Why hello there

Welcome. Come join us on our adventure as we expatriate the heck out of Eastern Europe.

Tiny (and Other) Cars of Europe

Tiny (and Other) Cars of Europe

I like to think of myself as a car guy. Am I really? I don't know. I likely know more than the next guy, but maybe not as much as the guy after him. For some car guy street cred, here's some photos of the hunk of junk I drove around San Francisco for three years or so (a 1951 Ford F-1):

I loved driving that thing around. Except when I hated it. That was primarily a function of it not working when I actually needed it to work properly. Every other time it didn't work, I told myself that was part of the fun of an old truck. Which it was. Does that make me a car guy? Or a masochist? Maybe they're not necessarily mutually exclusive. I guess the bad experiences/near death experiences make for the best stories anyhow. Push starts in the rain. Rocking it back and forth to get the starter unstuck. The brakes completely failing somewhere in Daly City. The gas pedal falling off on the freeway. Getting pulled over by cops for running the Bay Bridge toll booth in the car pool lane (because the gas pedal fell off and I couldn't stop for the toll booth). Talking my way out of the ticket without telling them about the actual problem. Then actually getting moving and shifting through the gears while under their surveillance as if I had a normal fully functioning gas pedal. Oh yes! Ok, non-humble brag over. 

Now where was I? Poland. Right. As someone who enjoys old, or interesting, cars I can't help but notice them wherever I am. Poland and surrounds are no exceptions. There are not only the tiny cars one would expect in Europe, but mixing in communism gives you some fun stuff you'd rarely, if ever, see in America. Some photos (and a couple of these I'm going to have to try to drive at some point):

A Polski Fiat 126p in Gdansk. The car was produced in Poland with technology licensed from Fiat. It was designed to carry a family of 4.

A Polski Fiat 126p in Gdansk. The car was produced in Poland with technology licensed from Fiat. It was designed to carry a family of 4.

A Trabant in Krakow. The car of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Fun fact, it only came with a two-stroke engine.

A Trabant in Krakow. The car of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Fun fact, it only came with a two-stroke engine.

Polski Fiat 125p. These ones you can rent for a self-guided tour of Warsaw

Polski Fiat 125p. These ones you can rent for a self-guided tour of Warsaw

Another Polski Fiat 126p in Warsaw. Judging by the angle of that front wheel, this one likely has seen better days.

Another Polski Fiat 126p in Warsaw. Judging by the angle of that front wheel, this one likely has seen better days.

Russian-made Moskvitch (appropriately) in Moscow. 

Russian-made Moskvitch (appropriately) in Moscow. 

Mini delivery truck in Palermo... hard to tell the scale here, but it's small.

Mini delivery truck in Palermo... hard to tell the scale here, but it's small.

The modern version of the above delivery truck... Campobasso, Italy.

The modern version of the above delivery truck... Campobasso, Italy.

Fiat 500 in Rome.

Fiat 500 in Rome.

A perfectly restored Fiat cinquecento (500) driving alongside of us in Rome.

A perfectly restored Fiat cinquecento (500) driving alongside of us in Rome.

A Karmann Ghia in Warsaw.

A Karmann Ghia in Warsaw.

A Russian-made later model Lada in Krakow. Fun fact, when I was in Addis Ababa, pretty much every taxi in the city was an early-80's Lada... it was as if that's where the old ones went to die.

A Russian-made later model Lada in Krakow. Fun fact, when I was in Addis Ababa, pretty much every taxi in the city was an early-80's Lada... it was as if that's where the old ones went to die.

A 4x4 Lada in Warsaw's Praga district.

A 4x4 Lada in Warsaw's Praga district.

A blue Lada and (what I think is) a black Volga conveniently located at the border crossing into the new "People's Republic of Donetsk".  

A blue Lada and (what I think is) a black Volga conveniently located at the border crossing into the new "People's Republic of Donetsk".  

One of my dream cars, a decidedly non-European early 1960's Lincoln Continental in Moscow's Red Square. 

One of my dream cars, a decidedly non-European early 1960's Lincoln Continental in Moscow's Red Square. 

Under Lock and Key

Under Lock and Key

Zhukovsky, Your Personal Airport

Zhukovsky, Your Personal Airport