When the first car arrived in Iceland in 1904 it revolutionised land transport. Living in a vast country, with mountains and rivers, Icelanders never took the train into use, but they were quick to realise the usefulness of cars, and jumped right from the horseback into the driver's seat. Using archive films and interviews with some of the pioneers (all have since passed away), this documentary explains the important role that the automobile played in Icelandic society.

The first car in Iceland was a 1901 second-hand German car orginating from the Cudell factory in Aachen. Commencing at that point, the film goes on to recount the story of the car in Iceland over time and its effect on transport and road communications. A special section is devoted to the jeep and its deep impact as the Icelanders learned how to use it as a means of conquering the uninhabited highlands.

Consul Thomsen

bought a Car

Directed by Hjálmtýr Heiddal.

Written by Ásgeir Sigurgestsson, Finnbogi Hermannsson

and Hjálmtýr Heiddal.

Narration and translation: Neil McMahon

Photography: Guðmundur Bjartmarsson and Hjálmtýr Heiddal

Music: Vilhjálmur Guðjónsson

Supported by The Icelandic Filmcentre