Mt. Vernon Register-News from Mt Vernon, Illinois on January 27, 1969 · Page 8
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Mt. Vernon Register-News from Mt Vernon, Illinois · Page 8

Mt Vernon, Illinois
Issue Date:
Monday, January 27, 1969
Page 8
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A THE REGISTER-NEWS — MT. VEIINON. ILLINOIS Cars Built To Last In Eastern Europe FAMILIAR SIGHTS on.the streets of Prague are the little four-cylinder Skoda (top) and the unusually styled eight- cylinder Tatra. Both are rugged cars, but handle somewhat like tanks. By BOB COCHNAR SKA Automotive Editor PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia.—To those of you who are thinking about a pleasant, drive through the Bohemian forests of CzeehosoJovakia, warning: Haw no tear of 1hc border guards (a Kennedy liaJf-dollar works many wonders i. Concern yourself not with an Ameriean- haVint,' populace I practically everybody in this country has a relative in the States). No, unfortunately, it is the mundane vou must worry about. Like, where do you find gasoline propel a Western-built auto without a constant, erratic shudder? I had. picked up a Mercedes 220 in Munich, about 200 miles from Prague, with the intention of spending a week or so prowling about Czechoslovakia. Just before 1ho Czech-German border the tank was filled with a decent German product. (Mobil, I think it was), which kept the car moving Cor several days. The t i m e eventually came when more petrol was needed so naturally I pulled up to the nearest pump in Prague und topped off.. Weil, ever shut off the ignilion and find that your car insists on running like a bronco? Even a sturdy Mercedes can't put up with too much bucking and wheezing. In discussing my plight with an American newsman, I learned that Czech gasoline is about 78 octane about 20 octane less than what a Western motor can tolerate. For a six-cylinder, highly t u n e d Mercedes, il is disastrous., he told me that I could buy 1U& octane at one of a half-dozen pumps in all of Czechoslovakia. With a crudely drawn map. i shuddered through the slrecis of Prague, spied the filling station, had the tank drained of more 1han 120 crowns' worth (about S,X) and refilled. How Czech-built cars operate on such gunk is almost beyond imagining. The cars of are, in fact, about, lor they usual. The version of Kaslern Europe worth knowing are indeed un- Skoda is the local the Volkswagen, a rear-engined. hard-driving little number which handles somewhat like a light tank. It's powered by a four-cylinder which produces about 30 h.p. They last foi years and years. Skodas built in 1940 are not uncommon. A step up is the Tatra, a four-door eight-cylinder sedan and graced with the strangest iront and rear ends in Europe The styling, .such as it is, is Cabout a decade old but if stiil of a sufficiently high octane lo • looks as if it was copied from a ! Buck Rogers comic strip, circa i 1946. This item handles like a, I : heavy tank. ! - Wartburgs from East Gei- ; many are also common, as are : Russian Mnskvitc h e s and , | Chaikas, the latter being reserv- , ed for VIPs. One gives a '.vide ' Berth lo anyone in a Chaika; tin- occupants could be a higri- . ; level commissar or a lop mir- i ;ister. Oddly, it would not tie ; Communist party chief Alex- ; i andre Dubcek, who pilots hi;, : own four-year-old Skoda. Chaikas are also popular with cisiling journalists, since Imvei- echclon officials might mislake them lor influentials. I Czechoslovakia is an antique car buff's Nirvana. The streets are filled with a great assortment of prewar cars, including 1II29 Opels, Iftte Mercedes, I9o0 Model A Fords, old Locomobile.;, Dodges, Austins, Auto-Unions. Fiats, Renaults and original Volkswagens, presumably left over from the German occupation. And the ears all run, loo. Most Czechoslovak car owner--, double as extraordinary good mechanics. Regular breakdowns are not uncommon and where does one find a part for a Ivi32 Fiat ? Czechoslovaks appear to be careful drivers although, with only about .'-500.000 automobiles in a country with 14 million people, the accident rale is high. Too, there are no supei highways and the new; macadam roads are often cluttered wit b ox-carls, bicycles and pedestrians. One does uol drive fast in the. People's Republic. Czechs do appreciate fine machinery. My Mercedes ia rare bird here) was closely inspected by most passers-by and several limes I opened the engine compartment for interested observers. Ilerlzsky hasn't arrived m Czechoslovakia as yet (though il operate in Yugoslavia) so Tuzex and other local agencies put a visitor in the driver's seat USUAL SCENE r— In northern Finland a boy and his reindeer are seldom parted. Young Laplanders walk • their antlered pets as American kids do with their dogs. »i *ilv MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 19S9 PARK PLAZA SHOPPING CENTER Mt. Vernon, Illinois Open Mon. Thru Sat. 9:30 Till 9:00 Plenty Of Free Parking Clearance SFW iT YouRseif .Patterns printed on fa brie baek iut and seir styles for ail girls DRESS KITS 7-12 t 8izvn U-lii The everything kit! Everything you need l:o sew a new Jail dress . . . instructions, thread, zipper, all the trini- miings! And fabric with the pattern |>rinl< d ri'llil on the back, just cut along the size-line! Authentic speedway miniature... LOTUS FORD RACER A real winner! 11% in. of" extra .strength plastic with balloon type wheels, chrome-like motor, roll bar, exhaust and driv:r. Water-repellent Cravenette POPLIN ZIP JACKETS Avril® rayon - and - cotton. Mandarin neck, bulky industrial zipper, pockets. Navy, brown, green, camel, gold, red. Misses'S-M-L. Slightly Irregular For home or travel BALLERINAS Colorful vinyls; assorted trims. S-M-L-XL ... .1.99 Patent vinvl, gold,fabrics. S-M-ML-L-XI 2.99 Use any #126 film cartridge... NSTANT LOAD CAMERA Take beautiful black and white or color photos the easy way with instamatic type cartridge and flash cube camera, Special buy! See-thru plantie .. j SHOE BOXES 3 for^l Sturdy plastic boxes protp°t yoviC shoes; are made for convenient stocking. 'Saves space! Plastic HtmOBH 2.29 Includes dish drainer, silverware cup, drain tray, dish mop and soap diyh. White, Colors. Comparable value 1S<! Life-like LARGE OPE Looks just like nature's own! Use singly in a bud •vase or mass together for a spectacular bouquet. Realistic polycrepe finish. Pick yours today! LOW, LOW PRICE Hot forged, satin finish imports... Beautifully balanced, modern design tableware in a soft satin finish. Sold 4 to a setting: teaspoon, dessert/soup spoon, fork and serrated edge knife. JUST SAY "CHARGE-IT" IN EVERY DEPARTMENT. •manwnow SATISFACTION 0UARANTEED-REP1ACEMENT OR MONEY REFUNDED

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