Red Oktober: Ace Cafe, London – October 2021

Not a Club event, but we were happy to use our contacts to help promote this annual event at the iconic Ace Cafe on London’s North Circular Road. Happy to report that the event was well supported with what appeared to be the best attendance of Eastern Bloc cars and bikes seen here for several years.

You can read up more about this famous cafe at:

South West Weekend – September 2021

This was an enjoyable joint weekend in the West Country for IFA Club members / SALT regulars.

Thanks to Malcolm and Helena McKay (and daughter Fifi) for showing us their eclectic collection of vehicles on the Saturday morning, and to Julian Nowill and Ed Hughes for later opening their equally impressive collection of Eastern Bloc vehicles for our pleasure.

On the Sunday, we convoyed on to the Haynes Motor Museum near Yeovil.

First rendezvous by the Somerset coast.
Malcolm’s well-travelled Trabant P50
Leg stretch high on Exmoor
Leg stretch high on Exmoor
Leg stretch high on Exmoor
Lovely Kubelwagen
Dunster for lunch
Dunster for lunch
Dunster for lunch
Leaving Dunster
Across the Quantocks
Across the Quantocks
Across the Quantocks
Julian Nowill and Ed Hughes collection
Julian provides the expert commentary
Julian Nowill and Ed Hughes collection
Russian Seaz Oka – the only one in UK.
Julian Nowill and Ed Hughes collection
Izh Oda … the only one in UK.
Setting off Sunday
Sunday morning
Heading East
Two-stroke cousins at Haynes Motor Museum
Two-stroke cousins at Haynes Motor Museum
Yes – it is a Trabant!

Crich Tramway Village – Eastern Bloc Vehicle Meet. 4 Oct 2020

Blame the virus – what should have been our final main event of the year turned out to be the first!   

We returned to the ever-popular Peak District and the National Tramway Museum, Crich. Many memorable Red Oktober meets were held here until the Museum moved away from such events – well we were back albeit, at Museum request, without military re-enactors. 

As with all IFA Club events, all vehicles with an Eastern Bloc pedigree were welcome. As well as the Trabants and Wartburgs (and a bicycle!) from IFA, Eastern Bloc manufacturers represented included Skoda, Yugo, FSO Polonez, MZ, Jawa and Moskwich. We were especially pleased to welcome several DKW vehicles with which our IFA vehicles share a mechanical pedigree.

Photos below, in mostly random order, give a taster of the day. Thanks to Lorraine Clutterbuck, Reg Tubby, John Killick, Dave Richards and Fendy Photography for sharing photos.

Scottish IFA Day – Loch Lomond, April 2019

Blue and yellow Warties
At The Green Welly Stop – attracting attention
At The Green Welly Stop – James does some marketing.
At The Green Welly Stop – OstBloc line-up.
At The Green Welly Stop – rear view.
It can only be Scottish IFA Day!!
In the inside lane, like a good little Trabi.
John Miller’s 353.
Carl McIntyre’s visiting Lada.
The intrepid drivers.
James gets brave.
Throwback to 2018 at Cultybraggan
Throwback to 2018 in Crieff
Mirror full of IFA.
Leaving Helensburgh.
Taking over the car park in Luss.

A Minor infringement?

The motoring press had a bit of a giggle this week with a stats-based press release from insurance comparison site Money Supermarket.

The firm looked at more than six million car insurance quotes run on the MoneySuperMarket website over the last 12 months (1st November 2017 to 31st October 2018) and found that  Hereford is the UK’s drink and drug-driving hotspot.

Money Supermarket also revealed that the car most likely to be owned by a drink or drug-driver was a Morris Minor. Which seemed…surprising.

We asked the firm whether the Trabant or the Wartburg was on the list and it seems that you are all a well-behaved bunch. The top ten, according to Money SuperMarket, is:-

1.       Morris

2.       MG

3.       Austin

4.       Isuzu

5.       Opel

6.       Vauxhall

7.       Dodge

8.       Renault

9.       Saab

10.   Alfa Romeo

There’s a serious message behind the release, of course, which is to remind us all that as Christmas parties and other social events start to pack the calendar, it’s really important to take steps to avoid driving while over the limit.

Emma Garland, data scientist at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Drink or drug driving can be damaging not only to your licence, but also to yourself and others – so if you are doubting your sobriety, don’t put yourself or others at risk by driving, even if it seems like an inconvenience at the time.”

9 December 2018

Say hello at the Show!

November sees the Club returning to the NEC for the hugely popular Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show – more than one million square feet of cars, autojumble, clubs and trade stands.

Among the 3,000 cars on show will be a selection of our much-loved Eastern Bloc classics taking pride of place on the Wartburg Trabant IFA Club stand.

As well as the Club Chairman’s Wartburg 353, van fans will be able to see a very unusual Barkas B1000 which is brand-new in the UK, sourced with the help of Hungarian IFA enthusiasts.

This Barkas spent its first ten years in the DDR, then in Reunified Germany, before being taken to Hungary where it was used by a Skoda Car Parts business for events. Ten years ago an IFA enthusiast brought it to use at club runs and drive outs until she decided to sell it to its new UK owner.

Also on the stand the Club will be displaying a 1.3 Wartburg Tourist.  This rare model was brought to the UK some years ago but never registered. ‘Mr White’ joins ‘Mr Grey’ in the collection of Club member Ivor Burgess.

IFA vehicles in DDR livery always attract attention and the Club will be showing a Trabant Kombi in Interflug colours, created as a tribute to the hardworking Trabis at Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport.

It’s still to be confirmed, but the Club also hopes that the stand will feature a Wabant – a Trabant with a Wartburg engine.

Visit the Club in Hall 5, stand 140.

The show runs from 10am on Friday 9 November 2018 to 5.30pm on Sunday 11th.



Club AGM coming soon

The Club’s AGM will be held during the 2018 Red Oktober meet, taking place this year at the Wythall Transport Museum on  Saturday 6 October.

As well as the AGM, the meet includes a Cold War classic road run and a special vintage bus trip around the local area.

The AGM’s formal business includes reports from the committee and a chance for members to ask any Club-related questions.

There will also be a discussion about how best to celebrate the Club’s 50th anniversary next year.

All members are welcome to attend.


“The next time we see her, she’s dead!”

Club members spent a rainy Saturday afternoon helping turn a Coventry back road into a Berlin border crossing for a music video starring the Club’s own Elizabeth Sayle and Ivor Burgess.

Elizabeth plays the eponymous heroine of a track called “Russian Spy” by Coventry band Eyes of Isabel.

She explains:  “We went to Cars and Coffee at Coventry Transport Museum one Saturday morning and Andy McGeechan (the director) came up to me and started chatting as soon as he saw the Wartburg. We were chatting about our shared experiences of Berlin as students – he’s older than me so was lucky enough to experience it before the wall.

“We became friends on Facebook and he sent me photos of his time there and then asked if I wanted to feature in his video – he has teamed up with  local group ‘Eyes of Isabel’ to make their videos!”

Elizabeth plays a spy who meets a sticky end, while on Saturday Ivor was a stern-faced border guard, checking her passport as she crossed from West to East watched from a distance by ‘Eyes,’ her minder.

Robert Cannon and Alex Cheasley brought Margot the Trabant to help create the illusion, while Hortense the 2CV lurked on the Western side of the crossing.