Photo: Dacia (oldcarmanualproject)

The Dacia 1300 was Romania’s People’s Car. According to Renault’s website, it was the country’s leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, who in the mid-1960s called to have a vehicle manufactured under license, since Romania wasn’t quite ready to engineer a car from scratch. Renault won the bidding, and the then-prototype Renault 12 became the basis of a series of cars that would change transportation in Romania forever.


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David Tracy

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).