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Retro fever: drive time machine cars while you explore Budapest

Are you looking for something locally special? You can rent a vintage car from the ’60s to give yourself a lifetime experience especially if you are eager for the need for speed. Well, with these cars speed might not be the number 1 asset, but you will be travelling between the amazing sights of Budapest making your unusual sightseeing unforgettable!

Please note, since the introduction of „zero tolerance”, the laws prescribe even harsher punishments for drunk driving than before. Beside a fine running to several hundred thousand Forints, your driver’s licence may be suspended for a couple of years, you may be obliged to take a drunk driving (drink driving, DUI) rehabilitation course, but in an extreme case you may even receive a suspended or an executable prison term. Be wise, don’t drive even if you had a pint of lager!

Trabant aka ‘the Spark Plug With A Roof’:
The name Trabant means “satellite” or “companion” in German: drabant (“Hussite foot soldier”), and it was inspired by the Soviet Sputnik satellite. The cars are often referred to as the Trabbi or Trabi. Produced from 1957 to 1990 without major changes over time. The Trabant became one of the most common automobiles. The car came to symbolize the country during the fall of the Berlin. The Trabant had a steel unibody frame with the roof, trunk lid, hood, fenders, and doors made of a hard plastic called Duroplast, which was made from recycled materials: cotton waste from the Soviet Union and phenol resins from the East German dye industry.  This made the Trabant the first car with a body made of recycled material. The engine for the 500, 600, and original 601 was a small two-stroke engine with two cylinders, giving the vehicle modest performance. Known as a “spark plug with a roof” because of its small size, the car nevertheless gained the public’s affection and has achieved a measure of cult status. Its design remained essentially unchanged from its introduction in the late 1950s, and the last model was introduced in 1964. There are plans for reproduction possibly with a BMW engine. http://rentatrabantbudapest.com

Lada aka ‘the Magic Cube’:
In 1961 Palmiro Togliatti, the leader of the Italian Communist Party went to Moscow and visited the AZLK factory. It was here that he had his ’eureka moment’.  He would build a really good Soviet people’s car instead of the ’technologically challenged’, old-fashioned Moszkvics cars.  Alas, they were lacking the skills and experience to develop such a vehicle, so all they could do was to buy something ready-made from the West. The result was the prototype Fiat124R, which was practically the same as Zsiguli2101. The first Zsiguli cars rolled off from the assembly line in 1970 and then landed on Hungarian roads on 14th June 1971.By 1996, about 1 million Lada cars were delivered Hungary, thus becoming the biggest export market of the Togliatti factory.  Although now very rare, even in the first decade of this century Lada cars were still the most highly visible cars on the roads of Hungary. http://budapestjoyride.wixsite.com/home/aboutus

Opel Kadett aka ‘the Western Zsiguli’:
The first factory of the Opel-dynasty was founded by Adam Opel in 1863. In the beginning, the family business, based in Rüsselsheim, produced sewing machines and bicycles, with automobile manufacturing only starting in 1899. In 1973 Opel secretly wanted to transform Kadett ’C’ into a world car.  It was a people’s car just like the Zsiguli or Wartburg – but on a much smaller scale.  Up until 1979 701,075 models were sold in Hungary. If you are lucky, you can get the rare yellow colour one, made with automatic gears.

TAM  T5B trucks
The TAM trucks belonged to the street scenery in Yugoslavia, so did the Zsuks in Hungary. TAM (Tovarna Avtomobilov Maribor – translated: Maribor Automobile Factory) was a Yugoslavian and Slovenian commercial vehicle manufacturer based in the city of Maribor. TAM’s first model, the “TAM Pionir,” was built under license from the Czechoslovak company “Praga,” and was manufactured until 1962, with a total of 1700 produced in that period. The factory, which initially made aeroplane parts, was founded in Maribor by the Germans who invaded Royal Yugoslavia. Then the name was changed to Tovarna Avtomobilov Maribor, (shortened as TAM) after the liberation, and they then began to assemble various commercial vehicles. Since the ’60s vans, lorries, military vehicles, fire engines, buses etc. have been manufactured in the factory. https://www.drivingcamp.hu/en/trainings/

Photo: 123rf.com

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