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The Dacia automobile company was founded in 1966 under the name Uzina de Autoturisme Pitești (UAP). The main Dacia factory was built in 1968, in Colibași (now called Mioveni), near Pitești. Dacia acquired the tooling and basic designs of the Renault 12.
However, until the tooling was ready it was decided to produce the Renault 8 under licence; it was known as the Dacia 1100.
From 1968 to 1972, 37,546 cars of model 1100 were produced, with a very minor cosmetic change to the front in early 1970. Also produced in very limited numbers was the 1100S, with twin headlamps and a more powerful engine, used by the police and in motor racing. Nicolae Ceaușescu driving the first Dacia 1100 in 1968 Dacia 1100S (licensed R8 Gordini version) Dacia 1300, a model from 1973The first Dacia 1300 left the assembly line ready for 23 August parade in 1969, and was exhibited at the Paris and Bucharest shows of that year. Romanians were delighted with the modernity and reliability of the car, and waiting lists were always lengthy.
By 1970, there were two variants: the standard 1300 and the 1300L (for Lux); in 1974 the 1301 Lux Super was introduced, which had novelties such as a heated rear screen, a radio, windscreen mirrors on both sides and a more luxurious trim. This was reserved for the Communist Party nomenklatura.Changes soon followed as export markets opened up. In 1973, the estate variant, 1300 Break, was produced. There were 1300F (estate with no rear seats, for carrying goods) and 1300S (ambulance) variants, and in 1975 the Dacia 1302 pick-up was developed. 2,000 units were made until 1982.
Dacia also produced the Estafette, a complete knock down version of the Renault Estafette van, in limited numbers, but given the competition of the Bucharest-made T.V. van, numbers were very limited. In the very early 1980s, the Renault 20 was also assembled as the Dacia 2000; because of the exclusivity of this model numbers were always very limited. The 2000 was only available in dark blue or black, and was reserved for the Party elite. In 1978 plans were revealed for the Renault 18 to be assembled by Dacia, but the Renault contract lapsed and Dacia went its own way.
* All vehicle images and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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