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French Cars Living and Dying in Poland

Kamil Kaluski January 22, 2014 Eastern European Cars, Featured 42 Comments


Last year we saw various cars made by the countries of the Axis Powers living and dying in Poland. There West German cars, East German Cars, Japanese cars, and Italian cars. Last month we moved onto Allied Powers cars, starting off with the final entry into the conflict, ‘Murican Cars. The reason for all the war references is that it made the cars easy to group and it went along with my personal studies of that time period.

It is too easy to make a joke about the French military, so I won’t. Their involvement is World War II is complex and often misunderstood, much like design and engineering behind some all of their cars. The military involvement was on both sides of the struggle, limited in effort, spread all over the world, all with mixed results, and in the end not contributing much more than punch line, again much like their cars.

Today we will look at the oldtimer French cars that are living in various states of usefulness in modern day Poland. All pictures are courtesy of the best Polish automotive website ever, and all its readers who send in all these pictures from all over the country. Grab some coffee and a croissant, check out the awesome and awful cars, then light up a non-filtered cigarette like the French whore that you are!


Should they have sold a 4-door LeCar in Le U.S.?


To the restoration shop!! And then sell it to some gullible American connoisseur!!!


Which one has been there longer?


There is no mistaking this butt for anything else on the road.


The Simca Matra Rancho, one of my childhood dream cars, only because I had an awesome Corgi 1:43 version of it, with opening doors and split tailgate. It’s got an interesting history (wiki link).


The van!



Headin’ to the scrap yard at any moment. Looks like a weird USDM-ish Civic in front.


I, too, pile random branches on my Peugeots.


Looks like this pic was taken in the U.K., sorry. Still, interesting. All those vans/trucks, being MBs, Ivecos, Fiats, Fords, or Renaults, kind of look alike.


The car on the right may be a Dacia, made in Romania under license from Renault for many years.




Renault, 11. A very attractive hatchback, and this one looks to be mint. Black plates mean the same owner since the 1980’s. When I was little kid I was impressed by how nice the interior was in these.


 I find these cars more beautiful with each passing day.


 Interesting looking spoiler thing on top of the hatch – must be fast!


 Dat C pillar!


 50 shades of blue-ish.


 I remember seeing these cruise around as a kid… it was the biggest, longest thing ever. Looks like a Czech plate to my squinting eyes.


 Peugeot ‘Allroad’ – want!!!


 Plymouth Horizon was a modified version of this the Simca Talbot. Check out my write up on a Dodge Omni GLH Turbo.


 10/10, would drive around the world, very slowly.


 Someone just made a huge mistake.


 Glorious! Parked across from a meat store which I am sure has some amazing kabanosy.




Perfect small business fleet.


Somewhere, perhaps not in Poland, a connoisseur lives.


Best looking minivan, ever!




I’m tingling in special places right now…


Another “allroad”*

*No idea what these are called, if anything. I’m just using a generic Audi name.


Those integrated auxiliary lights are fantastic.


Looks like it’s melting. Hmm… maybe it did actually melt.


Ya know, Dacia 1100 looked just like the Renault 8, and I am not sure which one this is.



The hell kind of an ‘Allroad” is this?


Connoisseur. They look beautiful behind that covered pile of crap.






Parts cars in front yards always add to property value – it speaks of the owner’s ingenuity, care, and proper maintenance for the potential house buyer.


He’s got a parts boat!!!


Three lug-nuts. Were those factory cabrios?






USDM headlights?


It’s been there so long, it’s got a permanent shadow.


In Warsaw, cars are often, almost always, parked with two wheels on the sidewalk.



Not a Dacia.


  • Sjalabais

    The Peugeot 504 is imho among the best proportioned cars ever. These "Allroads" are probably worth a special on their own? Cool!

    • Battles

      If the lifted 504s are genuine Dangels then they are definitely worth a special feature.

  • Irishzombieman☆

    I. Love. The Rancho.

    And French cars in general. But right now, mostly the Rancho.

    <img src="; width=400>

    • What is it about it that makes it do damn loveable?

      • Sjalabais


  • Jofes01

    I think the car with the weird trailer-thingy is a very German Opel Corsa though.

    The "not a Dacia" is an Oltcit Club a.k.a Oltena Club a.k.a Citroën Axel, built in Romania. Olt is for the Romanian region Oltena in which the car was made, Cit is for Citroën who helped (read: did) develope the car. When Citroën pulled out from the project, the car was renamed Oltena. Today, the factory is used to build the Ford B-Max. 🙂

    • Oh, sorry…. looks like it was designed by someone French, maybe?

