgin jungles, elephants helped move man and machinery.

Speed is of the essence and the vehicles more refined in this day and age. Up in the skies, fly our national carrier , MAS (Malaysia Airlines) and our world recognised budget airline, AirAsia , of whom I'm rightly proud of both.

For this blog, let's stay on terra firma!

Trishaw - the model here is from Parit Jawa, Muar, Johore. Its colours are green, red, yellow and black all being popular colours of the era.The seat is filled with coconut husks and two adult passengers can seat i it with one /two children too. The hood is made of canvas and it can be opened or closed depending on the weather conditions.

How can I forget the free rides that I used to hitch from two friends who had trishaws to take them to school? At times, with my friends, I piled in front of them among the school wicker bags and merrily we were on our way , thanks to the hard working driver of theirs.

The Austin Seven was built by British carmaker, Sir Herbert Austin (1866-1941). It was manufactured in 1935 and the Seven set the standard for the European small car for more than a decade. It hit its high water mark in annual sales (27,280) 13 years after its introduction.

Proton Saga car, 1.3 litre was the first of 30 cars made during a test-run. It made history as the first Malaysian car on Thursday,18 April,1985, 2.30 pm. It was donated by PROTON. YBhg. Tan Sri Dato Jamal bin Jan, Chairman of PROTON (Perusahan Otomobil Nasional Bhd) handed the car to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Dr Sulaiman bin Haji Daud on 15 Aug , 1985.

Kereta kuda/ Gharry of Malacca - It was owned by a local Chinese man in 1910 but was bought by Encik Awal bin Mat from Bukit Piatu in 1929. The gharry was used to ferry passengers for 0.05 sen per mile ( 1.6 km) until 1955.

Johore Horse Cart - the Chinese community in Maharani, Johore used it in the 1990s for their daily activities. It was drawn by a pony to transport passengers. Imagine, it cost a mere RM0.05 for a 1.6 km trip !!

Melaka Bullock cart - It has been in existence since the Sultanate days of Malacca in the 15th century AD. With trade, it was introduced by the traders from India. Today, it is the accepted traditional symbol of the state. The bullocks cover 8 km in half an hour.

Nowadays the bullock cart can be seen in parades or even in hotels, shopping complexes where they are reminiscent of the days of yore.

For some nostalgia, I couldn't help digging among old photo albums to share with my readers these pictures.

Pedal power on the tricycle . Only human energy to get him about!

The Morris Minor 1000 was a popular British - made car. It was the successor to the protototype known as the Morris Mosquito. Seen here is the 4 door Morris Minor 1000 in the porch of my husband's house in the 60s. My mum -in - law bought it from a British planter in 1960. It was cream in colour and later sprayed black. She used to drive it around town for her meetings and was recognised in this car! In the 1990s the Morris Minor was sold off.

A young ' hopeful' for an advertisement on the bonnet of the Alfa Romeo Veloce 1.6 GT , belonging to his elder brother.


  1. wow, what a part of history I found here!
    Those old photos are endearing.
    Have a nice week!

  2. A lot has happened to our modes of transport in a hundred years! The styling of those old cars was amazing! Very rugged too.

  3. Many cars from the old box .... ;)
    I love your old pictures !!

  4. Love the awesome old photos, Keats! I pass by the National Museum every day on my way back from work, but I never seem to have the time to stop by. You know those Batu Hidup standing stones they have outside? The monoliths? I have a creepy story about them!

  5. Hi
    BLOGitse, over time, many old photos are lost. luckily some are still in the albums :)

    Rosey Pollen, i agree - rugged and as if made to last!!

    Anya, thanks!

    ~Covert_Operations'78~, i love the huge mural at the entrance of the main door. Liked it when I was young, still do. Really? takes a lot to me me jump out of my skin ! Wanna share it on a night out?

  6. can you imagine that proton saga is running on the road, about 25 years old..

  7. Oh have wheels will travel. Old hakka folks used to say this "yim char yim ovaltine, su cha su Austin" what a rhyme.. meaning [drink tea drink ovaltine, drive car drive Austin]. haha

  8. I really love to see those black and white photos. The hairstyles, car and house reminds me so much of my mum and dad's yesteryears of 'a-go-go', 'ronggeng' and P.Ramlee.

  9. There is good collection of old vehicles in Udaipur, Rajasthan and I was reminded of them seeing this lovely post of yours. Great shots of yester years.

  10. I'll take the Melaka Bullok cart for my ride!

  11. Hi
    Sonia, yeah. and the name saga has its significance too. it's named after the saga seed, the ones we used to play with when young.

    CheaHS@n, never heard of that! Nice rhyme!

    Autumn Belle, those were the days:))

    Indrani, when we were in Chennai, we sat in an old, rugged car too. Wonder which model it was - let you know when I find out!!

    Laura in Paris, are you serious?? I'll be your driver then! Bet it'll be the most unforgettable ride:))

  12. Very unique transportation! Have a wonderful week :)


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