Home » Old Cars In A Polish Town, All Polished: Cold Start

Old Cars In A Polish Town, All Polished: Cold Start

Cs Pole Fsosyrena
ADVERTISEMENT

I know what you’re thinking, as a partial side effect of all the lead dust I’ve inhaled: you’re thinking, hey, why don’t we see more pictures of cars taken in Poland on Cold Start? Well, calm down, okay, I hear you. And, luckily, my absurdly tall friend Chris was living in Poland for a while, and sent me some pictures from a little car show that happened there, in a little town. We’ll start with what I always think of when I think of classic Polish cars (well, other than a Polski Fiat 126), an FSO Syrena! That’s the one on top there.

Syrenas are really charming little cars, looking like a friendly cartoon of a ’50s-type of car design, with an eager, grinning face and wide eyes. Designed in the mid-’50s, these were in production, looking pretty much the same, from 1957 to 1983! The one seen here is a Syrena 105, the last of the line, made from 1972 to 1983. You can tell because it doesn’t have suicide-type doors, but really looks pretty much just like its predecessors otherwise. These had two-stroke inline-three 842cc engines– I wonder how DKW-inspired those were?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Cs Pole Skoda

Here’s something else we don’t see in America very often, a Czech Skoda 440 or maybe 445 – I’m not too up on my Skodas. Somewhere between 1955 and 1959. What I do know is that it looks a lot like the Octavia that came after it, but has that upper “moustache” which is how I could tell it was the earlier one. These had 1.1 or 1.2-liter engines and made a respectable 45 hp or so for the time. Plus, look at that green. Holy crap, that car is downright verdant.

Cs Pole Ds

ADVERTISEMENT

Here’s amore familiar shark-face: a Citroën DS! Being in Europe, it’s blessed with those European headlamps, with the steering inner lights. A DS is always a welcome sight, anywhere, anytime, I think.

Cs Pole Beetle

Even more familiar is this Beetle; It appears to be a ’73, and it’s a Super Beetle, or, as they called it there, a 1303. I like how the passenger assist strap on the B-pillar has been employed as an umbrella hanger, and here’s a detail about Euro-spec Super Beetles as opposed to ours: they kept the tiny, ’68-69-style front turn indicators instead of the huge ones with integrated side marker lamps that we had in the States.

There’s a nice Citroën Traction Avant in the background there, and if I wasn’t running late on this I’d figure out what that lovely wine-colored car with the semaphore turn indicators is, but I am running late, so I’ll leave that to you smart readers.

Cs Pole Wartburg

ADVERTISEMENT

Okay, back to unfamiliar to Americans: a Wartburg 311! These were East German two-stroke cars, sort of the upper end of the market compared to the Trabant. I actually drove one of these once! Look!

If you’re unfamiliar with Wartburg, the badging can be confusing:

Cs Pole Eisenacher

The Eisenacher badge is because the factory was at Eisenach, and is perhaps most famous as the BMW factory caught on the wrong side of The Wall after WWII, and became the EMW factory, making, confusingly, a former DKW car now re-badged as an EMW. We’ll have to go into all that in a bigger article sometime, but for now, just trust me this thing is a Wartburg.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cs Pole Crow

Let’s wrap this up with a bit of trivia! Did you know Poland is the only European country that allows crows to own and ride bicycles? They have to pass a test and pay a fee, usually in bits of string and seeds, but they can have bikes! There’s proof right there, a picture of a proud crow and his bike, painted to match his gothy look.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
27 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
10 months ago

Wartburg! I love it so much. <3

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
10 months ago

Um, Jason – am I the only one seeing that malaise era Cadillac photobombing the Syrena? Talk about a fish out of water. (Extra points if you see what I did there)

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
10 months ago

In Polish, skoda (spelled szkoda) translates as both “damage” and “shame,” two words most car brands would not want to be associated with. Always found that funny.

Last edited 10 months ago by Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
10 months ago

I like that the DS owner put the suspension i “high” just for show.

A fun thing to do in these is holding down the brake hard and the put it in “low” and release the brake suddenly: The rear end goes down very fast! (and may smash exhaust a bit if it’s low hanging).
It also works the other way around to raise the rear end suddenly. Fun for surprising people in a super market parking lot 🙂

Ron888
Ron888
10 months ago

You just know the crows are paying with STOLEN string and seeds

Also how have i never noticed the Citroen’s shark face before??

