When we visited Poland I noticed a style of passenger van being used in the tourist trade with which I was not familiar.
A little research revealed that it’s a Polish made van, the ‘Nysa 522’, a symbol of the Communist era. It was manufactured in Nysa, Poland from 1958 – 1994. Nysa built it to be a multifunctional van and it was used for carrying cargo and passengers, less commonly as ambulances. Nysa vans were also commonly used by the Communist Militia.
The company did little to improve the van over the years, powering them with relatively gutless 2.2 or 2.5 l engines. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Democracy re-emerged in Poland, sales of better quality and more popular imported vehicles marked the end of the Nysa’s production within a few years. Still, more than 380,000 Nysa vans had been made and you’ll very likely see them in circulation if you visit Poland.
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