Cars from way back when, part two
Last week part 1 so here’s part 2 about old (and especially small) cars in Slovenia 20 to 30 years ago. Last time I already mentioned the »Bolhca«, Fičko« and the Zastava but there were more of them. One of the most popular cars at the time was certainly the »Katrca«, the nickname for the Renault four. You would see them literally everywhere and in all colors and conditions ;). My first encounter with a Renault 4 was in 1995 because a friend of Bine had one at the time. Bine didn’t have a car at the time because he drove a truck and didn’t really need one. When we decided to get married that year, and we were going to do it in the Netherlands, that friend offered to drive us there. What an adventure that was! The three of us and or dog Dusty in the Renault, full of luggage, all the way to the Netherlands. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of it anymore. At one point it was time to refuel the car, and we saw a sign saying that the next gas station was in an x number of kilometers (probably around 15 or so). So that’s where we would go. Then it turned out that there was a fork in the highway and that sign was intended for the other side. In the direction we had taken, it took much longer before there was another gas station, like 80 kilometers or so. Gee, how we sweated all those long, long kilometers! We started driving as economically as possible, and miraculously we made it. According to the tank, we should have stopped many kilometers earlier, but apparently, the car had a secret extra reserve ;).
The Renault 4 has a transmission stick that literally sticks out of the dashboard. That was very special and I actually liked it. I also didn’t have any problem using it.
When we moved to Slovenia for good in 2003 and Bine started working, I was at home without a car. We lived in a village near Kranj then and there was a small market I could go to on foot and also the school for Larsen was close. But still. I couldn’t go shopping, visit a friend that lived further away or anything. Bine had a colleague, an older single man who owned a Renault 4. They had agreed that they would take turns driving to work together because he lived nearby. However, the man drove so uncertain and slow (he entered the highway at 40 km/h) that Bine suggested that he should drive all the time. The man was fine with that, and he then came up with the idea that he would leave his car with me so that I could use it during the day whenever I wanted. An excellent arrangement :). I have enjoyed driving it for several years. In the meantime, we live in a place where you absolutely need two cars, so I have had my own car for years now.
What was also popular at the time was a Volkswagen van. My brother-in-law had one and was very proud of it. When we moved from Slovenia to the Netherlands in 1996, he offered to drive us and all our possessions at that time. It all fitted in the van, so that says enough about how many »possessions« we had back then ;). Fortunately, a photo of this has survived :).
There was also the »Spaček«, or the »ugly duck« in Dutch. I am of course talking about the Citroën 2CV, also known as the »Deux Chevaux«. They also drove around quite a bit. I think I once drove in one and there were so many openings in and under the dashboard that you actually didn’t need fans in the car because there was more than enough air blowing in while driving :D. In the summer no problem, but I would not have liked to drive it in the winter.
In the meantime, all these cars have mainly become collector’s items and unfortunately, you see them less and less. Not that I’d want another one. I will choose our Ford over those cars any day, the more luxurious (and safer) variant of today ;).