Eliot Zborowski, Count de Mountsalvain, was an aristocrat of Polish descent who at first lived in America. Married to Margaret Astor, he moved to Europe where he was attracted by the new phenomenon of motor racing. In the 1902 Paris-Vienna race he came second. When Selwyn Francis Edge won the Gordon Bennett Cup race in 1902, England was supposed to organize the next race but due to the Red Flag Act this was impossible. Zborowski came up with the idea that the race be organized in the republic of Ireland, and that the English cars should be painted green as a tribute to the good people of Ireland: this may well be the origin of British Racing Green.
When Eliot died in 1903 as a Mercedes factory driver at the La Turbie hillclimb near Nice, his son became of several richest teenagers in the world. Louis Vorow Zborowski bought the Higham Park estate and the former Bentley engineer Clive Gallop, working there, built the first aero-engined race car in the world for the young count, with a 23-liter Maybach airship engine and with the nickname "Chitty Bang Bang". Zborowski was instrumental in the creation of the Aston Martin company, raced at Indianapolis, at Spanish GT, the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, and lost his life in 1924 as a Mercedes factory driver in the Grand Prix of Italy at Monza. Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond character, wrote a children's book based on his adventurous life.
Between 1930 and 1933 Lwow, one of the most significant Polish cities, hosted a street race more difficult than the Monaco GP! Apart from elevation changes the drivers had to contend with slippery cobblestones and tram rails embedded in the street surface. Pierre Veyron, the Bugatti factory driver, shone here in 1933, and the following Polish drivers performed extremely well: Henryk Liefeldt, Jan Ripper, Stanisław Hołuj and the woman driver, Maria Koźmian.
The main polish steam engine factory was located in Chrzanow. In the late 1930's a new type of express locomotive was built there, with two prototypes completed, one more conventional and one with a streamlined cowling. The aerodynamic properties of the streamlined Pm36-1 prototype were designed at the Aerodynamics Institute of the Warsaw Polytechnic, incidentally the same place where the aerodynamic package of the Arrinera Racing car was designed.
The streamlined steam engine from Poland was awarded the gold medal at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et des Techniques in Paris in 1937. In Communist times it was faster than early electric trains…
Polish interwar aircraft industry started creating its own products, there was a strong drive to present them abroad in an attractive manner. The PZL Ł-2, a duralumin observation and reconnaissance plane with short takeoff and landing characteristics, was selected for a promotional long distance flight.
In 1931 a crew composed of Stanislaw Skarzynski and Andrzej Markiewicz performed a daring long-distance flight around Africa, with a total length of over 25 050 km. The flight proved the durability of Polish-designed and Polish-built aircraft to foreign customers.
Three centuries of history, two hundred years of memorable exploits and a legend which even today is alive: this is how one can describe in short the Polish hussarya cavalry, whose fascinating appearance still attracts attention today. Its daring charges often defeated enemies who heavily outnumbered the Polish cavalrymen.
This military formation was capable of defeating almost all types of military forces extant in Europe in its day. Thanks to the hussarya, Polish flags flew over the Kremlin in 1610, and the imperial capital of Vienna was saved from being captured by the Turks in 1683. Not only unbeatable, it was also deemed to be the most beautiful cavalry force in Europe, if not the world.
Philippe Dupont, who came to Poland around the year 1671, took part in all military endeavors of the king Jan IIi Sobieski. This is what he wrote about the hussarya cavalrymen: "This is the elite of all nobility, able to surpass with its looks, the beauty of its armament and horses and the richness of its equipment all that authors tell us about ancient Persians, Greeks and Romans, and all one can see in Europe and Asia. There is nothing more beautiful and enchanting than hussarya regiments riding across the plain in good weather."
For us, the most important period in Polish history is the interwar period, from 1918 till 1939. In less than 20 years our homeland managed to create from scratch an imposing industry, able to manufacture products that could easily be exported, Most of them required a high level of engineering and manufacturing expertise, among them aircraft, steam locomotives and various types of weaponry.
No other country, having just suffered 123 years of foreign occupation, managed such a feat in such a short time. Only 19 years passed from the end of the defensive war against the Soviets in 1920 and the start of WWII...