Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Old school Saska

Saska Kępa - just across the river from Powiśle - a trendy and sought-after place to live in Warsaw. Its main drag - ul. Francuska - has more restaurants and bars per metre than any other part of the capital. It's being dug up and beautified ahead of the Euro2012 football finals, which will take place in the new national stadium, under construction on the other side of Rondo Waszyngtona.

But here - on an unnamed side street not too far from any of the above-mentioned thoroughfares - some Old School. A Funny Old Car (FSM Syrena 105). A 100% indigenous Polish motor, unlike anything else built in Poland under communism. The FSO Warszawa was essentially a licence-built Soviet GAZ M-20, the rest Polski Fiats. The Syrena was analogous to the Trabant - three-cylinder, two-stroke engine. Their respective nicknames - skarpeta, ('sock') and mydelniczka ('soapdish').


Anonymous said...

bodywork made from cellulose nieprawda, Syrena 100 (prototyp) miał rzeczywiście drewniany dach pokryty dermatoidem, ale samochody seryjne miały nadwozia stalowe, najpierw klepane ręcznie na "babkach" a później na prawdziwych tłocznikach.
W późnych latach 80-tych, pojawiły się zamienniki niektórych elementów blaszanych. Np. błotniki przednie wykonywane były przez rzemieślników z tkaniny szklano-epoksydowej przesyconej żywicą Epidian 53 (bez mikrobalonu).

Michael Dembinski said...

Thanks Anon - duly noted and corrected. With Wikipedia link.

Anonymous said...

Other "indigenous Polish motors built in Poland under communism" include

FSR Tarpan
ZSD Nysa
Mikrus Mr-300
and many generations of Star, Jelcz, San and Autosan trucks and buses.

Michael Dembinski said...

Was thinking of passenger cars rather than trucks, buses or light commercial vehicles.

The Tarpan, however, is an interesting 'what if'. Underpowered (50 BHP compared to the 55 BHP output of my Nissan Micra's one-litre engine) and two-wheel drive, it could have been a contender with a useful engine and true all-terrain capability.

The Mikrus - production numbers too small to take seriously.

chris said...

The street is in fact "FrancuSka", "Francuzka" is, literally, a French woman :)

Michael Dembinski said...

Thanks Chris - correction implemented.