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Japanese cars living and dying in Poland

Kamil Kaluski August 7, 2013 All Things Hoon 21 Comments

Japanese car living in Poland

Last week we once again visited modern day Poland with the help of zlomnik.pl and its readers. These readers send in obscure, rare, aging, crappy, cars which they see around Poland in various stages of life, condition, and sometimes modification. We had French cars, American cars, and a mix of weird cars. Following from last week’s theme, the cars of the Axis powers, today we will look at Japanese cars which are living and dying in Poland.

The thing about Japanese cars, especially those made in Japan in the 1980s and 1990s, is that they don’t die easily or often. The biggest enemy of Japanese cars has been rust (point and wink toward a frequent commenter), but today we will see that this isn’t always the case, even in places where salt is in abundance and used frequently. 

[Source of all images: zlomnik.pl]


I heard you liked minivans so I mini-ed your minivan.


Is that a pop-up roof?


Beautiful, purpose designed, an icon, a trend setter, a game changer… and a Renault Alpine.

(point and wink toward a frequent commenter)


A carpenter’s van. I’d hire him.


“Deliveries” – Daihatsu delivers.


Dafaq* is up with the wheels and/or tire size?


Saudi-spec Sienna. Sienna minivans are not sold in Europe. Why, I do not know, perhaps they’re simply too big. Or because the market is full of smaller, less expensive, minivans which are the size of U.S. market Mazda5 or even smaller.


It will never die. Looks a bit like Austin Princess, no?


Eight passenger, smaller footprint than a Civic.


I’d daily drive this.


Hatchback. Diesel. You wish you could have one.

Uhmm… maybe not.


A yellow one of this generation Corollas was the first Japanese car I ever got a ride in.


In the mid-80s, the Daihatsu Charades were extremely popular in Poland – affordable, reliable, and huge status symbol in your government provided apartment complex over your neighbor’s Lada. 


The world needs more forward-controlled vehicles.


When they came out, no one said a peep. Now that they’re old everyone is loosing their minds over them.


Oh yes, I need this.


If it wasn’t for Grand Tourismo I wouldn’t know what these were.


Always display the logo of your favorite electrics manufacturer, you’ll get all the chicks!


Euro and U.S. specs were very similar. Not so much for later generations.


Will probably outlast all the other cars around it.


I’m glad to see current Mazda designs going to back to their 1980’s roots. Have you seen the 2014 Mazda3? It’s the same thing!


Not exactly sure what this is… Camry? Something is off with it…  


Eight-foot bed. Eleven feet overall length. Comfortable cabin for three. 30mpg.


Still on taxi duty!


 Where has Mitsubishi gone wrong?


Any kind of Prelude, anywhere in the world, is a rare sight these days.


These small minivans are unsafe and weak.


Millions of them still around.


All minivans should have brush guards.


 Dem Euro headlights…




 Needs more stance.


U.S. spec import. In the early 90’s importing U.S. spec cars to Poland was the thing to do because they were cheaper than anything bought in Europe. Later on, huge import/customs tariffs put a stop to that. 


 Not a U.S. spec car.


 Some cars do rust. Those that do, get duct tape.


Old Japanese cars are known to be rust buckets.


 Square in the front, bubble in the back.


Quad-cab, before quad-cabs were cool.


Possibly a U.S. import. Because Fast and Furious.


Another one…


G… G… G… Geo!

Nah, it’s a Suzuki.


Concerto! Because Italians were part of the Axis forces, too, and soon we’ll be looking at Italian cars living and mostly dying in Poland. 


Nice sunroof!


 This is getting boring… Another Camry. Oddly, not many Accords or Hondas overall in Poland, they were not sold there until late 1990s (I guess) and it didn’t make sense to import them as parts and service were tough to get.


Isuzu Trooper… dying. Probably dead.


 There is a joke here, somewhere, I just can’t think of it.


Betcha it can’t do 80kph.


Yes, would drive around the world.


Harder body.


*That SOB Glucker said we cannot curse anymore, which is sofa king lame.

