21 January 2016

Now and then: Ford Consul Capri, ex Florin Piersic / Florin Piersic's Ford Consul Capri

O raritate de masina chiar cand noua, acest Ford Consul Capri, produs intre 1961 si 1964, odata facea furori pe strazile capitalei. In 1970, era condus de celebrul actor Florin Piersic, care era adeptul marcii Ford.

Prin 2008, un pasionat din Romania a gasit aceasta masina aratand foarte trista. Pretul cerut era enorm, mult peste valoarea pietii, asa ca aproape sigur, masina s-a degradat in continuare.

Ford Consul Capri era variantul sportiv a modelului Ford Consul Classic, produs in Marea Britanie de catre uzinele Ford de la Dagenham. Ambele variante - inspirate dupa stilul american de design - au fost esecuri comerciale, fiind prea scumpe si prea complicate - si designul devenind foarte demodat dupa introducerea Fordului Cortina pe piata, in 1962. Putine au fost produse (mai ales cu volanul pe stanga) si putine au supravietuit. In Bucuresti s-a mai gasit un Consul Classic, model berlina, in stare ceva mai decenta. (Si se spune ca acum 15 ani era unul in Silistea Mare, judetul Dolj.)

Pozele provin de pe pagina Facebook "Vanatorii de epave", o rezursa de-a dreptul bogata cu ce-am avut si ce inca mai avem...

 A rare car even when new, this Ford Consul Capri, made between 1961 and 1964, once drew crowds on the streets of Bucharest. In 1970, it was being driven by the famous actor Florin Piersic, an avowed fan of the Ford brand.

In around 2008, it was spotted in a sorry way by a Romanian car enthusiast. The asking price was enormous - far above market value - so almost certainly, this car has continued to crumble away.

The Ford Consul Capri was the sporting variant of the Ford Consul Classic, made at Ford of Britain's Dagenham plant. Both models - inspired by late Fifties American styling - were commercial failures, being too expensive and complicated, and the styling feeling very dated after the introduction of the Ford Cortina in 1962. Few were made (particularly in LHD), few have survived. In Bucharest, there survives also a Consul Classic sedan, in somewhat better condition. (And there are rumours that in a village in Dolj, there was another example about fifteen years ago.)

The photos come from the Facebook page "Vanatorii de epave" (=Wreck hunters), a superb resource.

12 January 2016

Un Jaguar "din flota oficiala", redescoperit / An "official" Jaguar, rediscovered

In Germania, se vinde un Jaguar Mk X din 1964 care, ei spun, ar fi venit din flota lui Ceasuescu, si importat in Germania in 1984.

Se poate. Jaguar Mk X intr-adevar a facut parte din flota oficiala (poze 7 - 10), precum si in dotarea Militiei (poze 5,6). In plus, au circulat alte exemplare in tara (poze 11, 12). Conform presei britanice 15 au fost exportate catre Romania.

Din cate se stie, o parte din aceste masini au fost casate dupa 1978, o alta parte fiind vandute catre export dupa o licitatie. Doua au fost folosite la Politehnica Bucuresti pe post de material didactic. Se spune ca prin anul 2000 inca mai exista un exemplar in tara, in Arad, in stare de epava (later edit: e vorba de un MK 1 din 1961, deci nicio legatura).

Partea cu generalul Pacepa e usor de spus, greu de dovedit. Cert este ca in 1978 avea, proprietate personala, un Mercedes 220 D - atat. Din nou, se spune cam despre toate masinile interesante care au existat in Romania comunista ca ar fi apartinut unui Pacepa, unui Dej, unui Ceausescu, unei Pauker ... pana vine vorba de acte.

Totusi, e vorba de o parte interesanta a istoriei auto din Romania, indiferent de provenienta.

For sale in Germany, a 1964 Jaguar Mk X which, they say, came from Ceausescu's fleet before being imported into Germany in 1984.

It's possible. The Jaguar Mk X was indeed part of the official fleet (photos 7 to 10). Also that of the traffic police (photos 5, 6). And there were others around in the country (photos 11, 12). The UK press reported at the time that 15 had been exported to Romania.

From what is known, many of the Jags were scrapped after 1978. Others were bought at auction and exported. Two were used in the Bucharest Polytechnic for demonstrations. One is reputed to have survived up to around 2000, where it was seen in a dire condition in Arad (later edit: this one was a Mk 1 from about 1961, so not linked).

The bit about this being General Pacepa's car, however, is easy to say, and difficult to prove. What is known is that in 1978 he had only one car, a Mercedes 220 D. It's also the sad fact that every interesting vehicle known to have existed in Communist Romania is said to have had a punchy owner. A punchy owner who never seems to exist in the vehicle's documents...

Whatever this particular car's provenance, though, it remains an interesting part of Romania's automotive history.

4 January 2016

Cu masina regala in Franta / To France, in the royal car!

O carte postala exceptionala, aratandu-l pe regele Ferdinand in statinuea franceza Bagnoles-de-l'Orne in anii 20. Langa el, se vede o masina regala, purtand numarul 6-B RM (Romania Mare). Greu de spus ce este masina dupa unghi. Cativa ani mai tarziu, in 1929 numarul se gasea pe un Ford, ceea ce sigur nu este. Posibil Lincoln, un model des folosit de casa regala in anii 20?

An exceptional postcard showing Kings Ferdinand in the French spa town of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne in the 1920s. Next to him is a royal car carrying the plate 6-B RM (Greater Romania). It's difficult to say what it is. By 1929 the plate would find itself on a Ford, which this certainly isn't; possibly it's a Lincoln, a model frequently used by the Romanian royals in the 1920s.