Van – A Stillborn Romanian Minivan

The proposed minvan

Just before the Iron Curtain fell, engineers at the Romanian Întreprinderi de Asistenţă Tehnică şi Service pentru Autoturisme (Workshop For Technical Assistance and Repair of Automobile), the central Dacia workshop which was set up in 1973 in Pitesti developed a new minivan. A single body was produced before the project was shelved.

In Adevărul, a well-known Romanian daily Nicolae Cosmescu, one of the participants of the projects, offered his memories and drawings.

“In 1988 Prof. Gheorghe Poţincu became the head of IATSA”. Poţincu was a leading Romanian engineer focusing on automobiles. From the late 1950s he worked at Campulung, where localised production of the Soviet GAZ 69 took place, later becoming the Aro. In 1969 he set up the Piteşti University Center, basically organising technical higher education in the city. He spent two stints as a rector. Then he went on to fulfill political positions. From 1986-1988 he led the central body of automotive industry and finally from 1988 to 1990 IASTA.

“Poţincu called me one day and said he would like to develop a minivan. There was a room with special access only designated for this project. The idea was to have a seven-seater vehicle, using the mechanical parts from the future Dacia Nova”. Cominescu and his collegaues studied contemporary models, like the Espace, Voyager before getting hold of a Nova. Full-scale drawings were made on the walls of the room. As there was no chance for moulds, sections were carved out from wood. These bucks were used to hammer out the shaped of the body. “By December 1989 we have completed the first body”. It was hoped that a running prototype would be completed in 1990 but the Romanian revolution swept the project away.

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