When first car came around in late 19th century, Istria was part of Austro-Hungarian Empire, the largest country in Europe. Big navy port Pula was important seaplane construction centre 1910-14 under Josef Mickl guidance. Mickl later became Ferdinand Porsche’s aerodynamicist. Austro-Hungary lost WWI and Istria came under Italian rule and shared its automotive history. After WWII Istria became part of Croatia in Yugoslavian Federation (1945-91). Communist regime disliked cars as bourgeois toy; nevertheless Istria region always remained racing centre on east Adriatic coast. Since 1991 Croatia is independent together with Istria.