The FSO Warszawa was a Polish car manufactured by the Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych of Warsaw. The Warszawa was based on the Soviet Pobeda, and more than 250,000 Warszawa’s built in total between 1951 and 1973.
The Warszawa was the first new-design Polish car built after the Second World War. Warszawas were seen as sturdy and rugged, but, probably due to their heavy weight were underpowered and very thirsty!
The Warszawa was also available as a pick-up and the basis for two immensely popular rigid panel vans, the Żuk (made from 1958 to 1997) and the Nysa (made from 1958 to 1994).
Related automobile posts on Polish Poland:
Photos and details on the classic FSO Syrena.
Information and photographs of the FSO Polonez.
A time-lapse film of a 1973 Warszawa being restored.
The FSC Żuk (‘beetle’ in English) was a van and light truck produced in Lublin, Poland. And like the Nysa van the Zuk was based on the chassis, suspension, and engine from the FSO Warszawa. In total 587,000 Zuks were built between 1958 and when production ended in 1998.
Zuk vans at an open-air market in south-west Poland in the late 1970s.
The Zuk was a favourite of farmers, and a common place to find groups of them was at any local market when they were used to transport crops from the fields to the farmers’ own stalls.
The Polish post office (Poczta Polska) also used large numbers of Żuks, and a number of local fire services used them as personnel carriers and mini fire engines.
The FSO Polonez is a Polish car produced between 1978 to 2002. The Polonez is basically a rebodied Polski Fiat 125p. The car’s name comes from the Polish dance, polonaise.
The Polonez was a common sight in Poland until Poland joined the European Union in 2004. Many Poles then replaced their Polonez with relatively cheap and more modern used cars imported from Germany and elsewhere in Western Europe.
Related content on the Polish Poland website: information on the Polski Fiat 125p.
The FSO Syrena was a Polish car manufactured between 1957 and 1983. Over this very long production run more than 520,000 Syrenas were built. Cars were initially produced in Warsaw and then production moved to Bielsko-Biala.
Syrena is the Polish word for a Siren (mermaid), which, according to legend, protects the river Wisła and the city of Warsaw. The name Syrenka (little siren) is commonly used when referring to the Syrena in Poland.
A set of postage stamps commemorating 25 years of the establishment of the FSO car factory in Warsaw.
A van version of the Syrena was called the Syrena Bosto and a pick-up R20 were also produced.
Related content on Polish Poland:
Details of the very popular Polski Fiat 125p and Fiat 126p cars.
The ZSD Nysa was produced in the town of Nysa, Poland, from 1958 until 1994. The Nysa like the Zuk were vans heavily based on the FSO Warszawa car, which itself was a licensed version of the Russian GAZ-M20 Pobeda.
A photograph used in advertising produced by the makers of the Nysa van in the 1970s.
There were 380,575 Nysa vans produced. In Poland many Nysa vans were probably chiefly used by the Militia Police to carry policeman and prisoners about, but, also used as ambulances, tow trucks, fire trucks, and converted into pick-up trucks. Vast numbers – in some years almost 70% of production – were exported to fellow Eastern-bloc countries.
Related page on the Polish Poland website: Nysa’s big brother – the squarer Zuk van.