Authentic Snapshot
Discover Bucharest by driving a comrade’s car

What better way to discover Bucharest’s past & present and understand Romania than from the car that built the nation, the Dacia ?

The Red Patrol is the ultimate way of discovering Bucharest by riding a fully restored Romanian vintage car from the 70′-80’s!

Our Red Patrol Stars, The Dacias have to tell you for 4 different, unique and memorable stories about Bucharest  : The Communist Bucharest Tour, The Romanian Gastronomy Tour , The Bucharest of Contrasts Tour or The Flea Market tour.

Choose one of our Red Patrol Tours and :

  • Live the irresistible “Dacia effect”: everybody will look at you, will wave hands at you and even photo you!
  • Take the best trip pictures of you & your friends & the Dacias
  • Hear the most amazing life stories of how was everyday life in the Communist era or in the Present days
  • Discover the local traditions, the way people live in the city or sense the Romanian gastronomy
  • Discover the eclectic Bucharest’s in a 30 km drive on the large boulevards
  • Drive the Dacia like a Comrade in the Communist City Tour

You will feel like a rock star in the 35 years old Romanian car!

Get your companions and drive the working class car that served a nation during a trip down the memory lane!

Book A Tour
The authentic snapshot of communist Bucharest from behind the wheel

Communism Tour of Bucharest with Dacia

The Red Communism Tour of Bucharest is the out of the box private city tour that sends you back in time while driving a fully restored Romanian classic car from the 70′-80’s!

The ultimate city tour of Bucharest where you can drive a fully restored Romanian vintage car from the 70′-80’s!

Romanian Gastronomy Tour with Dacia

The Red Patrol Romanian Gastronomy Tour is a urban exploration of Bucharest with 80’s  Dacia for discovering the flavored gastronomic experiences & traditions of the Romanian cuisine & cooking .

The ultimate city tour of Bucharest with a fully restored Romanian vintage car from the 70′-80’s

Bucharest of Contrasts Tour with Dacia

The Red Patrol Bucharest of Contrasts tour  takes you in a visit to 3 different Bucharest neighborhoods: of the bourgeoisie, of the average people, and of the poor Romanians. Discover the life facts and get a memorable snapshot of how contrasting is real life is in Bucharest.

The ultimate city tour of Bucharest with a fully restored Romanian vintage car from the 70′-80’s !

Bucharest Flea Market Tour with Dacia

The Red Patrol  Bucharest Flea Market Tour with the 80’s Dacias will present you not just a history lesson and a nice picture for your Instagram. You will mingle with crowds of Romanians, learn to spot antiques and get a piece of history back with you to your country !

The ultimate city tour of Bucharest with a fully restored Romanian vintage car from the 70′-80’s !

We offer a trip into the past in a fully restored Dacia 1300/1310 car from the Communist era. Find out what it felt like for a working class family to drive around Bucharest 40 years ago!The amusement and excitement it will bring to your face alone is worth the price, so getting to your Bucharest accommodation place would just be an added bonus. 😉

Tailor Made Red Patrol Tour

Ask us what you would like to see and discover in Bucharest and we’ll craft for you the most memorable communist city tour.

The Cars
Meet the Red Patrol Stars

Malvina

Greetings Comrades

I am a glorious child of Romanian Socialism. I was born In June 1984 in Pitesti.I spent my childhood in Romania’s wineland – Vrancea.

Even if I am not the strongest or largest of vehicles, I am a hard worker and a pride for the father Communist Party. I am  Certified Historic Vehicle – and now I only carry people.

I joined The Red Patrol in 2018 , at 34 years old when I had driven 140.000 km in Vrancea District.

Now I love Bucharest!

Hope to take you around for a spin soon!

Domnica

Greetings Comrades!

I am one of the last of my kind. I was born in 1989, June with only 6 month before communism fell. I was born in Pitesti, but I grew up in Sector 2 of Bucharest.

