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Other Eastern Bloc Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Kamil Kaluski March 3, 2015 Eastern European Cars, Featured 22 Comments

lead other eastern blok cars in poland

Welcome to another edition of some-weird-cars-that-are-living-and-dying-in-Poland. As always big thanks go out to zlomnik.pl and all the readers of that very weird interesting website. Today we look at cars that we have have not covered before, such as Romanian cars, cars of what was once Yugoslavia, and some random ones that we have covered before but which, for one reason or another, did not fit the mold of the other posts.

In lieu of the typical World War II reference I would make at this point, I would like to begin with some disturbing news. There are discussions about banning old junky cars from Warsaw. Berlin and Paris have already imposed such ridiculous rules and now Poland’s capital city wants to follow. All of this is in the name of smog and environment, of course. Many Polish people are in support of this, mostly because they want to see their city clean and opulent, but to me,  a person who purposely went on many walks just to look at weird decrepit vehicles, this is depressing. I guess you can take communism away from the communists, but you can’t take the communists away from communism.

For now crappy cars are still all over Warsaw, so let’s enjoy them while we can. After the jump are over fifty of Eastern Bloc-made cars that are still living and/or dying in Poland. Enjoy.

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Towing via rope seems a lot more common in Europe, at least eastern Europe for many reasons: lack of access to 3/4 ton trucks, shorter distances, and lower speeds. Here we see a classic pulling his partner who is undergoing some kind of a surgery.

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We’re going to see a lot of these in this series. This is a Romanian Aro 24. It was build for over thirty years in various configurations, wheelbase lengths, and with many different engines.

ARO

This is either an Aro M461 or a Soviet GAZ 69. The Aro was basically a rebadged GAZ, which was actually made by UAZ as a predecessor to the 469B. Some say that the GAZ 69 was based off stolen Jeep drawings. The M461 was the predecessor to the Aro 24, which had no relation to the 469B. Got it? Good.

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Zastava 101 (I think) in an amazingly good condition. If it looks like a Fiat, it’s because it is. After WW2 Zastava was renamed “Red Flag Institutes”, which is a great name for any business, and they, like everyone else behind the iron curtain, made some kind of a Fiat. Perhaps the Italians were a bit communist, too? Maybe?

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Gaz, Volgo, Syrena pickup, Warszawa and other eastern European junk.

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Aro.

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Romanian Dacia! If it looks like a Renault… well, you know.

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Handsome little devil. No, not really. I think those seat backs end mid way through their occupants back. Very safe design.

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The back of an Aro looks a bit Land Rover-ish, no?

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Look, this is Dacia’s 1310th model!!!

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Branded as a Yugo, which means it was a western export. Looks like a lade model, too, late 80’s maybe, with black bumpers and trim, reverse light and rear fog lights.

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Dacia wagon, decomposing beautifully.

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When the Lada Samara (left) was introduced it was suppose to be the Golf killer. It wasn’t. It didn’t even kill the Opel Kadett. Skoda 120 looking proud.

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The Zastava was a 2- or 4-door hatchback.

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C’mon, how awesome were these? Answer – not very awesome. I would love to drive one now, and then burn it.

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I don’t know.

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The business behind this dying object does many things: they exchange money, buy gold, buy/sell tickets, and it’s a travel agent, too.

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Is this beautiful-ish Aro for sale? Could it be? Be still my heart!

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Differences in design language and progress.

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I’m not sure what this white car is, it was introduced after I left Poland.

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The Zastava looks big here. It isn’t.

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Lada. Tuned. Because tuning is what Tuners do.

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Not tuned.

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I have no idea, but it must be here for a reason. Or I made mistake and placed the image into wrong folder, who knows.

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Steelies and foggies!

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One of the last (I think) of the classic Dacias. Look at that modern front-end! I couldn’t tell if it was BMW or a Mercedes!

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Aro ambulance, in case it wasn’t obvious.

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I don’t know. I’m not sure that I care. It looks to be in good condition.

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Gaz or an Aro again.

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I always liked that latch with a built-in up-puller. Notice how the hatches on all the new cars go all the way to the bumper… not here.

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Yellow plates = classic plates. Classic plates limit you in mileage and lower insurance costs. I heard that they are not easy to get, but apparently condition of the car does not matter.

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This must have been a popular color. Black plates means it was registered before baby Jeezus was born.

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And then there were two. R.I.P. Opel Kadett. 🙁

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Replacement for the Polish Zuk. It was called FSC Lublin. It didn’t get much love from what I understand.

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Utility trailers are very popular. Or at least they were before everyone went all CUV crazy.

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Aro pickup truck. I might choose this over whatever Glucker bought.

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Big truck. With a tank in the back. Probably old. It may be Czech or may be Soviet. All I know is that the cheapest laptops are 500 meters to the left.

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Restoration has began on this one.

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Another Dacia, another front-end.

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Those mudflaps!

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samara

Clearly a connoisseur. 764 cars apart, together forever.

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It does not zig. How wise are those tires? 155?

Skoda 1203

Barkas, East German van. Is that a Porsche dealership?

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1300, predecessor to the 1310. The 1310 was an all-new vehicle that looked exactly the same and had the same everything.

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Yugo. Man, these guys loved swapping one crappy front-end for another.

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Barkas, probably not riding on Pirelli rubber.

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Let’s hope it has a last will.

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More aerodynamic, specifically that license plate surround.

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Some weird Moskvich, which were pretty rare in Poland.

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10/10, would hail. Says Renault but probably a Dacia. It’s like those guys who put Skyline badges on their G37s.

That’s it! Thanks! See you next time!