FIRST LOCAL TURKISH AUTOMOBILE

  •    20 of State Railways Factories’ and Traction Departments’ managers and engineers were called a meeting on 16 June 1961, at Ankara.

       Assistant General Manager Emin Bozoğlu who chaired the meeting, read an article that had been taken from Ministry of Transport. In that article, it was stated that “develop an automobile to meet the needs of Turkish Army to have ‘street cars’”. This mission had been adressed to TCDD and for that purpose 1.400.000 TL fund allocated.

       The given deadline was 29 October 1961, in other words, 4,5 months. Within this period, such a comprehensive development study could done? About developing the road than ever, Taking a car to work can be done, such a miracle was accomplished? Most of the speakers at the meeting said that they are willingly ready to work in such a project , but they stated that they didn’t expect to take a result in such a short period of time and some of them said “no”.

       In all country, from university to media, from a handful industrialist to politician, all people belived neither manufacturing automobile nor engine in Turkey and also in special conversations, interviews even in conferences, this opinion was emphasized.

       But this incredible thing was happening and on the morning of October 29, 1961; an automobile made in Turkey, even its carbody not smooth, on its own wheels and with its own engine power made in Turkey was taken to in front of the Building of TBMM and peresented to Cemal Gürsel Pasha. The other second one took Pahsa to Anıtkabir and then participated to parade in Hippodrome.

       How this project was realized?

       For the project, instead of another organization, being assigned of State Railways; was a result of, on the one hand, TCDD was established for the purpose of repair but it had got an important technical potential with Ankara, Eskişehir, Sivas and Adapazarı Factories which manufactured spare part on a large scale and it had got a poweful technical staff with qualified employees and engineers at that times, on the other hand; Certified Engineer Emin BOZOĞLU having a military background and at the same time he has got a relationship with Sıtkı ULAY Pasha and therefore he was a familiar and reliable person closely by National Unity Committee and most of the members of cabinet.

       Certified engineer Emin Bozoğlu as head of the management group, took a big role on running and completing the Project like other managers in the group. He also provided to overcome all bureaucratic obstacles and work in pace of 20 engineers who were under great stress due to urgency of task.

       The second factor in winning the race against time, engineers, who took a job in this Project, were at work at least 12 hours in a day during the Project time including weekends. Some nights they had a little nap on detached automobile seat.

       Meeting held on June 16, 1961, the most suitable place for work, (today TÜLOMSAŞ) Eskişehir Railway Factories’ unused building built as a foundry and the most appropriate method of examining the structure closely as possible after the idea of a variety of car types to do, the size of type, engine, gearbox and so on. other groups and to focus on how the pieces are designed and manufactured to be concluded.

       For preparing selected workshop, gave an instruction to Eskişehir and person who had a car was asked to be situated in Eskişehir on 19th of June. Foundry building’s floor was furnished with sheet metal that had been purchased for using in locomotive boilers. A signboard was hung over the door in big numbers showing how many days are left. Until the end of the project decreasing everyday one by one, this signboard stayed there. There were an overhead traveling crane, various stands and a meeting table in the workshop. This table was near the kitchen and used both meetings and the rest as well as a working desk.

       At the first meeting making at workshop "Management Group" was announced. Under the presidency of Assistant General Manager Emin BOZOĞLU, there were Head of Department of Factories Orhan ALP, Head of Traction Department Hakkı TOMSU, Department of Traction Vice President Nurettin ERGUVANLI, Eskişehir Railway Factory Manager Mustafa ERSOY, Adapazari Railway Factory Manager Celal TANER, Ankara Railway Factory Manager Mehmet NÖKER and also two retired military officers in the group. General Management Consultants Necati PEKÖZ and Hüsnü KAYAOĞLU. Then, working groups were set: Design, engine-gearbox, bodywork, suspension and brakes, electrical equipment, casting, purchasing jobs and cost calculation groups.

       Firstly, the automobile’s outline was determined. Four to five persons, the total weight of 1000-1100 kg,, and medium sized type was agreed..Engine should be 4 - stroke and 4-cylinder and should have 50 – 60 HP.

       One of the selected models 1:10 scales prepared for carbody, 1:1 scale plaster model was made. Carbody’s roof, hood and similar sheets were manufactured one by one by standed to molds taken from this model and peening. After analysing engines of Willy’s Jeep, Warswa, Chevrolet, Ford Consul, Fıat 1400 and 1100, took an example by Warswa engine, side-valved 4 cylinder engine’s body and head smelted in Sivas Railway Factory and processed in Ankara Railway Factory. Piston, piston ring and its arms produced in Eskişehir. The engine was mounted in Ankara Railway Factory. Another type of engine was manufactured with the same body and crankshaft as an alternative to this engine; because it couldn’t be obtained more than 40 HP in braking. The third engine was an overhead valve engine that called B engine was manufactured in Eskişehir.

       For the suspension group’s front set "Mc Pearson" system offered and it was manufactured according to a sample in Eskişehir..

       Towards the end of September, due to the obligation of front and rear windows slightly modified to match with those in the market, and one of the two car bodies A and B types of two separate motors were prepared. Transmission boxes were made wholly local by Ankara Factory.

       The biggest problem that arouse during assembly, to provide the adaption between carbody and engine, to place clutch, gas and brake control mechanism and to find the steering wheel’s most suitable position. Adjustable steering proposal was not accepted. Two years later, Cadillac brought it as a novelty.

       Finally, in mid-October, the first of the Revolution cars was ready for testing. Apart from Electrical components and differential gears, universal joints, engine bearings, glass and tires; all other parts were produced locally.

       Train reached to Ankara towards the morning. Two Devrim Automobile landed to Ankara Railway Factory which is located in the Sıhhiye in those days. To provide shunting, only a few liters fuel up to its tank. Actual refuelling would have done in the morning at Mobile Fuel Station in Sıhhiye then gone to the parliament

       On the morning of October 29, Devrims departed within escort that consisted of crowded traffic team wth motorcycle. They departed but, they kept going without runnig in fuel station because they were unaware of taking the fuel. When reached to Parliament, the situation was understood, fuel which brought immediately was put on first car. When fuel was putting on second car, Cemal Pasha came in front of the Parliament and he got into second Devrim Car to go to Anıtkabir. They departed. But after the 100 meter, engine stopped. Cemal Pasha Asked “What is going on?” Certified Engineer Rıfat Serdaroğlu replied his question; “Pasha, fuel ran out”. Apologizing to Pasha and requested him to pass to Devrim 1. Cemal pasha went to Anıtkabir with this car. When he got off, he said his famous saying “the project team developed automobile with western mind, however forgot to supply the fuel with eastern mind”.

       Next day all newspapers gave same headline “Devrim went only 100 meters and broke down”. This 2 number Devrim same day attended to parade at the Hippodrom. Nobody talked neither this nor Cemal Pasha’s travelling to Anıtkabir with another Devrim Car. In all news, comment and anecdotes mentioned that Spent all this money went to waste. In fact, in same year, for recovery of horse generation, 25 million tl fund allocated to Ministry of Agriculture and nobody mentioned anything about this allowance and its results..

               

                    

                                                                      This letter has been complied from
    Certified Engineer Salih Kaya SAĞIN who is from bodywork group
      

    *From the four units Devrim Automobiles manufactured in 1961, only one of them have reached today. Devrim Automobile has preserved in the garden of Türkiye Lokomotif ve Motor Sanayi A.Ş. TÜLOMSAŞ/Eskişehir and still it is in service.