Enthusiasm in Estonia

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Sir,

I noticed a letter by Mr. Richard Bossons on page 861 of the July Motor Sport and I can tell him that there are lots of enthusiasts in the Baltic Republics. The old car movement started here in Estonia about twelve years ago with a parade of vehicles in the second biggest town of Estonia, named Tartu. About five years ago Latvians became active and dug out all sorts of old cars which they bought or swapped for new Ladas or battered Volgas, and collected some Mercedes-Benz, a Morgan, a Rolls-Royce and so on, with some beautiful big Horch and Maybach cabriolets, unrestored Of course, and sometimes converted for transport use in a way that was painful to see.

A couple of years ago we saw in the Latvian capital Riga some of the results of the work of restoration. Some of it was not very authentic of course (we have trouble also with identification of particular models, not to speak of-information needed for a real restoration work, or bits and pieces that are nearly unobtainable for rare cars), but much of the paintwork and upholstery had been done with great love and care.

The first Antique Automobile Club was formed in Riga, the first in the USSR, and in January 1976 we formed one in Estonia, with a rally from Tallinn to Rakvere.

Mr. Bossons talks about the WARSZAWA (pronounced Varshava). This was built from 1951 until 1973 in Poland’s capital and was based on the Pobijeda GAZ-M20 (Victory). A revised version with o.h.v. 70 b.h.p. engine and a bulbous boot instead of the original fastback was called WARSZAWA 223 (there was an Estate model called 223K and a taxi called 223T).

In Latvia three rare cars exist, extracted from Moscow recently. The first is unknown in your country, it is a ZIL-112S which is in effect a Russian AC-Cobra. The second is a racing BMW 328 with all-enveloping body. The third is a 16-cylinder Auto-Union Grand Prix car! This last I have yet to see.

A friend sends me your Motor Sport which fulfils both my interests, racing and history.

Tallinn, Estonia MARGUS H. KUUSE