Living in the United States since the late 80’s, not having any Polish friends, and not having returned back to Poland until last year, I feel like I have missed out a lot. Following my trip I started to explore what I may have missed all those years, and cars are obviously a big part of it. Call it nostalgia, call it re-discovery, but whatever it is, I feel as though any car enthusiast from anywhere may find it interesting.
Eastern European cars have been mentioned many times here on the Hooniverse, but never like this. I have mentioned the love for old- and young-timers before, and while we’re used to seeing classic cars at shows, concours, or cruise nights, we don’t often, if ever, see them engaged in actual driving competition. Recently, I have come across a Polish website called Stado Baranow, which means a Heard of Sheep (direct translation, but could mean a Group of Morons too) which covers a variety of such classic car events.
The website, in its clean, ad-free, no-drama design, covers mostly interesting cars spotted around Poland by its readers. These are mostly vehicles from the 1960s to early 1990s, in various state of operations or decomposition. Their secondary content is providing details on classic car rallies, timed events, gatherings, and such. They follow each event up with a small gallery of photos. There is also some talk about mass transit, specifically Eastern Bloc buses and trolleys.
Have a look through the site. It is not necessary to understand the language as it is rich in pictures. Click on some galleries too, as there is a great amount of fantastic images from the various events. I would like to focus on these events in this here post, specifically the various timed events and the vehicles participating in them. From common MGs, to ex-rally cars, to common cars, to city buses (!), everything is rallied and/or auto-crossed. It’s worth noting that unlike some historic races in North America, these are not rich guys racing their million-dollar Cobras and Ferraris, which is quite appealing to me.
The cars come from all over Europe, and the events are help in many places, including the well-known Monte Carlo Historique. Click jump to see more…
Not sure what this is, and I’m not sure if its designers had this in mind.
Not sure if this Ford Sierra is an actual racecar or one made to look like one.
Hey, having a Mustang is Europe is something!
Stickers and fog lights add massive amounts of power to this Fiat 126p’s 650cc engine.
Note the Austrian plates…
This is just spectacular!
Ikarus are Hungarian-made buses which were commonly used throughout the world, including Canada. The oldest ones, circa late 70’s/early 80’s, were recently taken out of service in Warsaw. The few that were in good condition ended up in private hands… and then this happened.
I remember these very well from my childhood and managed to see the last few of them, and their smokey exhaust, on my last trip there. Unlike U.S. city buses, which have one entry door, all doors could be used for ingress/egress. Once in, you’d take your ticket, which was purchased at a kiosk, and punch it in a little device. There would be random checks, and if you didn’t have a properly punched ticket you’d be fined.
Scandinavian Flick is not advised in this vehicle.
This almost looks wrong. Almost.
Obviously these are not high speed events, focused more on fun than on the fastest time.
Yes, that’s a Tatra… going through a slalom!
Don’t know what that is…
…or this, but they all look so cool!
Skoda… dat suspension geometry!
Ass-end of the Tatra. I believe that’s a Tatra T87, produced between 1936 and 1950, with a few years off for the war.
Ford Transit RV… autocrossed. Sort of.
GAZ 24, not used as intended, which makes it so awesome.
From mint pre-war classics to rusty 80’s Volvos… just hoon it!
Previosuly mentioned Zuk, modded.
Classic Warszawa, as seen in a Krakow museum.
Again, no idea what that is. I had zero exposure to such cars growing up.
My beloved Polonez. The leaky gas cap was either a standart feature… or no one expected this car to be driven like this when designed.
If this does not give you a tingly feeling in your stomach, then you don’t belong here.
Same feeling should apply to this…
…and we end with another Tatra.