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Camping Eastern Bloc-style

The way our parents used to go on holiday

28/09/2013 10:32 |  Comments: 

Contributing editor

Sipi is a fairy who hangs above us like a huge, ever-smiling, men’s fragrance-smelling umbrella. He can be called anytime, anywhere to lend a helping hand, and he’ll be there in an hour with one of his Transits for sure. A dangerously maniac car collector (the street in front of his house is full of his vehicles), a radio-control and model car freak, Sipos is a Swiss knife made of human flesh. Totalcar is just one job amongst his zillion occupations, but he endears it the most. Lives with a girlfriend and two dogs.

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  • Mitsubishi Sigma 3.0 24V (1992)
  • Mazda 323 TXL 4WD (1990)
  • 4 long-nose Transits (a 4x4 fire engine, a fire department staff car, an ex-Irish ambulance and an extremely oversized panel van, 1980-1984)
  • Dacia 1300 (1975, being restored)
  • Ford Capri 2.9i (1982)
  • Mercedes-Benz 280 SEL 4.5 (1972)
  • Ford Sierra Tournier 2.9i drift-car (1992)
  • Mazda 121 4dr (1993)
  • Suzuki VS1400 Intruder (1989)
  • Suzuki GSX 750 New Katana (1984)
  • Kawasaki Z1000 Police (1993)
  • Aprilia Habana (2000)
  • Volga M24 wagon (1984)
  • Ural M62 (1968, in pieces)
It’s getting colder outside, autumn is here, and winter is on its way. So let’s recall all the things we did in the hot summer of 2013.

Prokee (Gábor Prokop) is a hard-headed Trabant fan. He knows everything about Trabis and is even able to tell which little part of the East-German cult-car was identical in the first and the last model. He also knows about every Trabant-related event there is. He was the one who told me about the little meeting held in a camping by lake Balaton, a get-together of friends of the old cars of the region once known as the Eastern block. The event is absolutely independent of any of the brand and type- clubs. People just go there, park their old made-behind-the-iron-curtain cars, pop up their tents, have a swim in the largest lake of Europe, have fun, talk, eat and sleep. Nothing special, but the atmosphere is very friendly and relaxing. We decided to go and take a look.

We had to take Prokee’s Trabant, the matte green zombie, which was the ideal transport to the event. The front and the rear of the car is of a sixty year-old Trabant 500 (a car with a two stroke, two cylinder, 500 cc engine), but the car itself is a very late Trabant 1.1 with a four cylinder four stroke engine, converted to LPG. It confuses people, as it does not generate thick blue smoke like a proper 500 does. Even its proportions are different from those of an early Trabi – and above all that, it can cruise at 120 km/h, a speed no 500 was able to reach, not even on a steep slope.

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