Friday 11 February 2011
At first, Polish engineers wanted Syrena to have a 4-stroke air-cooled engine and a self-supporting chassis. Due to a lack of deep-drawn metal parts and cost reductions, the first Syrena 100 cars were supposed to have a wooden bodywork covered with leather-like material. The cars were powered by 2-stroke engines designed by engineer Fryderyk Bluemke. The first two preprototypes of Syrena were made in December 1953. One - with a wooden framework, was constructed by Stanislaw Pankiewicz, while the second, steel-bodied car was made by Stanislaw Lukaszewicz. They met halfway by combining the first car's design with the steel bodywork of the second one (with one exception - the roof remained wooden). By march 1955 FSO had built 5 prototypes of Syrena 100. In September all of them took part in an experimental rally covering a distance of 5600 km. One of the cars, driven by Karol Pionnier, crashed, revealing the weak structure of the roof. As a result, the engineers decided to use steel instead of wood for this part of the car. One of the prototypes was exhibited at the Poznan Trade Fair in the fall of 1955. On March 20, 1957 the mass production of Syrena 100 started.
Syrena 100 was designed by engineers Stanislaw Lukasiewicz, Stanislaw Panczakiewicz and Fryderyk Bluemke. It was introduced to the public in June 1955 at the XXIV Poznan Trade Fair. The car aroused a lot of interest, which prompted the government to put it into production. At first, the production rate was to be 10 thousand cars a year. Because of financial reasons, Syrena 100 and an older Polish car - Warszawa shared many parts. As a result Syrena was much heavier than intended (950 kg).
In 1960 Syrena underwent a first, minor modernisation. The improved car had a pneumatic fuel pump and a different type of carburetor. It also received new windshield wipers and a better suspension.
The Syrena 102, produced in 1962 and 1963, had slightly different body details. The "S" version of this model shared an engine with Wartburg 312.
- engine: 2 cylinders
- capacity: 746 cc
- horsepower: 27 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 105 km/h