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Small Cars of Europe thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Forostar, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Kicking of with DAF, nowadays mostly known for their quality trucks, but between 1959 and 1975 this was the one and only (successful) Dutch passenger car brand:
    DAF ended at some time when Volvo took over:
    Volvo gained a 33 percent stake in DAF in December 1972, always with the intent of taking a larger interest. They increased their holdings to 75% on 1 January 1975, taking over the company and the NedCar plant. Volvo dropped the 33 and 44 models, and later rebadged the DAF 66 as the Volvo 66, with bigger bumpers and a safety steering wheel.

    The DAF 46 was developed with Volvo's assistance, and was basically a 44 with the rear axle of a 66 and a single belt Variomatic (half the 66's transmission). A big weakness of this system is that a failed drive belt would cripple the car. The last DAF design, codenamed P900, initially intended to be the DAF 77, was developed during the transition to Volvo ownership and was ultimately launched as the Volvo 300 series in 1976, firstly as the Volvo 343 three door hatchback with the Variomatic transmission.

    After initial slow sales, the range was expanded into the 340/360, with a five door variant and the availability of manual transmission, and the 340/360 range became a sales success, eventually surpassing 1.3 million units by the time production ceased in 1991. The subsequent Volvo 440/460/480 and the first generation S40/V40 models were also made at the NedCar plant, until Volvo sold its interest to Mitsubishi Motors in 2001, marking the end of Volvo's involvement with the former DAF plant after almost thirty years.[/quote]

    Check this impressive vid from a collector, who already collected these in the time when they were not seen as classics. Sometime he bought one for 100 guilders and a box of tomatoes.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  2. Magnus

    Magnus Ancient Mariner

  3. Magnus

    Magnus Ancient Mariner

    When I was a kid, my parents were the proud owners of a Trabant 601s. Legendary GDR car also known as Motorbike for four with a shared helmet.
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  4. Magnus

    Magnus Ancient Mariner

    The Eastern Bloc car industry, by the way, boasted both the quietest car in the world (that, of course, was before electric vehicles), Polski Fiat 126p - because you drove with your knees on your ears, and the longest car in the world, Wartburg 353: 30 metres, including exhaust.
  5. Ariana

    Ariana Black-and-white leopard


    My parents' first car was a Moskvitch 412. It looked exactly like this:

    It's not a small car, but the steering wheel provided a great workout for the muscles of the upper body. Soviet cars always had a double function that way.
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  6. Wogmidget

    Wogmidget I rather like the restless nights

    Ah, the variomatic DAF. Notable for being able to drive backwards as fast as it could forwards, if I recall correctly.
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  7. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    I hear Moskvich was not a bad car. AFAIR it's the same factory that produced Volga Soviet state limos, cause both are just brand names.
    Before having a small flotilla of PZ 125's my grandad had this nice little machine


    Foro you might appreciate the fact that Slovenian Tomos, one of the biggest industries in ex-Yu, albeit not cars per se. but motorcycles, marine engines, etc., designed in its Dutch R&D center. The equpiment was of astonishing quality, ruggedness and repairability, those were the 50ccm scooters hip kids used (together with Vespas, larger engines tho), and our own version of Volvo Penta marine deployed on thousands of privately owned small boats and watercraft. You need 5 thingies to do a general maintenance, all fit in a small can. Engine stops at open sea, general overhaul performed in 3 minutes, and off we go. Did it so many times...

    The famous "Goat", in its 50ccm manual transmission version for postal service

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  8. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    Let's continue with something more adrenaline based. The racing Škodillac, the Škoda 110R


    If that folk hero used this one instead of the ordinary 100 model, he'd escape the vile Jozin and get to Moravice in no time.
    Btw, grandad car from image above is NSU Prinz 1000. The NSU Motorenwerke merged with VW/Audi in late 1960s.
    Forostar likes this.
  9. Magnus

    Magnus Ancient Mariner

    Nope, Volga was GAZ, Moskvitch was AZLK.
    Sorry for hijacking your thread Foro
  10. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    Thanks for the correction, I thought GAZ was responsible for both.
  11. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    This is even better than the lamppost thread.
    Zare likes this.
  12. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Did you hijack it?

    Shall we change this to "car thread"? I like the current title, but perhaps people wish to talk about bigger cars and e.g. non European cars as well.
    Brigantium likes this.
  13. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    I am subscribed to "French Elevator Channel" on YT.
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  14. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    Wartburg limuzina najduza masina, cet'ri metra lima i pet meteri dima
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  15. mckindog

    mckindog Living for Sanctuary from the law Staff Member

    Living in a town barely over a 100 years old on an Island that didn't have towns until about 150 years ago, the streets are broad and new. At least half the population where I live seems to drive massive trucks, like the Ford F-350 and the Dodge Ram. For me the automobile differences in old city Europe were striking on my first visit.

    Staying in Rome, I rounded a corner near my old city apartment and spotted an old early '8os Ford truck that was extremely familiar yet strikingly out of place. I wondered not only about the challenges of operating such a vehicle there, but how it got there and the fact it was operating at all. As I got closer, I realized I needn't have worried; there was vegetation growing out of it. It wasn't a vehicle, it was a planter.
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