7 December 2014

Broscute la Ateneu / VW Beetles at the Athenaeum

O imagine exceptionala - masini VW Broscuta in fata Ateneului, in Bucuresti. Anul este 1971.

E vorba de masinile detinute de Carpati Rent A Car pentru a fi inchiriate de catre turisti straini. Pe langa VW 1300, se puteau inchiria VW 1600, Fiat 124, Mercedes W111 si Mercedes W114. In trecut am prezentat o plianta din 1968 aratand gama de atunci, masinile purtand numere incepand cu 5-B.

An exceptional image - VW Beetles in front of the Athenaeum, in Bucharest, in 1971.

These cars were owned by Carpati Rent A Car for the use of foreign tourists. Alongside the VW 1300, VW 1600, Fiat 124, Mercedes W111 and Mercedes W114 were available. I've previously posted one such brochure, from 1968, showing that year's range. The cars' licence plates began with 5-B.

27 October 2014

O corcitura din anii 40 / A 1940s mongrel

Doi oameni langa o masina defecta, anii 40. Masina nu se gaseste in niciun catalog auto pentru ca e o "corcitura": spatele de Ford Taunus "Buckel", fata de Hansa 1700, si sasiu tot de Hansa. Pentru comparatie, un Hansa 1700 e in poza nr 2. Asemenea "corcituri" erau destul de commune in perioada dupa razboi, cand orice masina era un lux si multe fusesera devastate in tempul razboiului. Ma intreb pana cand a supravietuit acest exemplar. (Colectia Florin Cicos)

Two men next to a broken down car in the 1940s. No such car would be found in a catalogue because it is a "mongrel": the rear end of a Ford Taunus "Buckel" grafted on to the front, and chassis, of a Hansa 1700. (An original Hansa is in photo 2). Similar hybrids were reasonably common in the immediate post-war period, when a car of any sort was a luxury and many had been devastated during the war. I wonder how long this particular example survived. (Photo from the Florin Cicos collection)

26 October 2014

Dacia 1310 1.6 "special edition", 1996

O Dacie 1310 facuta la comanda speciala pentru MAE si trimisa in Siria, unde a fost masina de serviciu. An fabricatie 1996.

Printre dotari speciale mentionam:

Motor 1.6
Bord Nissan Micra
Geamuri electrice fata
Roti 4 prezoane
Interior diferit, inclusiv bancheta spate cu numai 2 locuri
Portbagaj capitonat

La moment dat masina se afla in Bucuresti. Mai multe detalii aici.

Piese de Nissan mi se par foarte interesante. In acea perioada au mai existat Dacii facute cu piese de Nissan - printre care mentionam prototipul Extase (faruri si stopuri Nissan Sunny) si o berlina in Iasi (faruri Nissan Primera).

A Dacia 1310 made to order for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sent to Syria as a staff car. Model year 1996.

Among the special options:

1.6 engine
Nissan Micra dashboard
Electric front windows
Four hubcap wheels
Different interior, including a 2-seat rear bench
Upholstered boot compartment

The car is currently in Bucharest. More details here.

The use of Nissan parts seems to me to be very interesting. At that time, several Dacia prorotypes did so, including the Extase prototype (front and rear lights off a Nissan Sunny) and a berline in Iasi (Nissan Primera front lights).

12 October 2014

O masina importanta de vanzare / An important vehicle for sale

Importanta? Da. E vorba de o Dacie 1304 "papuc" din primele serii, cu masca la faruri subtire, an fabricatie 1985. Daca nu e ultima din tara, e clar printre ultimele. N-am vazut asa ceva pe sosea de aproape zece ani. De vanzare in judetul Bihor pentru suma de 1000 lei. O restaurare va costa mult mai mult.

Nu e deloc "importanta" cum e "important" un Porsche, Jaguar sau Ferrari vechi - toate treii fiind din ce in ce mai comune la paradele romanesti de masini de epoca. Dar cine va cumpara acest exemplar, si l-ar restaura ca la carte, se va mandri cu o masina mult mai rara decat vreun Porsche, Jaguar sau Ferrari. Desigur, e mult mai putin impresionanta. Dar (parerea mea), raritatea ei inseamna ca e un vehicul mult mai important!

Important? Yes. This is a Dacia 1304 pick-up from the first few built, with the "thin" headlamps, made in 1985. If it's not the very last survivor, i's among them. I haven't seen one on the road for almost ten years. It's for sale in Bihor for 1000 lei. (a few hundred Euro). A restoration will cost much more.

It's not "important" in the same way that old Porsches, Jags or Ferraris are - all of which are increasingly regular sights at Romanian classic car shows. But whoever buys this, and restores it properly, will be the proud owner of something much rarer. Much less impressive, too, admittedly - but, in my book at least, its rarity makes it a very important vehicle.

8 October 2014

Un Ford si un Chevrolet din Cetatea Alba / Ford and Chevrolet from Cetatea Alba

Astazi in Ucraina. Doua poze foarte rare cu masini din aceasta localitate. E de remarcat faptul ca la sfarsitul anilor 20 erau deja peste o suta de masini inmatriculate - impresionant pentru un oras mic, si testament a gradului de civilizatie existent in Romania interbelica.

