14 February 2018

Totul despre Dacia Denem / All about the Dacia Denem

Un document foarte rar, recent intrat in colectie: totul despre Dacia Denem. Acest material a fost pregatit de catre importator si difuzat presei britanice ... care a ramas profund dezinteresata. O informatie noua, cel putin pentru mine: se pare ca ideea a fost din start sa se importe ARO 10 sub numele Dacia Duster. Si nu se vorbeste deloc despre Denem Base, care nici macar nu venea cu roti, noul proprietar trebuind sa plateasca 40 lire in plus pentru acest "lux".

A very rare document, recently added to the collection: all you would ever need to know about the Dacia Denem. This document was prepared by the importer and sent to the UK press ... who largely remained profoundly uninterested (with the notable and somewhat ironic exception of Country Life). New info, at least for me: it seems it was always the idea to import the ARO 10 as the Dacia Duster. And there's no mention of the Denem Base, which notoriously had wheels as an "optional extra" for the grand total of £40.

17 January 2018

Un Mercedes care n-a uitat de unde vine / A Mercedes that hasn't forgotten its origins

De pe http://www.prewarcar.com, o poza cam misterioasa cu un Mercedes W18 290 Cabriolet B din 1935, gasita in spatiul ex-sovietic, posibil in Azerbaijan. Povestea e neclara, dar se spune ca a venit din Romania in 1945 ca trofeu de razboi, ulterior fiind proprietatea unui regizor de filme. Astazi, se afla in stare precara, lipsind motorul, cutia viteze si puntea spate. Speram ca va fi restaurata; e o masina rara, de mare valoare.

Prin toate peripetiile prin care-a trecut, si-a pastrat insigna ACRR (Automobil Club Regal Roman) de pe grila. Aceste piese sunt deosebit de rare: in Romania comunista, asa simbol ale zilelor prospere nu se purta... E aproape incredibil ca asa ceva ar fi supravietuit in alta tara, si in conditii destul de ostile. 

From http://www.prewarcar.com, a mysterious photo of a 1935 Mercedes W18 290 Cabriolet B, found in a former Soviet country, possibly Azerbaijan. Its story is not exactly clear, but it seems to have arrived from Romania in 1945 as a war trophy, before being used by a film director. Today, it's in poor condition, missing its engine, gearbox and rear axle. We hope it will be restored, as it's a valuable and rare vehicle.

Throughout its eventful life, it's managed to keep its ACRR (Royal Romanian Automobile Club) badge, visible on the grille. This badge is very rare indeed: in communist Romania, such symbols of better days were not exactly placed on display. It's astonishing that a small detail like that could have survived in another country, and in pretty hostile conditions.

18 December 2017

La iarba verde cu un Ford Taunus / Countryside jaunts in a Ford Taunus

Un set de poze de familie foarte interesante: la iarba verde in 1957 (primele doua poze), 1960, si 1966. Masina e un Ford Taunus construit in Germania la sfarsitul anilor 30. In Romania anilor 50, orice masina particulara era o raritate, chiar in Bucuresti, de unde veneau personajele din imagini. Remarcam modificarile la partea din fata - originalitatea nu era foarte importanta in acea perioada, iar reteaua de piese era aproape inexistenta. Presupun ca masina nu a supravietuit in familie mult dupa ultima poza: dupa 1965, piata auto s-a schimbat radical si foarte multe familii mai instarite au inceput sa-si cumpere masini noi, moderne, cele vechi (marea majoritate din perioada interbelica) fiind de obicei casate.

An interesting set of family photos: trips to the countryside in 1957 (in the first two photos), 1960 and 1966. The car is a Ford Taunus, bult in Germany at the end of the 1930s. In 1950s Romania any private car was a rarity, even in Bucharest, where this family came from. The front is lightly modified: originality was not considered important and original parts were impossible to find. I doubt the car survived in the family much beyond the last photo: after 1965, the automotive marketplace changed radically and many better-off families were able to buy new, modern cars, the old ones, largely dating from before the war, tending to be scrapped.

