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Am I crazy wanting to buy an FSO Warszawa (in Warsaw) Garbus!


stash1 3 | 7
20 Oct 2011 #1
Hello
As a small child I always remember these cars, family and friends owned them in the 70's and I vowed one day I would buy a Garbus!

Must be a mid life crisis!

Are they really as bad as people say they are? (I have had classic cars before so used to old tubs but....)

I have registered on a polish car forum that has an interest in them but no reply/response etc.

Trawled through otomoto and allegro but nothing that I want plus the prices are crazy in some cases? Looked through assorted Classic Car forums ? (Can anyone recommend a good one?)

Bulgaria seems to be a hotspot for them but realistically for me - that is too far to travel (I live in UK)
Why are they all used for wedding hire?

Can anyone advise where is a good place to look?
Is there a small ads type web link somewhere to cross reference local papers or is it still a case of just the locals putting a 'For Sale' sign on the door!

One last question I see some are on a classic car plate type system, what does this entail? Can you only use it over a certain number of months etc?

Thank you very much in advance

Stash
g60edition 6 | 175
20 Oct 2011 #2
Try contacting practical classics with regards to UK clubs and spares they may be able to point you in the right direction
OP stash1 3 | 7
20 Oct 2011 #3
Thanks G60edition

I already posted on there ages ago - tumble weed!

Will keep looking anyway.
Richfilth 6 | 415
20 Oct 2011 #4
You won't find much help with these cars outside Poland. The FSO Club in the UK concentrates more on the Polski Fiat products rather than the M20 Warszawa.

The Garbus style that you are looking for is for the much older Warszawa, built between 1951 and 1963. These cars are normally known as M20 Warszawas (and were sold as such from '51 to '56) because they were powered by the M20 engine, a 2.1 litre four cylinder engine that puts out 50KM and uses 14l/100km. This engine was replaced by the slightly better S-21 engine in 1964, when the car was renamed the Warszawa 203.

Prices start at 15000 zl for a driveable example of an M20, although you can get the "normal" Warszawa (203 or 223) for half that price. Any car you get will need work, and getting spare parts of the old M20 engines is not easy, while the S21 engine was in every Warszawa, Zuk and Nysa until 1990, and forms the basis of the LDV engines today.

There's no specific Warzawa clubs, but the following Polish FSO clubs might help:

fsoautoklub.pl
fsomoto.xip.pl
fpm.up.pl
syrena.eu

If I can help out in any other way, just let me know. My finder's fees are very reasonable ;)
OP stash1 3 | 7
20 Oct 2011 #5
Thanks Richfilth

Appreciate your info there. Yes agree its going to be hard but I have been researching them also and for me (sentimental reasons) it has to be the Garbus not the saloon.

I have been lucky and never had issues finding parts for obscure cars before and I had a lot of cars! This one though is probably the spark that started all that interest?

Thanks for those club links a few on there I did'nt look at? I know what you mean about the FSO club, I was going to register but as you say its all Fiats!

Have you seen the Stadobaranow club - that looks like fun and a few on there its just trying to track down the owners and being cheeky asking if they want to sell ? In this instance ideally I want one that is in good general condition, I dont want a full resto project anymore, not enough hours in the day.

I have this mad idea of driving it back from Poland to UK.

My concern is - will the damn thing get me home (I will come prepared of course) and will it be hassle with paperwork in Poland exporting a car? I know its Eurozone now so should be easier however Poland is Poland and I guess they have to keep some red tape somewhere do they?

Has anyone driven over from Poland to Calais and over to UK? Are we looking at 2 days? Be aware these cars will be 55mph max during that run!
Richfilth 6 | 415
20 Oct 2011 #6
I occasionally contribute to one of the classic car magazines over here, so I'm more than happy to help you out, and I can certainly understand your sentimental attachment to the car. Just bear in mind that anything you buy will cost you more money than you expect.

