Monday, February 21, 2011

Top gear

For anyone driving, or even just walking, the streets of Poland, one thing is obvious. No, I don't mean the sorry state of the roads. Not this time. I mean something just as obvious: Poles buy better cars. For those who foreigners who have been here for some time (right Scott?) [Ed - right], all those Maluchy (Fiat 126p), Ladas, Wartburgs and even Polonezes are either in the trash bin of automotive history or on the fast track to the same place.

Replacing them are their more (or usually more) modern counterparts made by Toyota, Opel, Ford, Fiat, Skoda and whatnot. In Warsaw and other major cities, one can quite often stumble upon a Porsche or even an Aston Martin and, be it a sign of times, nobody really bats an eye.

This rather long introduction brings me to the point that Poland's Police is rather outgunned and underequipped to handle the burden as it is often stuck with cars like the "Poldek" you see in the picture.

However, fear not for your safety law-abiding citizens! Tremble all speed-loving maniacs! The Polish Police has bought a fleet of brand new top-notch Alpha Romeo 159s. But there's just one catch or two, according to the daily Dziennik.

It seems the wheels and winter tyres for these cars actually come from a Citroen...and are too wide to drive...and too big so no more than 3 people can fit inside. But even if they get out onto the streets, apparently the policemen will have a rather chilly ride: heating goes only half-ways...because it interferes with the camera used to record speeding cars. Given that it is something like -15 degrees Celsius outside these days that makes them rather unusable.

All in all this is nothing out of the ordinary -- just another Polish tender won by a reliable Italian car maker.

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