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American Cars Living and Dying in Poland – Part 3

Kamil Kaluski March 17, 2015 Eastern European Cars, Featured 21 Comments

American cars living and dying in poland

There was a time, I am guessing sometime in the early 1990s, when container ships full of cars originally sold in the United States must have been departing Port Newark for Gdansk, Poland. Those cars varied from cheap econoboxes to limousines, to classic American land yachts. Also on these ships were European and Japanese cars that were sold in America and for some reason, probably related to their price, were being shipped to the land where they were actually available for purchase new.

Today we once again look at the cars that started their lives, or were at least sold, in North America. As always all pictures come from the awesome readers of zlomnik.pl. Enjoy.


We start off this series of American cars with a French car! Yes, because, as you can tell by those ugly bumpers and headlights, this is an American import. Only Americans could uglify cars like that and only Poles could buy an uglified French car in America and send it back to Poland.


Another non-American American car in Poland is this lovely 944. Again, these things are dying all over western Europe, why would anyone ship one over from New York, especially in present times, is beyond me. That said, maybe this is just a crazy New Yorker who decided that it would fun to drive his old Porsche across Europe. It’s possible.


I don’t know what’s going on with those front plates there. I really like those models of Bonnevilles.


I don’t remember anymore, was the Wagoneer just a trim level, or did Jeep actually told people that those were different from Cherokees?


And now a quick rundown of what other cars we have covered that living and dying in Poland.

American cars living and dying in Poland

American Cars Living and Dying in Poland (part 2)

West German cars living and dying in Poland

West German cars living and dying in Poland – Part 2

East German cars Living and Dying in Poland

Japanese cars living and dying in Poland

Japanese Cars Living and Dying in Poland – Part 2

Italian cars living and dying in Poland

French Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Soviet Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Czechoslovakian Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Swedish Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Polish Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Obscure, weird, and random cars living and dying in Poland

The Museum of Communist Polish Cars in Krakow


This may be its final resting place. I wonder what crapped out, transmission?


Dan Roth of Autoblog secretly told me that he loves these.


Would you still love me if I told you that I don’t know what vehicle in front is?


Why the hell would you import that from a country that is seven thousand miles away? Why the hell would you import that knowing that parts accessibility and service are limited? A Saturn makes as much sense in Poland as SsangYong Actyon does in the US.


Shockingly, there is more than one. This one is displaying its GM Pride. Perhaps they were desired because they were American? There was a point where some Polish people thought that anything/everything American was great and prestigious. I don’t know.


Polish people really do love big American cars, the problem is that no one wants to spend most of their paycheck on gas.


Do you know how much ass you can with that!?

I don’t know either. Not much I hope.


I found this on a Polish news website. It was an article about the truck being stuck on the trolly tracks. The Warsaw transportation authority still uses this late 1980’s F-150. This is amazing for many reasons; that it’s still running despite limited access to parts and non-metric tools, that it hasn’t rusted over yet, the fact that a public organization bought one, the fact that they didn’t buy something more local, and the fact that it’s still running.

They also have that amazing Unimog seen behind the Ford.


No, it’s FWD. Again, in the continent full of crappy FWD cars, some genius ships this over. The price must have been super low.

chevy niva

Yes, that’s a Chevy. Yes, that’s a Russian Chevy.


I still remember the first time I saw this generation of the Bonneville. It was on Route 80 East in New Jersey, near Hackensack. For a second I thought someone was driving the wrong way – I couldn’t tell if these were coming or going.


How about an American Japanese? Again, there a tons of Japanese cars in Poland, why ship this timing belt snapper from US?



I reviewed one of those in 2010. The sticker price was $44,000. For two thousand dollars more you could have bought an Audi S4.


Now that’s the car you import from America!!


I don’t have anything to say about this.


Mitsubishi is a popular brand in Poland, yet someone imported this. I hope it was much cheaper than its European-market cousin.


This is the worst Fiero-based Ferrari kit car I have ever seen.


It actually made sense to import seven-passenger vehicles into Poland, as there simply were not many on the market.


Europeans are known to produce some great small station wagons.

Nope, let’s import one from the country that sucks at making them. I still remember how much better the mid/late-1980s European Escorts were than American Escorts.

Insert your own escort joke.


I think the European Ford Scorpio was similar in size and even had the same, or similar, engine. Why drag this across the pond?

The license plates “fell off”, so won’t be long until this is turned into a washing machine.


I can see this being useful in Poland, as long as you’re willing to pay for the fuel. I think the GCs were sold in Europe with diesel engines, so this may not be a private import.


My stepfather had a ’84 Buick Regal sedan in that same blue color. It was one of those cars where the rear side windows didn’t roll down, only the little vent windows opened, and they were super cool because they were powered. One hot summer day the A/C crapped out while we were in a two-hour stand-still traffic on the Cross-Bronx Expressway. This the closest I ever got to being tortured.


Possible reasoning here: the Opel Omega is a complete piece of this. But this, this car is amazing, it’s the standard of the world, it’s a Cadillac!


I always liked those, too. Crap interior but not bad looking. They also had one of the best racing engines ever made, right out the factory. True story.


Zlomnik says that this has been parked near Warsaw’s Novotel Hotel near the airport for years. He can actually see it decaying.







Ford North America vs. Ford Europe.

My friend in high school had similar ’89 Probe GT, which was actually a Mazda MX-6. We added an intake, custom made cat-back, and turned up the boost in some ghetto way, and it end up being pretty fast – it ran a 14.9 at Englishtown!


UAZ pickup truck.


Another failed wedding vehicle business.


Remember those boomerang antennas?



