For many decades, half of Europe was facing the complicated task of selecting a new car among hundreds of new models arriving to the market every year. The other half was left to choose from 10 to 15 available makes and models – products of socialist automotive industry – which were usually out of fashion, slow, clumsy, a pain to drive and repair. However, they were status symbols, no less important than a Chevy or a Mercedes in the West. In almost every family, there was a much loved, long-awaited polished and groomed Moskvich, Skoda, Trabi or Dacia. It represented a touch of freedom, opening new horizons to make that long-dreamed trip to East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, or Hungary, or at least to a lake or mountains.