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LUO WENYOU is one of a number of wealthy Chinese citizens who has turned their hobby into a career and opened a museum.

Mr Luo owned about 70 old cars when he took part in an 800km rally and drove from the North Eastern city of Dalian to Beijing in his iconic Red Flag government limousine.

Inspired by passers-by who shouted out, “Long live the Red Flag,” as he drove through Tiananmen Square in Beijing he decided to open up a museum: “Honour bound to preserve the legacy of China’s early motoring history”.

He said: “I had a karting track, a transport company and a garage. After the rally I sold them off in order to immediately start a vintage car association and later found the museum, to fill the gap. I felt this was my personal duty.”

A number of Luo’s cars document the recent history of China, including a limousine that Chairman Mao refused to ride in until the car’s romanized name on the bonner was replaced with Chinese characters.

And a car found in overgrown patch of scrubland that belonged to former president Liu Shaoqi. The vehicle still had broken windows from when Liu was chased by the government’s Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution after he fell out with Mao.

Mr Luo lives at the museum with his wife so that he can open up the facility for visitors outside normal hours and said: “Even if just one person comes we will open, even though the entrance fee won’t cover the electricity.”

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PHC Magazine

PHC Magazine