Now in Ukraine. Two very rare photos with cars from this town. It's remarkable that by the end of the 20s there were already over 100 cars registered - impressive for a small town, and testament to the level of civilization existing in pre-war Romania.

3 October 2014

Restaurarea unei Shifterossa / Restoration of a Shifterossa

Vesti excelente din Marea Britanie. Un Dacia 1304 (Dacia Shifter) vandut pe piata britanica se restaureaza. Alex Enache, un roman stabilit in Anglia, a pus mana pe acest unic supravietuitor si va fi restaurat ca la carte. Nu e vorba de un papuc normal, ci un ultra-rar "Shifterossa", editie speciala introdusa la sfarsitul anilor 80. Acest exemplar a fost fabricat in 1993 si vandut abia in 1994, cand importatorul daduse faliment de 2 ani. Desi are numai 7,000 mile la bord, majoritatea timpului a stat intr-o curte: saraca masina e ciuruita de rugina desi motorul porneste. Restaurata, va fi singurul papuc britanic in stare de functionare. Urmariti povestea in continuare pe Facebook la Dacia Shifter Restoration. Ii uram mult noroc!

Excellent news from the UK. A UK-model Dacia 1304 (Dacia Shifter) is being restored. Alex Enache, a Romanian based in England, has got hold of this unique survivor and is restoring it from top to bottom. This isn't a standard pick-up but an ultra-rare "Shifterossa", a special edition introduced at the end of the 1980s. This example was built in 1993 but not registered until 1994, by which time the importer had been bankrupt for two years. Although it has only 7,000 miles on the clock, it lived most of its life outdoors and is consequently riddled with rust (though the engine still starts). Restored, it will be the only UK-model Dacia pick-up in running order. Follow the story on Facebook at Dacia Shifter Restoration. And the best of luck!



30 September 2014

Masinile Bucurestiului in 1991 / Cars of Bucharest in 1991

In 1991, un turist francez, uimit de masinile noi din occident care aparusera peste noapte pe strazile Bucurestiului, le imortalizeaza pe pelicula. Aceste masini, in perioada in care casta majoritate a parcului auto era Dacia / Oltcit / Skoda / Lada / Trabant, erau de-a dreptul speciale, chiar daca multe din ele erau deja detul de vechi in tarile lor de origine.

Majoritatea poarte numere emise dupa 1990, desi nu toate. Renaultul 18 cu numere galbene 14-B, de exemplu, e probabil o masina din garajul Comitetului Central, pe post de masina de protocol. Iar Fiatul 131 poarta placute de un tip emise pana in anii 80, seria 3-MS fiind emisa in perioada 1981-87. Nu e exclus sa fi circulat in tara inainte de 89.

Cine avea asa ceva ... era tare! Dar ca fapt divers, in ianuarie 1991 deja apare primul Rolls Royce din Romania postdecembrista ...

In 1991, a French tourist was so astonished by the crop of Western cars which appeared in Bucharest almost overnight, that he immortalized them on video. These cars, in a period where the vast majority of the vehicles on the streets were Dacia / Oltcit / Skoda / Lada / Trabant. were something rather special, even though many of them were already quite old in their countries of origin.

Most of them, though not all, carry post-1990 plates. The Renault 18 saloon with yellow plates, for instance, is probably a car from the Central Committee garages, now used for VIP transport. And the Fiat 131 carries plates of a design issued till the late 80s, with a series (3-Mures) which was issued between 1981 and 1987 - so it could well have been in Romania under communism.

Who had one of these ... was a lucky man! Incidentally, in January 1991 there appeared the first Rolls Royce in post-Communist Romania...

16 September 2014

Bucuresti 1949 x 15

Din arhivele Europhoto, 15 poze rarisime din Romania anului 1949. Ocazia e visita unei delegatii poloneze; luna e ianuarie. Din pacate calitatea e cum vedeti, dar  imaginile sunt deosebit de interesante. Masinile folosite de statul roman sunt Ford 1947/48 din America, ZIS-101 1948, Buick Roadmster 1946/7/8, si Tatra T87 model postbelic (un facelift facut in ultimii doi ani - aceste examplare sunt foarte rare). Pe strada sunt surprinzator de multe masini antebelice, mai ales americane, unele inca pe post de taximetrie, plus cateva Jeepuri. La capitolul autobuze remarcam un Praga tot postbelic. Teroarea comunista si marea nationalizare debea incepuse, anii grei erau sa vina...

From the Europhoto archives, 15 super-rare photos of 1949 Romania. The occasion was the visit of a senior Polish delegation; the month was January. Sadly the photo quality is week, but the images are rather interesting. The cars used by the Romanian state are 1947-48 American Fords, ZIS-101 1948, Buick Roadmaster from 1946/7/8, and the post-war, facelifted and very rare Tatra T87 phase 2. On the street are pre-war American cars in surprisingly large quantities, some being used as taxis, and a couple of Jeeps. There's also a Praga bus from the immediate post-war period. The Communist terror and the great nationalisation had just started, and the hard years were still to come...