Oh hell yeah! Straight out of New York City! It may still smell of Ray’s Pizza, cheap perfume that Staten Island chicks like to wear, and puked Ray’s Pizza!

What’s the van in front of it? FC FTW!


This guy has a whole collection! He probably daily drives a Fiat to save on gas.


Mr. Bowman recently posted an update on FB regarding his Project Ugly Horse. He is still working on it, but it’s delayed. He has some lame excuses, like rebuilding his house because his wife is pregnant or something. That guy does not have his priories right! Most recent update is here.




Look at the condition of this! I’d Lemons D’Elegance that thing all day.


But the Corolla is a great vehicle, but this guy wanted something more special.


This is rare even in America! Good choice!




I saw one in Florida parked exactly the same way. You can take a Navigator out of US, but you can’t take US out of a Navigator.


I did Google image search for GMC Typhoon. I am pretty sure that this is the real thing.

What! The! Hell! People!?


Once upon a time we saw a similar Peugeot in Poland with Cali plates. Why are these people shipping French cars from America!!?? It makes no sense!!!



Easy to park, good on gas, readily available parts and service. The Crown Vic is the perfect car to own and drive in Poland.


Again, Europe is full of amazing small panel vans, why ship this piece of crap over?

Sorry, I rented one one when they first came out – horrible vehicle.




If you want a mint condition K-car, and frankly who doesn’t, Poland is the place to find them.





Now I’m feelin’ so fly like a G6… with a thirty year old homemade trailer.


More Probes. Remember all the Lexuses SCs from the Japanese series? I wonder is there is a correlation.


“Yea, I’m just going to park my Mustang here for a bit,… not that there is anything wrong with that”




It was the latest style in America, and Poles are quick adopters. Dual exhaust!



I forgot that these had leaf springs.




What’s up with that roof? I’ve never seen that before. South Florida Special?


Ford Tempo, always a solid choice.


What an amazing collections of classic American coupes. Check out the homemade taillights on that Cougar!


Some collect American coupes, others collect American minivans.


His first American Escort was so amazing, he bought another one.


“Still here!!”


  • neight428

    The Typhoon is a rare and coveted bird, I’d love to have one (though a Syclone would be preferred). Can’t imagine too many of those or anything with the Buick turbo V-6 made it across the pond to begin with.

  • http://i1.wp.com/hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/714242_zps4e57e51b.jpg

    That’s a 1948 Buick. There’s not much in this view to distinguish between a ’47 and a ’48, but that looks like part of the model script visible through the tire leaning against the fender, which would mark it as the later of the two years.

  • dukeisduke

    Wow, all I can say is… damn! The silver car in the 16th picture (next the red Toyota) is a Grand Prix, not a Bonneville. As for the moss-gathering white second-gen Taurus wagon? My guess is it’s got the Essex 3.8 V6, and the head gaskets failed.

  • dukeisduke

    The red Grand Prix with the white vinyl top is a ’76. The black car in front of the green fuselage Chrysler (’71 or ’72 Newport?) is a ’47 Buick.

  • Guest

    WJ front end on ZJ Grand Cherokee? What sorcery is this?

    • I did not even realize that when I posted that pic. Wow.

    • Cool_Cadillac_Cat

      Beat me to it, ’cause that almost broke my brain.

      I used to own a ’94 ZJ and currently have a ’98 5.9L ZJ, so they’re a bit familiar.

      I can’t believe it fits that well, as in it mates up to what’s underneath.

  • jim

    To answer all your “why would anyone…”questions, remember that :
    -some people aren’t interested at all about cars
    -there was a time, years ago, when internet didn’t exist. can you believe it ?
    -some shady dealers will try their best to convince you that, yes, an 80s GM shitbox is exactly what you’re looking for

    • Citric

      But remember that these are in Poland, where many of them were never sold. So someone, somewhere, decided that shipping a Mercury Tracer over an ocean was a sensible plan, and that’s what prompts the “why would anyone…” questions. If you’re going to send something across the sea, why a Tracer? Or, for that matter, why a Peugeot, when you can get a better Peugeot from actual France?

      • Krautwursten

        Alternatively, and what in my eyes is far more likely, an American soldier stationed in western Europe took his crappy Tracer with him so he would have a runabout off base, and when he left for home he simply left the Tracer in Germany or somewhere, from where it found its way to Poland. American soldiers leaving their cars here are a force to be reckoned with as far as the American car market goes, from what I can tell most of the cars deliberately imported from the US are composed of chromed out classics and brand new cars.

        Now what I really would like to know is why that Caprice or Roadmaster has such an unusual roof. I can imagine it’s a decommissioned hearse considering you can fit a coffin in the back without even stretching it, which was a revolution after the American station wagons of the 80s, making these models considerably popular as hearses in the 90s. But I could be wrong.

  • Vavon

    Starts reading, sees US-504, applies eye-bleach, hopes it works!

  • Vavon

    Is that thing in the middle also a Jeep???

  • mrh1965

    I like the euro license plate crammed into the American-sized space on the Mercury Tracer

  • SlowJoeCrow

    Some random answers, the XJ Wagoneer was just trim and a unique grille with the stacked beady eye headlights that looked worse than the standard Cherokee grille.

    Also an 80s F-150 would have metric fasteners and there are probably enough of them in Europe that parts would be only slightly hard to find.

  • Fuhrman16

    It’s looks to me as though that LeBaron has had a couple coils cut out of the springs.

  • Cool_Cadillac_Cat

    I think the Typhoon…and it’s sad to see this happen to one of those…no longer has an engine, based on how high the nose is compared to the rear.

    Also, I want the winch off that abandoned green, er, black Suburban.

  • pikoc89

    there is something funny about that blue Jeep GC