  • dukeisduke

    The caption for the very first picture (the green van)?

    "It followed me home. Can I keep it?"

    • sporty88au

      It really is a cute little thing. Does anyone know what it is? My first thought was a Mitsuoka product, but I couldn't find any info about it – I think my Google-fu is weak today.

      • FuzzyPlushroom

        I knew it was a Subaru Sambar with a face, but I wasn't sure why that face was there, just that I'd seen it before. Wikipedia says it's the 'Dias Classic' model.

        • sporty88au


  • dukeisduke

    I dig those early '80s three-box Corollas.

  • joshwebster84

    I've got such a powerful lust for FJ-60s right now. I know you can drive them across Africa, but I wonder how much of a money pit it would become on the street every day.

    • http://www.hooniverse.com Kamil_K

      Rust is your enemy (ha!). Seriously, find a southern car, read ih8mud.com and all your concerns will be answered.
      I don't think you're looking at a pricey upkeep.

      • joshwebster84

        Thanks for link, I got my answer there. Single-digit mpg around town made it an easy decision between FJ60 and a Jeep XJ. Which is sad because the 'cruiser has WAY more style.

  • Sjalabais

    The Camry that's a bit off…isn't it a Nissan Laurel? And you could buy Daihatsu's in Socialist Poland? Awesome! Similar to the German GENEX?

    • monkey_tennis

      I think you are right about the Laurel; the almost imperceptibly bigger sister to the Bluebird.

      • Sjalabais

        Wonder how it is to drive and maintain something like this now? My first car almost was a Datsun. Opted for the safer Volvo, better quality, way better parts availability and that extra touch of solid tankiness. But every once in a while something like this shipshape Datsun 180B pops up and I wonder: Wouldn't I like this in my driveway?

        <img src="http://finncdn.no/mmo/2013/8/vertical-3/06/6/432/021/06_1240048622_xl.jpg&quot; width="600">

  • Preludacris

    Well, hey there good lookin'!
    <img src="http://hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/minor22_zpsc4999baa.jpg&quot; width="600">

  • http://www.hooniverse.com LTDScott

    Look at that funny Mazda badge on the Camry.

    <img src="http://hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wjb31_zps4355ee9a.jpg"&gt;

  • mseoul

    The all RAV4 (two doors yet!) and one X3 wins for me. Unreal. I can't see the plates, but any guess where? How is that possible without posing?

    Old style Lublin plate on the Handy Man van it seems. That fits.

  • Kogashiwa

    I have a real soft spot for the FTO. 2.0L 200hp V6? One of the first semi-automatics, blessed with the glorious acronym of INVECS-II? Styling that looks odder the longer you look at it? It's like an Integra Type-R from a different, altogether weirder dimension.

    edit: oh boy there's one for sale in Winnipeg for $4k.

    must not must not must not

  • zaddikim

    I've got an unreasonable amount of want for those micro-vans.

    That said – *eight* passengers? Every single one would have to either be tiny or *extremely* comfortable with each other.

  • Deception

    The vehicle that you marked as the "Saudi-spec Sienna" is actually the Toyota Previa/Estima marketed in mainly in Asia and Australia. The Sienna is a North American – market minivan and not marketed in Asia or Europe.

  • BassSloth

    Ahhh, two of my photos seem to have way here – the silver Prelude and the dark grey Nissan Laurel you thought it might have been a Camry ("Camry? Something is off with it") – can I feel proud now? 😉

    Funny thing with the Prelude – I saw it twice that day and then the next day, close to where I live…

    • BassSloth

      *have MADE THEIR way, of course… Man, I'm ommitting entire words – must be the late hour…

      • http://www.hooniverse.com Kamil_K

        Just seeing this now. Thank you!

  • Manas D

    <img src="http://hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/wjb31_zps4355ee9a.jpg"&gt; That is a Mazda 929 from around 1984. TONS of them in the middle East where I grew up. Really nice inside as well if you got the "Limited" spec.


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