I have lived in the Capital all my life where I was admired all the time for my blue paint exterior and blue leather interior.  Soon I will be a historic vehicle.

I joined The Red Patrol in 2018, at 29 years old when I had 42.000 km on the run.

I am in love with my hometown city , Bucharest.

And I hope I can make you love it too!

The Red Patrol Car on duty
The timeless DACIA

Dacia plans
Image credits © Drawingdatabase.com

You will undergo this unique trip in the most emblematic brainchild of the Romanian Communism – the DACIA.

Designed as a family-friendly car, the “1300” stands for the engine displacement. The first Dacia 1300 left the assembly lines on August 23rd, 1969 being promoted as a big achievement of the Communist industry – even though it was just a licensed product of the French Renault 12 car model.

Romanian engineers needed a car that was cheap to make, consumption-efficient and large enough for the whole family. Dacia became a sweetheart not just with Romanians. It managed to find its way as far as South America, Canada, China or North Korea, but also Great Britain or the Netherlands. Such features as air conditioning, airbags and ABS or MP3 players were never offered. Also, the right-side mirror and the radio were luxury options, and so were the safety belts!

Dacia 1310
Ironically, Dacia 1300 and later 1310, the emblematic car of the Romanian communism, had been the childhood family car of choice for the generation who got rid of the Romanian communism, such bringing its life as a car model to an end!

Several lift-ups were made during the years, but all of them reflected the stage of the Romanian economy, racing from the early, promising days of socialist industrialization to the later days of socialism decline and sheer poverty. The final result, step by step, was that all the lift-ups had a negative impact on quality and placed the model farther away from its inspiration: Renault 12. Just before its 35th anniversary, the last Dacia 1310 (sedan version), number 1,959,730, came out of the gates of the Mioveni (near the city of Pitești) production facility.

Bucharest during the two World Wars – The little Paris of the Balkans

Image credits © fortepan.hu

The city undergoes a drastic leap in evolution after 1918, when the major boulevards are built and electric trams and busses are introduced to the masses. It is also the time when a huge mixture of styles (still visible today) begins to dominate the landscape. One can still see the Bauhaus, Art Deco, Neoclassic or Beaux Arts edifices side by side with the Neoromanian-style buildings.

Image credits © fortepan.hu
Image credits © fortepan.hu

50’s – 70’s Bucharest – industrialization by all means necessary

Maybe nothing has had more impact on the architecture of Bucharest than the Communist regime. Urbanization and industrialization are the norm – the goal is to create a strong, independent industry meant to support a socialist, self-sufficient, Soviet–like state.

The Soviet troops invaded the country in 1944 and were initially meant to stay here for 20 years with the goal to help set up the communist regime. They came upon a severely damaged city with 1 million inhabitants struggling to recover after the bombardments of both German and allied forces

Image credits © fortepan.hu
Image credits © fortepan.hu

Soon after, The Monarchy was quickly transformed into a Working People Republic by means of force and fraudulent elections.

The first communist building saw the light of day in 1947 as an apartment building rose in order to house the countless workers recently hired for mixed Romanian-Sovietic enterprises in the wards of Ferentari, Vatra Luminoasă, Floreasca and Bucureștii Noi.

Image credits © artoteca.ro
Image credits © artoteca.ro

During the 50’s and 60’s more and more people were brought over to the capital in order to take up jobs in factories. The heart of little Paris is still kept intact as entire neighbourhoods are raised in true Communist manner for the members of the working class.