However, if this is your pride and joy, I really wouldn't plan on doing 1500km in one of these cars, especially not over two days. Any example you get will be at least 50 years old, and I would never trust any car that old to do that distance if I hadn't gone over it thoroughly beforehand, and without a boot full of spare parts.

At 55mph max, you simply won't be allowed to use the German autobahn system; the first police car you encounter will pull you off as an obstruction. And the Polish roads will simply wreak havoc with the vehicle. You're far better swallowing the expense and using a trailer to bring the car home, otherwise you'll be stuck in the middle of nowhere, in a country where you don't speak the language, with a repairman who has no idea how to rebuild a carburettor on a pushrod sidevalve engine. Not worth the risk, IMHO. Especially considering the brake cylinders barely last 1000km on these old things...

As far as red tape goes; as long as the car has all the right paperwork to get it on the road in Poland, then it should be OK to bring it to the UK, but it will be subject to type approval. You'll have to contact the DVLA directly, or ask the classics guys on the Pistonheads forum for more info on that sort of thing.
PWEI 3 | 612
20 Oct 2011 #7
You're far better swallowing the expense and using a trailer to bring the car home,

Either that or getting AA five-star Europe and then putting a tap in the fuel line, works out a fair bit cheaper.
OP stash1 3 | 7
20 Oct 2011 #8
Thanks Richfilth i understand what your saying. Its very kind of you to offer help and advice.
I have owned 50's classics for years as my normal daily cars. I currently use my 73
Vw camper to do 700 miles weekly and no issues at all. I do treat them as cars rather than waxed to death classics! Hahaha!
But yes i have considered towing or hiring a low loader but they are so expensive assuming they let you take it abroad?
Well my camper has a towbar so just hire a trailer eh? But that messes up my plans, idea was to fly over and drive back. Then there is the parking up overnight at a hotel - i will be worried sick some scumbag will steal them? English plated camper with car under a tarp on a trailer?

Like i said crazy idea but its never stopped me before, fool that i am!
Ok i need to think again.
My other half just told me i am NOT going in the van!!! Looks like i need to cash in some favours with friends!!

Would be a nice adventure though. :-)
Richfilth 6 | 415
20 Oct 2011 #9
Comparing a VW with an FSO is a fool's choice and no mistake. As much as I hate VWs (and I do, with a passion), they're infinitely more reliable than the FSO.

Buying old is one thing, but I had a Syrena once. In 700km it lost the speedo, the exhaust and one brake cylinder, before chewing up the gear selector forks just by engaging reverse in a car park. And it had an absolute top speed of 70km/h. Do not underestimate just how awfully put together these cars are, even if the mechanical parts are brand new.

Plus, if you're towing a car of the magnitude of a Warszawa, you need a trailer with brakes and a vehicle rated to carry 1400kg; your VW Camper will NOT be suitable.

I'm open to adventure, but flying over here, buying a Warszawa blindly and then trying to drive it home will not end well.

Considering the number of companies going from Poland to France to bring back used cars, it might be a good idea to look for holowanie/import companies on allegro, and see if they can trailer your car to Calais for you. Then you can just hop over on a ferry and bring it into the UK under its own steam, and take it from there.
OP stash1 3 | 7
20 Oct 2011 #10
Haha thats funny! I used to run a Wolseley 15/50 for years amongst others and just an odd funny , reliable as anything.
I know aircooled vws are love it or hate it relationship but they are easy to work on and although in recent years elevated beyond all belief to some trendyness that borders on ridiculous, i do like driving them.

I have already discounted using the van, my friend has a navara pickup which would be ideal and easily handle the weight of an old 1940's designed rust heap. :-) i just need to ask him politely if he fancies trip abroad.

Suppose you need to remember poor quality materials, lack of investment in those days etc, its amazing they ever produced anything? But still non of this puts me off.

Golden rule as always with classic heaps is buy the best you can afford. For me the problem is the remote research i need to do to find such a beast.

Search continues....
kimbo
11 Aug 2013 #11
Hello,

I have spotted one for sale in Taiwan.


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