Tycho's Illustrated History Of Chinese Cars: Shanghai SH760
Another rare treasure from China’s not too distant past, found at the Sanhe Classic Car Museum in Chengdu: A brilliant blue Shanghai SH760 sedan. In China, blue is a working man’s color, so let’s call it a hue of Jade. The SH760 was the predecessor of the Shanghai SH760A that we saw earlier on. The SH760 was made from 1964 to 1974, this particular example was made in 1972. We found the SH760 outside the actual museum hall for maintenance. This oldie still sees the road now and then.
The SH760 was a child of its time with lots of chrome and kitsch, as evidence by the fantastic ornament above the front bumper. It serves no purpose except for looking just crazy. The Chinese character in the logo stand for Shanghai. The Shanghai SH760 was made by the Shanghai Auto Works, later renamed Shanghai Auto, today better known as SAIC, or Shanghai Auto Industry Corporation, joint venture partner of General Motors and Volkswagen, and China’s biggest car company. Once [pon a time, they made their own beautiful cars, unlike the Roewe-based-on-whatever mess they produce today.
As with all the cars in the Sanhe museum, this SH760 was restored to the absolute max, surely looking better than when it rolled down the line in 1972. The restoration seems correct, with a period radio and the gigantic steering wheel of the times. The SH760 was powered by a ‘Jinfeng 685 ‘ 2.2 6-cylinder in-line, good for 80hp and 147nm, top speed was 130km/h, not bad for the days.
The crazy design stretches to the back. Round lines, a soft touch, and then more chrome. Check the exhaust pipe, the bumper and the rear lights integrated in the tailfins. Size: 4780/1775/1585mm, wheelbase is 2830.
Another period-correct Shanghai-logo in the back, even more styled than the logo up front. No surprise in China: How many SH760 were made exactly is not clear, most sources say around 5,000. Today, there fortunately are a few left, most auto museums in the country have one, and some are still in private hands. This perfect example in Chengdu seems very safe, and that indeed, is very good.
Dutchman Tycho de Feyter runs Carnewschina.com, a blog about cars in China, from Beijing, China. He also collects die-cast models of Chinese cars.
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