      Thanks… for the most obscure and weird information, Redusernab readers deliver!

  • Manic_King

    14th from the bottom, with Ukrainian plates, MysteryAmino

    • Miky

      Izh 2717, definitely not a french car.

  • Cundalini wants his hand back.

  • tonyola

    Used to be that Renault R8s and R10s were quite common on American roads. Then people got wise and Renault bega to slowly disappear from view in the US, with the dreadful Alliance/Encore being the only real latterday "success".

  • I expected more shots like this:

    <img src=";

  • "Should they have sold a 4-door LeCar in Le U.S.?"

    They actually did, 1981-83, though they referred to it as a "5-door."

    <img src="; width="392">

    • Damn… learn something new everyday.

    • Rover1

      They did a 4 door car with a boot for the Spanish market- which is how they got the doors for a 5 door version.
      The Renault 7.
      <img src=";

  • That Simca Matra Rancho is like a popemobile for Mini-Me.

  • Vavon

    That Visa Cabriolet is called a Visa Découvrabe and was sold by Citroën.
    That Grey strange Renault 8 is a Renault 10.
    Those Peugeot Allroads are 505 Dangels, however that 405 is not a Dangel.
    That car and a half is not French, it's an Opel Corsa mk III.
    That blue van with a Renault logo in the UK is not a Renault at all!

    • Ugh… this isn't easy!!!

      • Vavon

        That small blue and beige van is not French either, I think it is Russian.
        But as you can see I don't know what it is either… An Ish maybe.

        • monkey_tennis

          I think that you might be right about it being an ish.

          From some angles it looks Renault-ish; from other angles it looks Fiat-ish…

        • Manic_King

          Right you are. Seems to be Izh 2717.

          <img src="; width="593">

          • Vavon

            So it Izh! Thanks for looking it up.

    • Firenza

      The blue truck is a Renault actually. A Series 50 to be exact. They were based on a old Dodge truck and made tip the early 90s.
      I always remember seeing them in UK Army convoys as my Mum had a Renault 5 and I recognised the badge, even if it was camo'd over.

      • Vavon

        You are right! I had no knowledge of this badge-engineering… Learned something today!

        <img src=";

  • david42

    Those corpse-like CX Breaks are breaking my heart. (Had to stop/think about which "break" to write!)

  • dukeisduke

    "To the restoration shop!! And then sell it to some gullible American connoisseur!!!"

    Chris Hanzel, call your office.

  • FuzzyPlushroom

    I had to look up the Talbot Samba (that blue hatchback).

    They say you learn something new every day… but sometimes you just don't really need to know.

    I'd gladly adopt a Rancho, a Dangelised 505, or a CX break, though…

  • Perc

    The "all road" Peugeot was made by Dangel. They're still at it, or were, in 2008.

  • 66Mustanger

    "…random branches…"
    This is the car used by the old bearded gentleman on Led Zeppelin's fourth album after his back finally gave out.

  • Rover1

    And the white Renault 25 has the topline V6 model headlights but it's 4 stud wheels confirm it as a four cylinder car.
    <img src=";

    • Vavon

      Oohoo… Your picture shows the even rarer long wheelbase Renault 25 Limousine!

      <img src=";

  • Joe Dunlap

    IF your having trouble discerning the Dacia from the Renault R-8, it may be because what you think is an R-8 is actually an R-10. Just sayin…….

    • Maybe… both are from before times, don't know old that Renaults well.

  • mseoul

    Great series again. I was away for a few days and missed reading. I think the yellow R12 could be a re-badged Dacia. Did Renault ever make one with a spoiler like that? By the end of the run Dacia did some amazing things to both ends of the R12. Didn't they also make them in Turkey under some other name? Those were highly modified as well, even the interiors.

  • 993cc


    A special request please: If you ever see another Pug 305 estate, could you try to get a shot from below of the rear suspension? I seem to remember they had horizontal springs, or something, but I can't remember how they worked or find an image online.

    • Vavon

      How about this… It's much bigger if you open the pic in a new window! 🙂

      <img src="; width="640/">

      • 993cc

        Hey, thanks. Not too detailed but enough to resolve the confusion I had about how it worked.

    • I would but…. I don't take these pictures. 🙂

  • Importamation

    Is that a USDM Renault Alliance?!? Looks like it with the rear side marker lights and perhaps US license plate holes going unused. How/why would that wind up over there? Were there not enough European ones to go around?

    • Holy poop, it must be because they were called Renault 9 in Europe.
      Excellent questions, I ask myself those every time I write one of these up.


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