By the end of 1967, Bucharest counted over 1.6 million inhabitants

Image credits © accentmedia.ro
Image credits © accentmedia.ro
Image credits © Dinu Lazar https://bucurestiulmeudrag.ro/profil/DinuLazar
Image credits © Dinu Lazar https://bucurestiulmeudrag.ro/profil/DinuLazar

Bucharest in the 80’s – the downfall of Communism

Ceaușescu had been in office since 1964, but it wasn’t until 1972 that he enacted his personal dictatorship over Romania. He proclaimed himself Supreme Ruler, as well as head of the army. He was also the Carpathian genius and all Romanians were ‘new age people’ living with the sole purpose of serving the country and the leader of the Communist Party

Image credits © elcomunista.net
Image credits © elcomunista.net

Following a trip to Phenian, Ceaușescu became greatly influenced by the North Korean regime and decided to implement it (architecture and all) in Romania. Thus, a civic center was soon erected (the main part being the House of People). This was done at the cost of demolishing 7 square km of history (hospitals, churches, as well as countless homes) and relocation of more than 50,000 people.

Image credits © Dinu Lazar  https://bucurestiulmeudrag.ro/profil/DinuLazar
Image credits © Dinu Lazar https://bucurestiulmeudrag.ro/profil/DinuLazar

In 1989, as Ceaușescu’s regime found its violent end, Bucharest counted more than 2 million residents.

Image credits © fortepan.hu
Image credits © fortepan.hu

The city sustained a very rapid expansion, from less than a million inhabitants during early communist days, back in the 40’s, up to more than 2 million 50 years later.

Bucharest has always been full of life – an amazing place where old and new mixed up, with people born and raised in the city living together with newcomers from all around the country, brought over to work in the big factories and city yards which provided for the socialist development of the country, as per Nicolae Ceaușescu’s ambitions.

This unique mix of people catered for the exuberance and the charm of the city up to the ’80s. The city was expanding at an accelerated pace, with all-new neighbourhoods showing up in no time and had such facilities to offer as stadiums, concert halls, cinemas, theatres, libraries and public parks.

Image credits © digibuc.ro
Image credits © digibuc.ro
Image credits © fortepan.hu
Image credits © fortepan.hu

The daily life in the city, including going to work or to school, doing sports or attending cultural or entertainment events, was matched by its vivid nightlife. Bucharest was well renowned around the Balkans as the place to be if you want to party, with plenty of choices when it came to outdoor or indoor venues around the lakes that go right through the heart of the city, as well as fancy nightclubs where one could listen to the most famous Romanian artist of the time.

It all came to an abrupt end in the ’80s, when Nicolae Ceaușescu visited North Korea and met supreme leader Kim Ir Sen. This event triggered the “July thesis”, thus ruining the vivid and colourful life of the city, as well as destructing its appealing looks.

All restaurants, clubs and other public recreational venues changed their schedule and had to close earlier that 22.00, while the only, state-owned TV station in the country had to shorten its broadcast to only 2 hours per day, with all content having to serve Ceaușescu’s cult of personality. Subsequently, this forced virtually all restaurants and clubs in town to a progressive shutdown, as there was pretty much nothing left to offer!

Image credits © Clara Spitzer , 1968 , http://sanuuitam.blogspot.ro/2013/10/asa-cum-fost.html
Image credits © Clara Spitzer , 1968 , http://sanuuitam.blogspot.ro/2013/10/asa-cum-fost.html
Image credits © fortepan.hu
Image credits © fortepan.hu

They were not allowed to host or broadcast any entertainment; there was a constant shortage of food and beverages, while any foreign music was simply forbidden. Soon after, all basic food got rationalized, and so were hot water and energy supplies. The gas supply got drastically limited to one tankful per car per month, thus rendering travelling by car in your own country impossible!

Like all Romanians, people of Bucharest had to find shelter and ultimately stand up and fight against this aggressive invasion of their personal lives and constant attempts to turn them into a homogenous mass of working people who only live to work and praise the Party and its Supreme Leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu.

Image credits © http://www.platzforma.md/arhive/36125
Image credits © http://www.platzforma.md/arhive/36125

The Red Patrol Communist Tour of Duty will take you on a trip in time, where you will witness the rise and fall of communism. Past and present will mix and give you the experience of a lifetime!