In the early days of motorised transport, Lake Balaton quickly filled with cars, while decent roads and rest stops were created to serve them. This pioneeering era was captured by the photographers of the day.
The popularity of Lake Balaton meant that railways, decent roads and, in time, even a motorway were built to help tourists get there quickly and comfortably. From the archives of public resource Fortepan, here’s a selection of photographs depicting cars at Lake Balaton from the past century.
1925, Siófok. An automobile gets a refill in the middle of Siófok’s busy main street.
1933, Balatonalmádi. A group pose around a dream car.
1935, Lepsény. A humorous sign reminds drivers to go slowly in order to avoid ending up in the cemetery.
1940, Balatonkenese. The town didn’t look like a resort as it does now.
1943, Tihany-Gödrös. This summer photo was taken during World War II at one of the army’s training camps for students of mechanics.
1943, Szántód. A 1935 Ford V8 Modell 48 at the ferry port.
1951, Balatonkeresztúr. A Skoda 1101 Tudor taxi on Main Road 7, with Badacsony in the background.
1956, Székesfehérvár. Pictured below are the so-called mini cars named Alba Regia and Balaton.
1957, Siófok. A Buick Roadmaster at the dock.
1959, Tihany. A hatchback Ikarus bus at the dock.
1961, Szántód. A member of the new ferry fleet.
1964, Balatonakarattya. Two women washing a car at the beach.
1965, Balatonkeresztúr. With cars came rest stops: Utasellátó and Autóscsárda were popular places for a quick bite.
1966, Siófok. A policeman controls traffic on the town’s main street.
1967, Balatonakarattya. Main Road 71 and a hitchhiker.
1971, somewhere in Lake Balaton. A Trabant 601 gets a wash by the waterfront.
1972, Balatonfüred. The view from the Marina Hotel.
1975, somewhere along highway M7. The opening ceremony after the Balatonvilágos section of highway M7 was finished.
1977, Balatonföldvár. A Hungarian police officer checks Italian tourists travelling in a Mini Morris.
1979, Balatonboglár. Rubor buses in front of a hotel.
1982, Balatonfüred. Tamás Urbán’s legendary photograph was taken at a new-wave festival: the awakening Hungarian punk scene wasn’t welcomed by the police, standing in the background.