9 December 2010

Peugeot 203 Racer...in Romania

Recent am fost extrem de intrigat sa citesc despre descoperira in Romania a unui Peugeot 203 modificat de Eugene Martin, cu multe accesorii extrem de interesante precum celebrul compresor Constantin, identic cu cel folosit de pilotul francez pe aceste masini in cursele din le Means. Am sapat mai mult si pot sa dezvalui un pic de istorie ... Masina, model 154, a fost modificata in cabriolimuzina la garajele lui Martin in Paris, primind, printre altele, un bot nou si compresorul Constantin. Martin era si el pilot de curse, concurand la GP si la Le Mans, printre altele. Jura ca putea dubla cuterea unui 203. Nu se site daca in primii ani acest Peugeot a participat la competitii, insa faptul ca primul proprietar (un medic francez) l-a adus la Martin dovedeste faptul ca era mare entuziasta de asa ceva.

Se pare ca acest doctor a avut treaba cativa ani in Romania. A adusa masina cu el, ulterior vanzand-o in zona Cluj. Original, masina era semidecapotabila, insa acoperisul a fost sudat. Candva, motorul s-a blocat. Actualul proprietar spune ca a fost in 1975; revista Classic & Sportscar spune '78...

Prin 1994, olandezul Nico Kuiper a gasit masina in star deplorabila la tara in Romania. Masina era pe post de cotet; doua din roti (de magneziu!) erau pe o caruta in satul in care zacea masina... Kuiper a oferit propretarului un TV color si a adus masina in Olanda. Astazi, cu interior modificat, si cu motorul ei reparat, masina participa cu brio la curse de masini istorice. Un sfarsit fericit. Pun pariu ca daca statea in Romania, de mult era tabla pe casa cuiva.

PS Interesant, mai exista cel putin un 203 in Romania... desi nu asa special.

PPS Classic & Sportscar greseste, Alexis Constantin nu era nici roman nici de origine romana, e francez get beget. Pacat - ar fi fost o poveste interesanta: compresorul Constantin se reintoarce in tara natala...

Recently, I was vry intrigued to read of the discovery, in Romania, of a racing-spec Peugeot 203 modified by Eugene Martin, with many extremely interesting accessories including a Constantin compressor identical to the one fitted to which the racing driver raced 203s at Le Mans. I dug a little further and found some more ... The car, a 1954 model, was modified at the Eugene Martin garages in Paris. Martin was himself a noted driver, participating in Grands Prix and at Le Mans, and claiming he could double the power of the Peugeot 203. Modifications included removing the centre section of the roof, turning it into a cabriolimousine, giving it a new front end, magnesium wheels, and of course the compressor. It's not known whether the 203 was ever raced in its youth, but the fact that the first owner (a French doctor) took it to Martin proves he was a significant enthusiast.

At some time, the first owner had to work a few years in Romania. He took the car with him but ended up selling it in the Ardeal region. The car drove around a bit until the engine seized and, spare parts being impossible to get behind the Iron Curtain, it was just abandoned in a yard. The current owner says that this happened in about 1975; Classic and Sportscar suggests 1978.

Fast forward to 1994 and a Dutchman, Nico Kuiper, came cross the car while travelling across Romania. It was not in good condition. In fact, it was being used as a kennel, with two of the magnesium alloys being on a horse and cart in the village. Undeterred, Kuiper swapped it for a colour TV and took it home to Holland. Restored with the original engine and wheels (though with a non-standard interior), the car now takes part in historic rallies. A happy ending! Had it stayed in Romania, it would almost have certainly been scrap.

PS There still is at least another 203 (though not so special) in Romania...

PPS Clasic & Sportscar is wrong in one respect - Alexis Constantin was neither Romanian nor of Romanian origin; he was French through and through. A shame, that - it would have been an excellent story, a Constantin compressor returning to the country of its creator...


  1. Alo
    I-am scris din Argentina. Utilizarea traducător Google. Îmi cer scuze pentru eronate ...
    Mi se pare foarte interesant blog. Ca să nu rataţi din istoria fiecărui loc.
    Blog-ul meu este: Lauburu43.blogspot.com.ar

    Salutări !!!!!

  2. Nea' Andrei,,auzi ce zic astia,,ca au gasit-o in Czech-Republic,,,,cu numere de Ro,,,


  3. Intotdeauna aici gasesc articole interesante.

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