Originally Posted by NordikNerd
Was it possible to import a MB to Poland in the 70's ? or only in the late 80's during perestrojka times ?
It was possible to import western car to Poland during all the commie times, even in dark stallinism era. But i't wasn't easy. First, You had to have a passport, which was limited acces good, especially before 70's. Second, You had to have western money, which - in general - was officially forbidden. And third, You needed to be wealthy enough - average worker earned so poor he wasn't able to save enough deutsche marks or dollars for even a second hand western car. But there were people, who could afford it. And Mercedes W115 and W123 were the dreamcars of taxi drivers (but few of them could afford it).
In the SSSR the only taxi was the Volga. The Latvia minibus was a "marshrutnoje taxi" a taxi with a predestinated route ( obviously a taxi which didn't fullfill the purpose of a taxi)
Were these taxis also common in Poland or did the Polonez serve as a taxi during those times ? I saw a Kieslowski-film about a young thief murdering a cabdriver, the thief later was hanged. I think the taxi was a polonez
"A short film about killing". And yes, it was the FSO Polonez:
The very basic taxi cars during commie times were FSO Warszawa...
... and since mid seventies Polski Fiat 125p/FSO 1500:
FSO Polonez was much more expensive than PF 125p/FSO1500, and thus not that common. Most taxis in commie times were state owned, private drivers usually used Fiat 125p too, Volga GAZ 24 was popular among them, and of course everyone dreamed of forementioned Mercedes models. Many of Volgas have been modified with diesel engines (usually Mercedes or Peugeot built), as petrol was limited while diesel fuel wasn't. We didn't have "marshrutnoje taxi".