A Chinese Classic

1974 Hongqi CA770

For Sale at The Auto Collections | Las Vegas, Nevada

1974 Hongqi CA770

Say what? This is actually a really exciting car to see for sale in the United States. The Chinese automobile industry is just starting to take off (I could throw some numbers at you but I won’t. I wrote a thesis-ish paper in college about two years ago regarding it but I don’t want to bore you). But the industry has actually been around longer than 10 years.

Hongqi (which means Red Flag, the name by which the cars are sometimes referred to in Western media) is owned by FAW (First Automobile Works). The cars were the first domestically produced passenger automobiles in China. They were introduced in 1958, essentially as a copy of a 1950s Chrysler. An update came in 1963 and it was known as the CA770, the car you see here.

They were built for elite members of the Communist Party. It used the same engine as its predecessor, a 197 horsepower 5.6-liter V-8 (also a Chrysler design). This model was produced until 1980. Only about 1,600 of these cars (and the earlier model) were made in total. So they are very rare to begin with.

Then you throw the curveball: this car is in the U.S. It is one of very few (it could be the only one) Chinese cars (and not those little electric things) in this country. It is almost certainly the only “classic” Chinese car to have reached these shores. No one’s really collecting them because most people don’t know they are out there. Russian cars have a little bit of a following, but this is a whole new ballgame. The Auto Collections bill it as “the very first collector car to ever be exchanged in the USA with China.” It’s interesting. It’s for sale. I want it, and any collector of interesting cars should too. Click here for more.