5 December 2017

High-life in 1980

Trei poze (via fototech.ro) de la inceputul anilor 80. Suntem in Bucurestiul vechi, aristocrat, locuit de elita capitalei: bulevadul Dacia colt cu strada Henri Coanda. Anul e 1980 sau 1981. Masinile din prim plan sunt cele cunoscute din epoca comunismului, desi cu mult-ravnitele numere scurte, cu trei cifre. Vedem, in spatele lor, langa resedinta ambsadorului german-federal, si cateva masini vestice - Mini, VW Golf, Ford Taunus - toate cu numere patrate TC, pentru angajati de ambasada care nu erau creditati diplomatic - plus o Dacie, tot cu numere TC - prima oara cand am vazut asa ceva. Un colt de lux intr-o lume foarte gri...

Three photos (via fototech.ro) from the early 1980s. We're in the old aristocratic Bucharest, lived in by the elite: the corner of Dacia Boulevard and Henri Coanda Street. The year is 1980 or 1981. The cars in the foreground are the usual Communist makes, although with the three-digit license plates that were a sign of social distinction at the time. Behind them. outside the West German Ambassador's residence, are a few foreign makes: Mini, VW Golf, Ford Taunus - all with square semi-diplomatic license plates given to non-accredited Embassy employees - and a Dacia with the same plates, the first time I've seen one. A bit of luxury in a very grey world...

24 November 2017

TV-4 in ... Mongolia

O poza importanta, tocmai din Ulan Bator. Surprinde, printre o coloana de automobile sovietice (plus un Mercedes), un TV-4. Aceasta varianta a fost produsa la Bucuresti din 1962 pana 1967, fiind inlocuita de modelul TV-41, care era mai degraba un facelift (spre exemplu, are stopuri verticale sau rotunde cand cele de pe TV-4 erau orizontale). In parerea mea, pentru an e vorba de un design surprinzator de avansat. Din pacate, nu se stie de vreun TV4 existent in Romania. Pana acum nu credeam ca se exportase, desi exista brosuri facute pentru targuri internationale. Totusi, poze - singura existenta cu un TV-4 peste hotare - e dovada ca au ajuns pana in Mongolia. Cine stie, poate inca mai exista vreunul, undeva la ei...

An important picture all the way from Ulan Bator. Alongside a line of Soviet automobiles (plus a Mercedes) is a TV-4. This was made in Bucharest from 1962 to 1967, being replaced by the TV-4, which was in reality a mild facelift (for example, changing the tail-lights from horizontal to vertical or round). In my view for the year it's a surprisingly advanced design. Sadly, there are no records of any TV-4 left in existence in Romania. Until now I did not think they were even exported, although brochures were drawn up. However, the photo - the only one in existence showing a TV-4 outside Romania - proves otherwise. And who knows, perhaps, somewhere in Mongolia, there's a TV-4 left...

13 November 2017

Masinile Bucurestilor, in pozele lui Hedy Loffler / The cars of Bucharest in the photos of Hedy Loffler

In anii 50 pana in anii 70, erau in mare voga carti foto cu diferite aspecte ale Romaniei, fotografiate artistic. Printre ultimele publicate a fost albumul Bucurest (1984), de Hedy Loffler. Fotografa a incercat cat mai posibil sa treaca peste atmosfera funesta a anilor 80. In mare masura a reusit, desi cartea nu s-a vandut in multe exemplare si astazi nu se gaseste foarte des. Masinile surprinse in carte sunt in ton cu timpul - adica foarte multe Dacii 1300, dar si cateva surprize...

From the 1950s till the 1970s, photo books showing artistic images of Romania were very fashionable. One of the last to be published was Bucharest (1984), by Hedy Loffler. She tried hard to overcome the sombre atmosphere of the 1980s, and was at least partially successful, although few copies of the book were sold and today it's quite rare. The cars in the images are of their era - that is, a great deal of Dacia 1300s, but with a few surprises among them too...

Mercedes W114

Opel Kapitan

Masinile turistilor yugoslavi / Yugoslavian tourists' cars

Ford Capri, proprietar strain / Ford Capri owned by a foreign resident

VW Broscuta, proprietar cetatean strain / VW Beetle owned by a foreign resident

Mercedes rent-a-car in ultimul an de folosinta / Mercedes rent-a-car in its last year of use


Dacia Estafette

Dacia Estafette

Dacia 1301

VW Golf, la Intercontinental

Un Fiat 1100 timpuriu / An early Fiat 1100