27 May 2015

BMW 700 in Romania

Astazi BMW 700 e o masina aproape uitata. Dar are o parte importanta in istoria marcii din Bayern: intre 1959 si 1965, productia acestei masinute, ieftine si populare, a salvat firma BMW, care era aproape de faliment.

Si au existat si in Romania! Pozele arata exemplare berlina (Poiana Brasov 1968, Timisoara 2011), si coupe (Bals 1999, Hunedoara 2015).

Din pacate, slabe sanse ca vreun 700 autohton sa fi salvat / salvabil.


Today the BMW 700 is an almost forgotten car. But it has an important part in the marque's history: between 1959 and 1965, production of this popular little car saved the firm, which had been close to bankruptcy.

Ad they existed in Romania, too. Photos show the saloon (Poiana Brasov 1968, Timisoara 2011) and coupe (Bals 1999, Hunedoara 2015) versions.

Sadly, it's unlikely that a Romanian 700 will be saved - or indeed saveable.

21 May 2015

Chitanta din 1936 / Receipt from 1936

Un document rar: o chitanta din 1936 pentru vanzarea unei masini marca "Vipet", la suma de 6,000 lei. "Vipet" e de fapt "Whippet", marca apartinand firmei americane Willys-Overland. Autoturismele Whippet au fost produse intre 1926 si 1931. Numarul de motor ne spune ca e vorba de un model Whippet 96A, din 1929. E de fapt o greseala in chitanta, motorul fiind nu de 10, ci de 40, cai putere, propulsand masina pana la 96/km/h. Un exemplar model 96 din 1928, din Cernauti, se afla in poza 2. Un 96A din 1929 e in poza 3.

Remarcam pretul extrem de ieftin, ceea ce insemna ca un invatator de la tara isi putea permite o masina, chiar una veche. In 1936, un Fiat 500 nou costa 95,000 lei; un Opel Olympia era 125,000 lei; iar un Chrysler incepea la 185,000 lei. Tot in 1936, 1 dolar american era 136 lei. Salariile medii lunare erau aproximativ 2,000 lei - crescand la 10,000 lei pentru un medic si peste 30,000 lei pentru un ministru.

A rare document: a receipt from 1936 for the sale of a "Vipet" automobile, for 6,000 lei. "Vipet" is actually "Whippet", a subsidiary brand of the US firm Willys-Overland, produved between 1926 and 1031. The engine number indicates this is a Whippet 96A from 1929. There is one type - the horsepower was not 10hp but 4ph, taking the Whippet up to a top speed of 60mph. A model 96 from 1928, registered in Cernauti, is in photo 2. Photo 3 shows a 96A from 1929.

Notable is the extremely cheap price, enabling a primary school teacher from the coutnryside to get a car - albeit an old one. By comparison, in 1936 a new Fiat 500 cost 95,000 lei. An Opel Olympia was 125,000, and a new Chrysler started at 185,000. One US dollar exchanged for 136 lei. The average monthly salary was around 2,000 lei, rising to 10,000 for a doctor and over 30,000 for a Government minister.

30 April 2015

Statistici din 1933 / 1933 statistics

Din Anuarul Statistic din 1934, aflam cate ceva despre situatia automobilelor in Romania in 1933, printre care:

- Automobilele erau 75% americane
- Motocicletele erau in marea majoritate sau britanice, sau nemtesti
- Erau in circulatie 50 vehicle construite in Romania - majoritatea bazate pe camioane
- Parcul auto scazuse considerabil intre 1930 si 1933 - probabil din cauza crizei
- Erau judete unde motorizarea era o raritatea absoluta: Orhei, spre exemplu, avand niciun autovehicul pentru transport public si numai 24 autoturisme.
- Desi Ilfovul avea de patru ori mai multe vehicole ca Prahova, avea de peste 20 de ori mai multe taximetre.

Citire placuta!

From the 1934 Annual Statistics, some interesting data about Romania;'s motorisation in 1933, among which:

- Cars were 75% American-built
- Motorcycles tended to be either British or German makes
- There were 50 vehicles made in Romania in circulation - the majority truck-based
- The total number of vehicles had fallen considerably between 1930 and 1933 - probably owing to the Great Depression
- In some counties motor vehicles were a real rarity: Orhei, for example, had only 24 cars and no public transport whastoever
- Though Ilfov (Bucharest's county) had only four times as many vehicles as Prahova, it had over twenty times more taxis.

Happy reading!

2 April 2015

Dacia pick-up ... made in China! ("Xingtai 114")

O premiera absoluta, cu amabilitatea d-lui Erik van Ingen Schenau, expertul mondial la capitolul istoriei auto in China: Dacia construita in China!

Seamana uluitor cu o Dacie 1307 "double cabine". Dar sunt diferente. Fata "ochelarista" nu a existat nicoidata pe 1307. La fel stopurile de papuc stil vechi, bordul, si oglinzile cromate. Usa din spate
e prea scurta. De fapt, sasiul pare unul normal de 1304.

Aceasta masina - fotografiata in 1992 - poarta insigna "Xingtai 114 Automobile Works". Erik ne spune ca e vorba despre o fabrica auto din anii 90 in orasul Shaohe, provincial Hebei. Daciile au fost produse la inceputul anilor 90 - nu se stie daca in regim CKD sau SKD. 114 era foarte mica; construia autobuze si salvari din 4x4uri autohtone. Ulterior au facut cateva 4x4uri si pick-up-uri sub marca Jixing. A disparut fabrica inainte de 2000.

