In anii 60 in Bucuresti, pentru taximetre de carat marfa, se foloseau IMS-uri, ARO-uri M461, sau TV-uri. Prin 1970, totusi, au inceput sa circule pe strazile capitalei si Volga M21 pick-up, carosate special la uzinele ITB. Din poze de epoca, aflam ca masinile erau un albastru deschis, spre bleu. In plus, se pare ca nu a fost o serie de Volgi cumparate si carosate: majoritatea masinilr sunt modele 1958-62, adica invechite, probabil foste masini din dotarea vreunui minister, bune numai pentru carat marfa. Dupa 1975/6 nu mai apar poze cu Volgi M21 in dotarea ITB-ului, desi o poza, din 1978 (penultima), arata un pick-up simplu, probabil scos din taximetrie si folosit particular. In mijlocul anilor 70, ARO 24, model mult mai modern, le-a inlocuit; ARO 24 urmeaza si el sa fie inlocuit de autocamioneta Dacia 1302 in 1978/9.
Ultima poza arata un Volga pick-up care a supravietuit in Romania: daca e un supravietuitor unicat din lotul ITB sau o modificare home-made, n-am nicio idee. Multi astazi asociaza Volga M21 cu nomenclatura comunista, insa iata un model mult mia putin cunoscut, si in plus, unicat in Romania (desi se pare ca si uzinele de la Gorki au incercat asa ceva in serie extrem de mica).
In the 1960s, commercial taxis in Bucharest were ARO and IMS trucks, and TV pickups. However, in about 1970, Volga M21 pick-ups started to ply the streets. These were specially coachbuilt at the ITB works in Bucharest. From old photos, it can be seen that they were painted a medium shade of blue. It also seems that there were not a specific seris of cars imprted from new: most of the models visible are older, pre 1962 Volgas, indicating that they were taken from the services of various Departments owing to advanced age or use, and places as workhorses in the state-oned taxi fleet. By 1975/6, they were being replaced with the far more modern ARO 24 range, which in turn would be replaced by the Dacia 1302 in around 1978/9.
The second to last photo, taken in 1978, shows a rather battered example without ITB livery, presumably withdrawn from taxi use and used as a private hack. The final picture shows a surviving Volga pick-up. Whether it is a unique survivor of the original Bucharest cabs, or a home-made conversion, I do not know.
Most people these days associate the Volga M21 with Communist nomenklatura. However, here is one model of Volga which is far less known and, moreover, unique to Romania (although, to be fair, it seems that the Gorky works also tried something similar, in very limited quantities).
București văzut de un străin (VI – ultima parte)
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