The 18th of April was a great day for old car enthusiasts from all over Romania. Retromobil, the national association of historical vehicle owners and restorers, organized the first big event of the 2015 season, the Spring Retro Car Parade.
Year after year, more and more participants from all over Romania gather in over 20 cities in order to drive and display their most prized possessions, old cars in mint condition.
As always, the parade held in the capital city, Bucharest, manages to attract the largest number of participants and spectators, but that won’t be the focus of this article.
Being a retro car enthusiast myself, and fortunate enough to have an old Dacia 1300 kept in good condition by my grandfather, I seized the opportunity to join the parade in Suceava. After last year’s “Made in Romania”, this was to be the second time I would directly participate in such an event.
I woke up early in the morning to prepare for the two-hour journey that awaited me. Unfortunately the weather was gloomy, and it rained all the way from Piatra-Neamt to Suceava. Once I entered the city, the rain stopped, but the clouds and cold air refused to go away. Because of this, the number of spectators was low, many of them simply being there because of the location, Iulius Mall Suceava.
A total of twenty cars could be admired at the event, most of them being Dacias and Trabants. A possible explanation for this would be that Suceava is home to two people who are said to be Romania’s biggest Dacia 1300 and Trabant collectors.
The oldest car displayed was an unrestored Fiat 1800 from 1964, one of the best looking cars made by the Italian automaker. On the opposite side, two cars, an East German Barkas B 1000 and a Dacia Shifterossa produced in 1989 were the “newest” attractions. The latter was also the star of the exhibition, the car being probably the only surviving pick-up expoted to the UK in the communist years. It was found rotting in a yard by a Romanian man settled in Britain who bought it and sent it to Suceava, where Dănuț Crainiciuc, probably the biggest Dacia 1300 collector in the country, restored it. Many people claim that the car looks better now than it did back then, when it rolled out the assembly line.
All in all, the event was successful, as it managed to bring together the owners and admirers of these cars which were once an ordinary sight on the streets of Romania.