E atat de putin cunoscuta incat nu exista niciun fel de informatie pe internet. Aceste poze sunt 99.9% singura dovada ca asa ceva a existat.

Ma intreb care era legatura dintre Xingtai 114 si uzina mama Dacia? Care, si ei, importau in China incepand cu anii 80, si incercau sa isi vanda noile modele pick-up acolo...

An absolute premiere, with the amiability of Erik van Ingen Schonau, who knows more about the Chinese auto industry than pretty much anyone else: Dacia assembled in China!

It looks a lot like a Dacia 1307 "double cabine". But there are lots of differences. The quad headlamps never existed on a 1307. Nor did that dashboard, the chromed mirrors or the old-style pick-up tail lights. The rear door is much too short. In fact, so is the chassis - judging from the photos it looks to be a standard pick-up chassis.

This car, photographed in 1992, bears the title "Xingtai 114 Automobile works." As Erik writes, this was a real car factory in the 1990s, in Shaohe, Hebei province. It's not clear whether Dacias were produced as CKD or SKD. The 114 auto works was a very small factory making conversions of Beijing jeep and Yuejin Nj134 vehicles, into buses, ambulances, etc. since the 1980s. They also made some 4x4s and pickups, under the Jixing name. They owned the designation XT and JX, later changed into XTQ. The factory disappeared before 2000.

The factory is so obscure that the Internet yields no information. These photos are almost certainly the only evidence that such a car ever existed.

I wonder what was the link between the Xingtai 114 and the mother-plant in Romania? After all, Dacia was selling to China since the early 80s and was trying to market its own pick-ups...

30 March 2015

Bucuresti-Sinaia in presa britanica / Bucharest-Sinaia in the British press

Nu, nu e vorba de evenimentele organizate de Retromobil, ci de celebra parada Bucuresti-Sinaia organizata de ACR in anii 80 si la inceputul anilor 90.

Masinile sunt: Citroen C6, inca existent in Bucuresti; celebrul Cadillac 1936 care a fost expus la salonul din Paris; un Fiat 1500; si un Morris Minor detinut de printul Mihai in anii 30, astazi in curs de restaurare. Cadillacul a parasit tara pentru Germania dupa turnarea filmului ""Oglinda" in 1993, iar Morris-ul poarta numere emise in septembrie 1988. Deci desi articolul e nedatat putem spune ca e vorba de perioada 1988-93. Sunt sigur ca cititorii fideli au amanunte in plus...

No, not the Retromobil-run events of today, but the famous Bucharest-Sinaia parade organised by the Romanian Automobile Club in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The cars are: Citroen C6, still in Bucharest; the famous 1936 Cadillac, star of that year's Paris motor show; a Fiat 1500; and the Morris Minor owned by Prince Michael in the 1930s, currently being restored. The Cadillac left Romania for Germany after being used in the 1993 film "The Mirror", and the plates on the Morris were issued in September 1988. So though the article is undated, we can be reasonably sure that it's from 1988-93. And I am sure that faithful readers can be even more precise...

27 March 2015

Autoturismele armatei romane, decembrie 1952 / Cars of the Romanian Army, December 1952

Parcul de autoturisme al armatei române la 31 decembrie 1952, cu multumri lui Alin Bogdan Samusan. Intrebearea e: ce s-a intamplat cu bugatti si cu Rolls Royce? Stim ca cel putin 5 Rolls-Royce-uri din garajele casei regale au ajuns la garajele de stat in perioada 47-48, conform Monitorului Oficial... (pozele 1,2)

Romanian army staff cars, as of 31 December 1952, with thanks to Alin Bogdan Samusan. The question is, what happened to the Bugatti and the Rolls Royce? What we do know is that at least 5 Rolls-Royces from the royal garages ended up being handed over to the State, according to the Official Monitor... (photos 1.2)

Autoturisme noi / New vehicles:

192 x GAZ-67
95 x GAZ-20 Pobeda
99 x Tatra 57K
11 x Tatra 87 (n.r. e vorba dpspre modelele din ultima serie, 1947-48)
50 x Skoda Commercial (n.r. probabil e vorba despre 1101)

Autoturisme pre-1947 / Pre-1947 vehicles:

2 x BMW
1 x Bugatti
18 x Buick

3 x Cadillac
20 x Chevrolet
3 x DKW
8 x Dodge
6 x Fiat

88 x Ford
39 x Horch
1 x Hanomag
1 x Humber
19 x Jeep Willys
1 x LaSalle
42 x Mercedes
5 x Nash
5 x Oldsmobile
28 x Opel
6 x Plymouth
3 x Packard
17 x Praga
3 x Renault
1 x Rolls Royce 

1 x Rover
1 x Steyr
12 x Stoewer
1 x Studebaker

27 x Tatra Break (n.r. nu stiu care e diferenta dintre astea si T57K)
3 x VW
2 x Wanderer 

7 March 2015

Militia in anii 50 / Militia in the 1950s

Din anii 50 - o carte postala emisa de militie incurajand comportarea corecta in strada.

Camioanele sunt un Dodge 1939 si un SR-101.

Cartea postala arata un Bucuresti aproape complet disparut...

From the 1950s - a postcard published by the militia encouraging good behaviour on the street.

The trucks are a 1939 Dodge and a SR-101.

The postcard shows a Bucharest which has almost completely disappeared...