As luck would have it, I was out and about with no camera for most of the day.
Among the unicorns I spotted: a Hyundai XG350 and a Renault Safrane. It’s the Hyundai I regret missing the most. I haven’t seen one since 2006 and that one was a neighbourhood car. In all I have seen two, one of them several times. This time I could do not do more than
glance at the interior and briefly admire the Bentleyesque exterior. The official line is that these are ornate showboats and that they are yet it makes them charming machines. The car lumbered off with a distinctly soft-sprung motion. This is a car I’d like to test. I’ll have to make special efforts if I ever shall do so.
The Safrane is nearly as rare. Maybe I saw one in the last five years. Unlike the XG350 it’s not even that distinguished: no brightwork and the look of misjudgement. Even I can’t find much about it to justify a defence.
The feature vehicle is a late-model Barkas B1000-1. The 1 means it has a 1.3 VW engine instead of the two-stroke DKW two-stroke unit it had for most of the time from 1961. The vehicle was made in Chemnitz and production ended in 1991. These iron-curtain cars are intriguing and I am slightly vexed that they were snuffed out after re-unification rather than allowed to have successors and to compete on a level field.