Odata cu caderea cortinei de fier in 1989/1990, multi straini au venit foarte repede in tara, armati cu marci sau dolari, la vanatoarea de masini vechi. Multe masini interesante si-au luat drumul catre occident in ace iani - nu numai din Romania, dar din toate tarile ex-comuniste. Unele erau adevarate raritati - mentionam, spre exemplu, Stutz AA si BMW 328, ambele masini cunoscute in Bucuresti. Aici, o masina mai moderna, un Mercedes 300 SEL. Apartinuse unui ministru de interne, ca masina personala. Poarta placute emise in 1990, probabil cele vechi fiind in forma 1-B-xxx si prea ostentative. In 1990, a fost exportat in Germania de catre un pasionat, unde a beneficiat de o restaurare usoara; probabil, inca circula. Intr-un fel, trist; 300SEL a fost construita numai in 1546 exemplare; era una din cele mai tari masini din Romania comunista, si e pacat ca a disparut din peisajul bucurestean. Totusi, nu cred ca ar fi avut un viitor prea glorios in Romania postdecembrista. Aproape sigur o vad remotorizata, poate cu motor de Aro sau de Volga, carand cartofi la tara, putrezind in fata unui bloc, sau, si mai grav, tunata in stilul anilor 90... Mai bine restaurata in Germania decat mutilata in Romania!
Following the fall of the Iron Curtain, many foreigners came East in search of interesting cars, armed with marks or dollars. Many great cars made their way West in those years - not just from Romania but from other Eastern Bloc countries. Many such cars were real rarities - Stutz AA or BMW 328, for instance, both of which left Bucharest in the early 1990s.
Here, something more modern, a Mercedes 300SEL. It used to belong to a minister of the interior as personal transport. The licence plates were issued in 1990, probably to cover up older, more flash, "short" number plates. 1990 was also the year were it made its way to Germany, where it was lightly restored; probably, it's still going strong.
In a way, it's a shame - the 300SEL is a rarity, with only 1546 made; it was one of the most impressive cars in Communist Romania and it would have been nice to keep it in the country. But I doubt its future would have been happy. I can already see an engine transplant, maybe from a Volga or an ARO; potato-carrying duty in the countryside; rotting in front of a tower block; or, worst, tuned in the inimitable style of the 90s... Perhaps better restored in Germany than mutilated in Romania!