Reader Submissions: Nostalgia and Price Tag Lead to 1974 FSM Syrena 105L

Nostalgia and Price Tag Lead to 1974 FSM Syrena 105L

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
December 30, 2013
8 comments

Owner: Slawek Ciurzynski

Year, Make, and Model: 1974 FSM Syrena 105L

Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Photographers: Kasia Czajczynska and Slawek Ciurzynski

Mr. Slawek Ciurzynski has been a car guy since his youth but has always favored smaller brands. The Syrena is particularly close to him because he learned to drive in one and took part in his first competitive rallies in it as well. He also likes how its public perception has gone from “not very highly regarded, through years of intentional destruction in the ’90s to collector’s item status in recent years.“ It was built by FSM, or Fabryka Samochodów Małolitrażowych, a partnership between FSO (of Poland) and Fiat to build licensed Fiats in Poland (editor’s note: the Syrena was not a licensed Fiat, rather a car that began production under the FSO brand in 1957).

Additionally, he thought that “it would be funny to own something unique, something different from dozens of Porsches, BMWs, Corvettes, and Cobras, something that would draw the attention of other car enthusiasts who have never seen anything like this before. And it does.” According to Slawek the Syrena prompts inquiries and brings a smile to people’s faces wherever they see him driving it. And to his surprise many children pay attention to it and like it. He thinks it’s because it resembles a toy car to them. “Of course there was another reason why I chose this car over other famous classics: the price tag,” Slawek plainly admits, “and probably a little bit of nostalgia also played a role.”

He bought it a few years ago, sight unseen, online. The FSM was located in Poland and after purchasing it, his friend picked up the car and drove it almost 700km to the nearest port where it was shipped to Slawek in Canada. He likes to drive it all over but particularly on country b-roads with good scenery. But Slawek does take it on long drives too, his favorite, last year to Colorado, to drive the famed Pikes Peak route. He’s also taken the Syrena to many car shows but his favorite is the Grand Prix Festival in Watkins Glen, NY. In 2011, his Syrena won the Grand Prize in Concorso Speciale (back then called Concours d’Lemons) which was part of the festival. “To give you a better idea of the concourse criteria and how difficult it was to win let me quote a few excerpts from the official rules:”

“This concours […] is open to all cars that have been turned down, ignored or laughed at by other concours d’elegance events. [We celebrate] the oddball, the rare, and truly amazing of the automotive world. If it’s special to you, it will be greatly appreciated by our tifosi.” And,“…judging will be performed in a completely arbitrary and capricious manner by our very own event specialists. Their decisions are final and irreversible except through bribery.”

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Kurt
Kurt

Fabryka Samochodów Małolitrażowych it means (Factory of small displacment cars) 😉

Adam
Adam

The Syrena (siren is a symbol of Warsaw – Poland’s capitol) was not based on any fiat the autor got a bit mixed up. The syrena is a polish designed and produced car. The engine first a 2 cylinder 2 stroke (originally a Moto pump for fire engines) then evolved to a 3 cylinder 2 stroke. The mixup with Fiat is probably the result of the fact that the FSO and FSM “brands” (not really brands as specific factories) produced the licensed by Poland fiat models Fiat 125 p and 126 p (p for polish). The whole history is to… Read more »

Gianni Burrows
Gianni Burrows

Wheeler Dealers did an episode on the Syrena a while back:

Pawel Skrzypczynski
Pawel Skrzypczynski

WOW! I’m so happy to see a car that I will always remember from my childhood. There were lots of them in Poland during the 80s. Great feature! This shot with the Cali is epic 🙂 I’m attaching a link to the 104 version which had the doors opened in the other direction, they were called “hen catchers” back in the old days.

[url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/skrzypczynski/9140121559/in/set-72157631580730622″]Syrena 104[/url]

David P
David P

Great little car – bags of personality. Love stuff like this.

W Grochowski
W Grochowski

Śliczna Syrena! The Syrena was a home grown, initially 2 cylinder, later as this a 3 cylinder 850 cc 2 stroke 4 seat sedan designed in the 50’s, I don’t think it was based on a Fiat. I remember these as a kid in Poland, but none looked this nice. These were tough little sedans, pickups, and wagons.

Stephan P
Stephan P

Cool car and photos.
I would have liked a little more info about the car, what Fiat is it based on.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle

First of all some great pics you took of this car also its a car i never heard of before. Im a truly big fan of the oddball brands out there being a AMC nut myself and this car is no exception. Plus you can beat a good price too ;). Its nice to see car guys out there keeping these relative unknown brands alive. keep up the good work