Beautiful Bulgarian old-timers

Sofia unidentified motorbike

Lovely! Can anyone help to identify this motorbike?

Some days ago, we were emerging laden from a supermarket, when this beauty (above) chugged up and parked. It was ridden by an oldish man with a long, flowing grey beard. He and his female pillion passenger were dressed in denims, black leathers and biker boots. Their matching helmets were matt black, modelled on old German military designs. Quite a sight!

Sofia unidentified motorbike

I’ll bet those panniers were hand-made!

By the time I got out the camera, the couple had disappeared, leaving me with an unanswered question: can anyone out there identify this motorbike and provide more information? There seem to be no identifying marks – the logo on the fuel tank looks like a club badge. If you know something about this bike, I’d be grateful if you’d contact me via Comments.

Sofia unidentified motorbike

I love that hooter!

Bulgarian classics

Coincidentally, I happened on an interesting used car website based in UK. There’s a page devoted to Bulgarian-owned cars for sale.[1] A quick glimpse into the past!

1989 Trabant 601 (Offers)

Bulgarian used car for saleThere are still plenty of Trabants to be seen around Bulgaria, in varying condition, ranging from stinking fume-belcher to highly customised and modified show cars. As for this one: “The car is in excellent condition. I have this car for 23 years and only put 28000 kilometers on it. It’s been in a garage the whole time. I also have an extra engine for the car.”

Very wise, that last point.

1972 Volga Gaz 24 (€3,900)

Bulgarian used car for saleThese Volgas sound terrific, with their slow-revving engine and burbling exhaust! The interior is a reminder of an older aesthetic.

The ad says: “The car is in perfect condition only on 56754 km (real mileage) and it’s running very good (sic). The paint and the interior are original. No rust. It has been kept in a garage all the time and I’m the only one owner. No accidents. Non-smoking vehicle. Extras: Autogas LPG System “Lovatto”, new accumulator “Bosch” and 4 new tires. Unique modification series with band speedometer instead of the usual arrow!”

1979 Gaz 66 (€7,800)

Bulgarian used truck for saleSo, you may want something a little larger than the latest SUV – the get-you-anywhere, no-questions-asked truck!

“GAZ 66 – Vietnam war model – truck chassis + box body produced – 05.1979 year – 63 kw petrol engine , Manuel gear box , 6200 km , 1+1 seats in the cab , independent heater. Box body: original and fully equipped with electronic devices and gadget for tracing and connections, phone central, oscilloscope, independent petrol heater, etc., for military activity. All original, perfect conditions, clear papers.”

1937 Fiat 508 C (€38,340)

Bulgarian used car for saleDefinitely built to last, at 75 years of age!

A simple, succinct  sales blurb: “The car is in perfectly state. Colours are red and black.”

Will the car I may buy tomorrow last as long as this… ?


Writing this post reminds me of the ‘best’ car my parents ever had – a gorgeous Sunbeam Rapier (1958), on which I learned to drive (and it really shifted, for those days!). Here’s a similar model (same colour scheme) found on Flickr, photo by Welsh Harlequin.[2]

Sunbeam Rapier Mk II

Still gorgeous!

[1]: Used cars BG

[2]: Flickr photo


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3 Responses to “Beautiful Bulgarian old-timers”

  1. v.k. venkov Says:

    Looks to me like a GDR-made Awo Sport, which had a 425 cc engine or some such funny number. At least the kardan-shaft transmission points in that direction, and the engine size seems to be in that vicinity – 425. The logo, however, was different, a circle with three rays coming out straight left and right — much more similar to the Czech Jawas than what you have in the photos.

  2. v.k. venkov Says:

    And some more recollections: Awo Sport’s had a deep, throaty diesel-like sound, and appeared in Sofia around 1960-61 or thereabouts (might be off by one year either way), at about the same time as the first Italian Gilera 600s.

  3. philinsofia Says:

    Dear V K Venkov,
    Many thanks for both comments. I’ll check out what you suggest. Yes, it was ‘deep, throaty’ – great clue!

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