Car Show Classics: The Brilliant Autumn Colors of Bucharest


This autumn car show marks the end of them for 2014. Since there won’t be any more until spring, I thought I’d pay a visit. First thing that caught my eye was a Fiat Topolino. And rightly so, given the bright orange-and-blue it sported. Although not the best possible combination in my opinion, it did perhaps underline the feeling that the car transmits: all of what you need in a car, with no cutbacks made when it comes to fun.


Right alongside the Fiat, I found this (unfortunately) not very well preserved Giulietta Sprint that also supported the Italians that day, as did a Fiat 124 Coupe, an 850 Spider, a 1200 Spider, the above mentioned Toppolino, and a 1300.


Speaking of the 124 Coupe–it was parked right next to a Soviet Fiat 124, better known as the Lada 1200. Comparing the two, one could assume that they came from the same manufacturer, but that wasn’t really obvious at first glance. The Lada was a pretty reliable car in its day, and you can still see quite a few of them around.


Although it’s roughly the same story from the back, I would say that this angle unites them more closely than the front view. Pretty straightforward design, but also the right amount of attention to detail.


The boxy design language of the 124 saloon could also be seen on this Peugeot 404. There are some of them left here and there, and the Pininfarina design makes sure that they’re always an interesting sight.


A break in boxy design couldn’t have been more obvious than in the case of the Citroen DS. Both the second and the first generation, which I favor more, didn’t necessarily innovate by means of the idea of centering around a swoopy design, but I think that it was more about the particular approach taken: the car wasn’t fast by fighting and defeating the air anymore, but by working together with the currents. It wasn’t reluctant to get off the ground as more massive designs of the age suggested. Rather it would indicate that it was fine just hovering not far away from it.


Next up, two of the better restored Beetles from the show. Although the plates indicate that they are both from ’71, there are some little differences.


I’m no specialist when it comes to Beetles, so I’ll just let the commentariat establish what year they are.


Still, anyone can tell what these two are. They were also equipped with police sirens, which was a nice touch. For fast pursuits (considering that there were any cars back in the day that could pose any real problems in this respect), the police had some BMW 2800s. I’m not sure what they used after 1979, when a decree led to the replacement of all cars used by the state that had a consumption figure of more than 11 l/100 km (around 21 mpg).


Last up, “la malle coquille”. I have seen the Citroen AC4, which features it several times, but only now did I think of taking a closer look. On this curious little object it said “malle coquille”, and below “brev France (SGDG) & Etranger. Malle Coquille means “shell trunk”, which refers to a particular way in the trunk could be opened After a bit of research, I found out that SGDG means “sans garantie du gouvernement”, which means that the government doesn’t offer any guarantees for the functioning of the device. They couldn’t just write the legal notice on a piece of paper stuck on the trunk. They just had to make it beautiful.