ChefCJ
ChefCJ
10 months ago

I’ve wanted a Syrena since I saw one on Wheeler Dealers years ago. What a great looking little car

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
10 months ago

The Skoda S440 and Wartburg 311 were actually sold new in the US during the 1958-9 import boom. They were both pretty much taken out by the Big 3 compacts bursting that bubble and were pretty much already gone by the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

wartburgusa.com still has the most info on them, although it hasn’t been updated since 2016 it seems.

Here’s a 1959 ad from a dealership near me which continued (as a Datsun/Nissan dealer) until 1990. Already, they’re mainly pitching the Datsun;

364116838_10223277677906318_2890578149454107536_n.jpg (632×1000) (fbcdn.net)

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
10 months ago

Nothing says old eastern block more than thick black window rubbers with no or very small chrome intserts. Like on the Syrena and the Wartburg.

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
10 months ago

Okay, I’m a bit late to the show but I will still profer this item: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aero_(automobile)

Maciej Winiarski
Maciej Winiarski
10 months ago

Comparing Škoda and FSO cars of the same era is actually a great way to see how far ahead the Czech car industry was ahead of us at that time. Škoda was actually very well designed and made with adherence to quality standards and could compete quite competently on the western markets with western offerings while FSO cars (Serena in particular) were pretty terrible. I have recently watched a video about Škoda MB1000 and I was absolutely blown away by some of the quirks and features.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
10 months ago

“…I’d figure out what that lovely wine-colored car with the semaphore turn indicators is, but I am running late, so I’ll leave that to you smart readers.”

Too bad for the smart readers because I got here first. It’s an Aero Type 30.

There’s another one behind the Wartburg 311, too.

Last edited 10 months ago by Mike Harrell
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
10 months ago

Crow + Handlebar =

Anyone… anyone?

Harris K Telemacher
Harris K Telemacher
10 months ago

Crandlebar! I see that you are a fan of hard cider, sir.

Chronometric
Chronometric
10 months ago

Great photos. Thanks for sharing. It is mindboggling to consider the immense creativity, investment, and industry that has gone into transportation solutions across the world in the last 150 years.

That is just so Adrian to end his photo session with a self portrait.

El Chubbacabra
El Chubbacabra
10 months ago

„I wonder how DKW-inspired those were?”
Not that much, at least according to official version.
S-15 two stroke was an iteration of S-10 engine designed for military boats (because Cold War, I guess) while modified S-15s have been sold as motor pumps, contrary to popular belief that Syrena has used a pump engine.

El Chubbacabra
El Chubbacabra
10 months ago
Reply to  El Chubbacabra

Also, the wine-colored mystery is Aero Type 30, a Czechoslovak prewar car sporting two-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive and all independent suspension (same model as the one behind Wartburg).

Last edited 10 months ago by El Chubbacabra
Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
10 months ago
Reply to  El Chubbacabra

I managed to see your comment but not your own reply before I posted above. It’s just as well I’m not one of the smart readers.

El Chubbacabra
El Chubbacabra
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Nah, I wanted to edit the original post but waited too long so I had to reply myself so…I wouldn’t call myself smart either.

ExAutoJourno
ExAutoJourno
10 months ago

I have driven a Wartburg 311! Maybe even the SAME 311 Jason drove. What I mainly recall is that it took two washings to get the burned-oil smell out of my clothes….

A Skoda is still on my Bucket List.

A. Barth
A. Barth
10 months ago

That Super Beetle looks really nice!

My ’72 was the same color but didn’t look quite as good. 🙂

10001010
10001010
10 months ago

That bird has some nice legwarmers

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

Are Polish car aficionados known as Car Polish?

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
10 months ago

Biker Crows From Poland.

Sounds like a cartoon from the 80’s.

NewBalanceExtraWide
NewBalanceExtraWide
10 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

I was thinking a goth/punk band.

Harris K Telemacher
Harris K Telemacher
10 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

The Crows Have Bikes III: The Crowening

DysLexus
DysLexus
10 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Nevermore quoth the Raven!

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
10 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Don’t mess with that one, it’s got ankle monitors on.

(Who bands a crow?)

27
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x