6 July 2014

Bucuresti, august 1990

Aceste imagini arata Bucuresti in vara anului 1990. Desi calitatea nu e buna, apar vehicule interesante si rar vazute. Deja, pe langa Dacia si Oltcit (vazut aici pe post de taximetru, chiar daca nu era permis sa ceva, Oltcitul avand numai doua portiere), apar primele masini occidentale - in mod special Mercedes W123. Remarcam un Chevrolet Chevette si cu numere de ambasada; Mercedes W124 , tot de ambasada; Dacia 1320 taximetru;  celebrul Ford Capri devastat in mineriade; Opel Rekord Coupe din anii 60; Dacia 500 "Lastun"; si, cel mai impresionant, trei exemplare de Dacia 2000. A doua, inregistrata 14-B-714, ar fi servit ca masina de protocol. Aceste masini erau de multe ori parcate in fara marilor hoteluri. Ulterior au fost vandute catre persoane particulare, cateva din ele existand si astazi.

These images show Bucharest in the summer of 1990. Although the quality is poor we can see some interesting and rare vehicles. Already, alongside Dacias and Oltcits (one of which is seen here as a taxi: although taxis had to have four doors, in that period anything went) we can see the first wave of western cars - particularly the Mercedes W123. Notable vehicles: an embassy-registered Chevrolet Chevette; a Mercedes W124, also from an embassy; Dacia 1320 taxi; the famous Ford Capri trashed in the miners' revolt; Opel Rekord coupe from the 1960s; Dacia 500 "Lastun"; and, most impressively, three Dacia 2000s. The second, registered 14-B-714, would have been an official vehicle for VIPs. These cars were often to be seen parked outside the major hotels. Later, they were sold off into private hands, and a handful still exist today.







 









 

30 June 2014

O "antebelica", inca in circulatie / A "pre-war" vehicle, still going strong

In anii 70, inca erau destule familii care, dorind motorizare ieftina, foloseau masini de dinainte de razboi. Aceste masini, de multe ori modificate in orice fel posibil pentru a le mentine in circulatie, erau o aparitie destul de comuna in piesajul stradal. Treptat, totusi, din ce in ce mai multi isi pot permite o masina moderna. "Vechiturile" sunt ori abandonate, ori casate, ori - in cazurile cel mai fericite - vandutre catre pasionati care le tin in garaj si le expun la paradele organizate de ACR. A folosi o masina antebelica ca unicul mijloc de transport devine ceva din ce in ce mai rar - desi sunt cazuri chiar dupa 1989.

Iata totusi o masina din 1941 care chiar astazi se inscire in categoria "daily driver". In plus, are ITP si asigurare. Greu de crezut, dar aceasta creatie a fost la baza un Willys MB. Cam totul e schimbat. Numai bordul si rotile dovedesc originea. E de vanzare in judetul Buzau pe site-ul olx.ro. Ca vehicul istoric e, clar, irecuperabil. Ca  o curiozitate istorica, un supravietuitor, un vehicul vechi de peste 70 de ani cu care omul inca isi face treaba - e minunat.







 
In 1970s Romania there were still many families who, wanting cheap motoring, used cars from before the war. These cars - often modified in any way possible to keep them going - were a fairly common sight, but, as people began to be able to afford modern cars, the "oldtimers" were either scrapped, abandoned or, in lucky cases, sold to enthusiasts who kept them in garages and took them to parades. "Daily drivers" from the 1930s became rarer and rarer - though there are examples of some being used right into the 1990s.
 
And one is still being used - with a valid technical test and insurance, no less! Believe it or not, this is at base a 1941 Willys MB. Pretty much everything has been modified - only the wheels and the interior hint at what it once was. This particular example is currently for sale on olx.ro, in Buzau. As a historic vehicle it is clearly beyond salvation. As a historical curiosity - a pre-war vehicle which, over seventy years on, is still being used for transportation - it is wonderful.


