Dacia 1100 S

We should continue to work for equality, even though it's such a difficult thing to achieve. Writing about cars can be a bit depressing, really, often in areas of the world undergoing immense societal change.

If we're being honest here, the only reason I'm writing about this car is because of the Partidul Comunist Român (PCR; aka the Romanian Communist Party) and members of the Nomenklatura who saw fit to gain something from a new car-making concern in Romania. After all, Nicolae Ceaușescu drove the first Dacia 1100 out of the factory. Just by saying it was a car built in that part of the world during that time period is shorthand for: 

  1. it was probably not made very well, and;
  2. it was probably not widely available or affordable to the average person.

Without a time machine, it's difficult to compare production line quality, anyway, right? But what's important here is that the 1100 was just a Renault 8 assembled from a kit. And adding an 'S' was code for "Sport"—and created a model only available to police and race teams. Even if you were a racer, competition was also something managed by the long tentacles of the ruling party, and so there weren't exactly many customers for the car. 

More likely, a connected racer asked for one. How many of the 1100 S sedans were built? Fewer than 100. This car doesn't exist as a company or enthusiast recognizing a need in the market among consumers for such a product—it exists as a Dacia as a hand-out. The rarest hand-out of them all, if you care to know, is the later model with a square-ish front end. boitierrouge.com says that the 60 horsepower engine came from the Renault R8S, not the Gordini.

That doesn't make the car any less real, of course. But once the passion from Renault is filtered through the Iron Curtain, how much of it is left?