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






Simca




Dacia Estafette

Dacia Estafette

Dacia 1301











VW Golf, la Intercontinental




Un Fiat 1100 timpuriu / An early Fiat 1100





29 August 2017

Un Standard la Bucuresti in 1948

Ceva foarte, foarte rar dintr-o perioada aproape uitata. In 1948 inca era ceva viata in Bucuresti, capitala se reconstruia, se importau masini din occident, veneau straini, opera, teatrul si restaurantele erau, poate nu stralucite dar cel putin pline. UIn mai putin de un an, totul urma sa se schimbe,...

Anglocar a fost un dealer de masini englezesti care, printre altele, a adus Jaguarele casei regale in tara. Ernest Dawyl, proprietarul firmei, a avut o viata fascinanta. In 1949 a fost acuzat de spionaj, arestat, proprietatile confiscate; iar dupa o perioada lunga de puscarie, a fost eliberat in 1958, cand a plecat catre Londra. Deci nu numai o imagine rara, ci una trista...

De remarcat placutele diplomatice specifice perioadei. 
Something very rare from an almost forgotten period. In 1948, Bucharest was rebuilding itself and trying to restore something of the fun of pre-war life; cars were being imported; foreigners were visiting; the theatre, opera and restaurants were full if not sparkling. All of which would change in less than a year...

Anglocar was a dealer of English cars which, among others, bought the royal family's Jaguars to Romania. Ernest Dawyl, the owner, had a fascinating life. In 1949 he was arrested on counts of espionage, his property confiscated, and imprisoned. Released in 1958, he returned to the UK. So not only a rare photo, but rather a sad one...

Note the diplomatic plates specific to the period.

24 March 2017

Plinata Comturist, 1983 / Comturist dollar shop brochure, 1983

Ceva inedit: o plianta Comturist din 1983, aratand ce se putea cumpara pe valuta. Clintela ar fi fost extrem de limitata insa era mai mult vorba de straini locuind in Romania (unii chiar cumparau Dacii in anii 80). Contine imagini rarisime cu prototipul Dacia Sport, prototipul Dacia 1420, si prima generatie de ARO 24.

Referitor la preturi,  aflam ca "la 19 mai 1989, Nicolae Ceauşescu a aprobat o ajustare a preţurilor de vânzare a autoturismelor româneşti în străinătate. Liderul P.C.R. a primit, în acest sens, de la Ministerul Industriei Constructoare de Maşini, un raport cu următoarele propuneri de preţ: „Dacia 1310” şi „Dacia 1410” – 2.600 de dolari; „Dacia 1320” – 3.150 de dolari; „Dacia” break – 2.800 de dolari; „Dacia” camionetă – 2.875 de dolari; „Oltcit” – 2.700 de dolari; „Aro 10” – 3.825 de dolari; „Aro 24” Diesel – 5.000 de dolari; „Aro 24” cu motor tip Otto – 4.300 de dolari; colecţie CKD „Dacia” – 2.450 de dolari; colecţie CKD „Aro” – 2.900 de dolari". Desi Oltcitul la 4,000 dolari in 1983 pare foarte ridicat, valoarea dolarului se schimbase foarte mult intre timp.

Something not seen before: a Comtourist dollar shop brochure from 1983, showing what Western currency could buy you. The clientele would have been very limited, but was largely foreign nationals living in Romania (some of whom did indeed buy Dacias in the 1980s). It contains very rare images of the prototype Dacia Sport, the prototype Dacia 1420, and the first series of ARO 24.