Cars from way back when….. part 1

Cars from way back when….. part 1

Last week we decided to grab a drink at the Krka, and we saw a Fiat 126 parked there. A very old and especially very small car that Bine once had, a long time ago. All kinds of stories and memories were released, which gave me material to write a blog post about it :).

The Fiat 126 was not Bine’s first car, by the way. It was actually an NSU Prinz that his oldest brother had given him. He was 18 at the time and had just gotten his driver’s license. The NSU Prinz was one of the cheapest cars at the time, so they had no fewer than four of them at home. His two brothers and his father also had one. They really couldn’t afford anything else ;). This was also a small car, but at that time, in the eighties, there were almost only small cars driving around here. I remember that well from the first time we went on holiday in Slovenia, in 1989. I was 17 years old at the time and thought it was very funny to see.

Bine’s NSU Prinz

You can still notice in various places that at that time people only had small cars here. Just look at the older parking garages, such as the one under the Dutch embassy, ​​in the center of Ljubljana. The parking spaces are actually too small for today’s cars, and it is often a matter of fitting and measuring to get your car parked :).

A parking in Pula (Croatia), in times of former Yugoslavia

The Fiat 126 that Bine later had must have been just about the smallest car there was. You can see in the photograph how big Bine is in proportion to the car. Yet they once sat in it with eight people! Four in the chairs and all four had someone on their lap :). Bine, who was driving, also had a girl (of course ;)) on his lap. They had been to a (country) disco in Zatrnik and Bine drove home his friends and some girls they had picked up there. Zatrnik is on the way to Pokljuka so high up which meant the road went down when driving back home. To drive up this road with 8 people in that tiny car probably wouldn’t even have worked, hahaha. Fun fact: the Fiat 126 was called »Bolhca«, which actually means »little flea«. Good nickname, right ;)?

Bine in front of a “Bolhca”

Another popular car was the »Fičko«, the nickname for a Zastava 750. That is a Yugoslavian car that you occasionally still come across here and there. Those cars were solidly built and could take a beating. Although people rhymed about the Zastava Jugo (in Europe »Yugo«): »Jugo nije za dulgo«. That’s Yugoslavian for »Yugo isn’t for long« :D. Once, when Bine was without a car for a while and had gone to the disco in Zatrnik with friends again, he got a ride home from a friend with a Zastava. Only the car was already full and that’s why Bine stood on the bumper of the back of the car and like that, for almost 8 kilometers, »drove« home ;).

The Zastava Yugo

When Bine also bought a Fičko a little later, he was able to cruise around again by himself. And so he did. He was still young and wild back then, shall we say ;). Later he lost his wild hair…..literally and figuratively, hahaha. In any case, he often drove way too fast and on one occasion it went wrong, and he flew out of a curve in the road and the car ended up on its side. Fortunately, Bine was alright, so he got out, pushed the car back up by himself, and then got back in and continued driving :D. That is at least one advantage of having a small car, haha. Fortunately, we nowadays drive around in cars that are a lot more comfortable, more spacious and, above all, much safer!

A “Fičko”


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