Dacia could be described as a nearly perfect vehicle for thrill-seeking drivers. The lack of safety features that one would normally find on any other cars have turned the vintage 1300 model into a lavishly unsafe drive. Idealistically, dare devils would have jumped at the opportunity to take the old Dacia for a spin but the 1300 never became popular with racing enthusiasts.
However, the 1300 represents only a chapter in the few-paged Dacia story. Dacia is a Romanian car maker that fortunately did not share the same fate as a Aro, the other Romanian automobile brand. Currently part of the Renault group, Dacia has a rather recent history, its origins being traced back to 1968 when the first factory was raised in Colibasi, near Pitesti, Arges county.
Its first model range comprised the rather rugged but aesthetically repulsive Dacia 1300 and a few follow-ups that were actually slightly modified 1300's, such as the 1310,1400 and 1410. Despite the Dacian inspired name, the car is not entirely Romanian, having been the result of a deal with Renault who provided the tooling and expertise.
In fact the first Dacia models were strongly based on the Renault model 12. The cars that rolled out the Colibasi factory's gates were affordable and reliable, their maybe greatest advantage being interchangeability of parts. Dacias wer no Caddilacs but they were built in such a way that one could assemble one in a living room while vacuuming and watching an Introduction in Neuro-Surgery DVD.
Strangely even for the average Romanian patriot, a lot of Dacias were rebadged and exported. Gone by the name of Denem, these superior models were the result of discriminatory engineering, having a separate assembly line where they would be carefully welded and bolted into aerodynamics-mocking splendor.
As soon as this information leaked, many romanians would travel to Hungary to buy their Dacias. Because of the coercive communist regime that discouraged novelty, the Dacias kept the same body lines for some 35 years, becoming immensely outdated in the process.
Additionally, the ties between Dacia and Renault were burned down. Fortunately, this urged the Romanian manufacturer to launch the first entirely Romanian built model in 1996, the Nova, sporting a redesigned body that made it look like flowing water compared to its predecessors.
In 1999, Dacia and Renault buried the hatchet and became a couple once more. Several improvements follow and Dacia starts registering sales increases. Morally boosted by favorable reviews, Dacia reveals a replacement for the Nova in 2000: the Supernova. This model had exactly the same looks as the Nova which hints at the poor disguise skills that must have been used prior to its release.
However, production of the Supernova was discontinued only 3 years later when the Solenza was introduced. This brand new model was a nearly perfect copy of the Supernova. Somehow, the very obvious resemblances go unnoticed for many of Romania's inhabitants.
In a fortunate turn of events, an actual genuine new product rolls out the factory's gates in 2004: the Logan. Boasting a higher ground clearance, generous luggage and passenger volume, the Logan becomes a hit. Propelled by either an 1.5 8/16 valves turbocharged Diesel engine or a 1.4/1.6 gasoline one, the Logan registers the highest sales in all of Dacia's history. Shortly after its release, the Logan MCV comes along followed by a 2008 facelift and the release of the terrificly dull Sandero, a Logan inspired hatchback.