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129 days to build a car

On May 27, 1960, Turkey was the scene of a military coup d'état organized by a group of Turkish army officers, against the democratically elected Democratic Party government. The instigators of this coup established General Cemal Gürsel as head of state, prime minister and minister of defense. The military junta returned power to civilians 17 months later, in October 1961.

Our story takes place between this period. The man at the head of state, President Cemal Gürsel, decides to show his people the power of the government to develop Turkish industry. For this he expressed on May 15, 1961 his desire to create a Turkish domestic automobile during the meeting of the Association of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen (TÜSİAD) and that this automobile must imperatively be presented on the day of the Republic Day of October 29, 1961 (which commemorates the proclamation of the Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923). It will thus be the first car developed and manufactured entirely in Türkiye.

To do this, he formed a group of 24 of the best Turkish engineers from different companies. Mission imperative:

The vehicle must be designed and produced in 129 days

As a symbol, the brand will be called “Devrim” which means “Revolution” in Turkish and the model “Tecrübe” which means “Experience”.

Work begins immediately. The State Railways Traction Workshop in Eskişehir is chosen as the workplace.

In addition to the 24 engineers, nearly 200 workers participated in the project. Two different prototypes were created so that the basic and technical characteristics of the vehicle were not similar to those of another vehicle, each had a specific engine.

Time is running out as Republic Day approaches. The engineers redouble their efforts and succeed, in what seems like the impossible, in moving from the study stage to the implementation stage of a project which normally takes years to complete.

They produced a total of four prototypes: one black and three cream-colored. However, that two of the cars were sent to Ankara for the Republic Day celebrations, the black one and a cream one. The delivery time was so short that the black car was painted during the train journey to Ankara. None of the vehicles had any gas in their tanks as a precaution and they were filled with just enough gas to maneuver them.