2 March 2014

BMW si Maserati la Feleac / BMW and Maserati at the Feleac hill-climb

Trei poze extrem de valoroase din colectia Julia Tarbay, via fortepan.hu. Autorul spune ca au fost surprinse la o cursa auto in 1935. Intr-adevar, poza 2 arata celebrul pilot Ladislau Hartmann, si al sau Maserati in 8 cilindri, vopsit in culorile Ungariei. Aceeasi masina se vede in pozele 4, 5, 6, si 7. Data e 6 octombrie 1935, si locul este Feleac. Poza nr 7 a fost surprinsa cu exacta aceasta ocazie.

Aici se complica treaba. Poza 3 arata un BMW 319/1, model fabricat in 1935 si 1936. Dar documentele de epoca (poza 8) spun ca la categoria sport, au concurat numai masini Ford - desi in 1936 concureaza doua BMW-uri. Tot in 1936 concureaza Hartmann pe Maserati, desi fara succes. Deci sa fie pozele din 1936? Sau de la evenimente diferite?

Probabil ca nu vom sti vreodata adevarul...

Three highly valuable photos from the Julia Tarbay collection, via fortepan.hu. The author says they were taken at a race in 1936. Indeed, the second photo shows the famous racing driver Ladislau Hartmann and his 8-cylinder Maserati. The same car is shown in photos 4, 5, 6 and 7. The date is 6 October 1935, and the race is the Feleac hillclimb. Photo 7 is from the same occasion.

But here matters get complicated. Photo3 shows a BMW 319/1, produced in 1935 and 1936. But a period document (photo 8) states that the only sports cars competing in 1935 were Fords. However, in 1936, we have two BMWs competing, as well as (unsuccessfully) Hartmann on his Maserati. So are the pictures from 1936? Or are they from different events?

I guess we will never know....
 



 




 

9 February 2014

Diplomatie la iarba verde (1936) / Al fresco diplomacy (1936)

Recent, casa de licitatii Artmark a expus aceasta fotografie, din 1936, aratand un picnic diplomatic la Snagov. Fotograful e Iosif Berman iar pretul e situat intre 70 si 120 Euro - exagerat, in parerea mea, chiar daca masina e ceva iesit din comun: un Auburn 852 Phaeton din 1936, o masina luxoasa si eleganta, dar din pacate ultimul Auburn produs, fabrica dand faliment in 1937. Ma intreb daca era una din masinile ambasadei americane, sau masina particulara a unui diplomat: inclin catre a doua optiune pentru ca masinile oficiale nu erau de obicei decapotabile.
 
Recently, the Artmark auction house exhibited this photograph, from 1936, showing a diplomatic picnic at Snagov. The photographer is Iosif Berman; the value is judged at being between 70 and 120 Euros - high, in my opinion, even if the car is something special: a Auburn 852 Phaeton from 1936, an elegant and luxurious car, but sadly the last model of Auburn produced before the factory's bankrupcy in 1937. I wonder if the car belonged to the American embassy or was a diplomat's private car; probably the latter, as I doubt a soft-top would have been used as an official vehicle.
 

 

29 January 2014

Dacia 1410 lui Nicu Ceausescu? / Nicu Ceausescu's Dacia 1410?

Recent a aparut pe un site romanesc da vanzari o Dacie 1410 care ar fi apartinut lui Nicu Ceausescu. Anuntul arata o Dacia destul de prapadita, dintr-o serie destul de rara: ultima serie care inca era pe vechiul plafon de 1300, cu aerisirea stil vechi, dar cu botul si spatele in stilul Daciilor de serie din perioada 1985-1992. Aceste modele - din care unul apare in filmul "Raliul"(1984) - au fost destinate pentru export, ajungand, printre altele, in RFG si Canada. Busonul de alimentare deasupra aripii stanga-spate, si semnalizatoarele montate pe aripi, dovedesc ca e vorba de o Dacie destinata pentru Canada, cum se vede in poza 5, care arata o Dacie din aceste serii. Culoarea (daca e originala) e, din nou, neobisnuita pentru epoca. Putem constata ca e vorba de o Dacie destul de speciala.

Aici ne ivim de doua probleme. Prima, vanzatorul a vrut sa dovedeasca primul proprietar prin postand carta de identitate. Iese ca Dacia fusese inmatriculata pe numarul 1-B-188 - foarte bine - iar proprietarul este un "Ceausescu Nicu" nascut pe 17 februarie 1948. Dar nu Nicu, ci fratele sau Valentin, fusese nascut pe acea data. Iar in anii 80, niciunul din ei nu locuia in vila de pe Primverii: Nicu era pe Cosmonautului, Valentin pe Brincutei si apoi Batistei. Deci raman cateva dubii asupra autenticitatii. Desigur, este posibil ca, in confuzia postdecembrista, sa se fi strecurat unele greseli pe C.I.V...

A doua problema: pretul. Se cere 10,000 Euro pentru ce este o Dacie - desi una rara - intr-o stare precara. Chiar cu provenienta Ceausestilor, e cu un 0 prea mult. Ca fapt de referinta, recent se vindea o Dacie similara (pozele 6,7) cu 2500 lei (550 Eur), iar un 1301 veritabil cu 2000 lei (440). Ambele in stare de circulatie.

E fantastic ca a supravieutit o Dacie cu istorie interesanta. Dar nu asa salvam istoria!

Recently, on a Romania site there has appeared a Dacia 1410 purporting to be Nicu Ceausescu's old car. The ad shows a fairly tired Dacia from a rare series: the last to use the old 1300 bodyshell, but with the front and back of the normal Dacias of 1985-1992. These models - one of which appeared in the 1984 film "The Rally" - were destined for export, notably in West Germany and Canada. The fuel filler on the wing shows this to be a Canada model, as shown in photo 5. The colour, if it is original, is also very unusual for the year. So it's a special car.

But there are two problems. First, the owner wanted to show the car's authenticity; so he posted the car's ID paper. The former plate is 1-B-188 - which is the kind of small number to have been issued to a senior Communist - and the owner is a "Ceausescu Nicu" born on 17 February 1948. But Nicu wasn't born on that date: that was his brother Valentin. And, in the 80s, neither lived in the Ceausescu villa on Primaverii street: Nicu was on Cosmonautului street and Valentin on Brancutei street, then Batistei street. So there are doubts as to authenticity. Of course, it's entirely possible that mistakes were made in the post-revolutionary confusion...

The second problem is the price. The seller wants 10,000 Euros for what is essentially a knackered Dacia, albeit a rare one. Even with the Ceausescu provenance, it's ten times too much. By comparison a very similar Dacia was recently for sale for 2500 lei (550 Euros), and a real 1301 for 200 lei (440 Euros) - both in running order.

I'm delighted that a special-order Dacia survives. But this isn't how to save history!





 
 

19 January 2014

Album interbelic / Inter-war album

O arhiva deosebita de fotografii din colectia Julia Tarbay, aratand masinile unei familii instarite din Alba Iulia si Cluj in anii 20, 30 si 40. Foto via fortepan.hu.

A superb collection of pictures from the collection of Julia Tarbay, showing the vehicles of a well-off family from Alba Iulia and Cluj in the interwar period. Photos via fortepan.hu.

Ford T in 1924

Ford T in 1924

De Soto 1929 in 1930

Camioane Laffly, circa 1930

Moto Diamant in 1930

Nash (1929) in 1933

De Soto (1929) in 1933

Dodge in 1935 la Bicaz

Cu De Soto in 1936

De Soto in 1936

Cu un Dodge 1935 in 1938






In 1940, masina americana

Camion in 1941: Opel Blitz, cred






Moto Ariel, 1942

Tanc, 1937

 

La garaj, 1941, cu un Buick si un autobuz de Bontida