1998 FSO Polonez Caro Plus
Converting a car to run on LPG - or Liquefied Petroleum Gas to give it its full name - used to be a popular way for motorists to reduce their fuel bills. And that’s exactly what has been done to this rather unusual vehicle.
This particular FSO looks the way it does because it actually began life as an ambulance and was used by Warsaw’s Praga Hospital. It was built by a company called Autoform Myslowice who lengthened the bodywork and added the glass-fibre extension at the rear, and it was in service for a number of years.
It was then purchased by the paramedic who once drove it and was turned into a regular five-seater for carrying passengers rather than patients, but the reason you are seeing it here is because 2016 saw the aforementioned conversion carried out. The original 80hp 1.6-litre engine remained but a pair of tanks were fitted that are able to carry 90 litres of LPG. It allows the quirky FSO to cover around 500 miles on its alternative fuel.
After taking part in a charity rally in Poland it was bought by its current owner and arrived in the UK in 2017. It has needed some work, though, as stickers applied for the event had damaged the paintwork, so it was treated to a full respray.
More charity rallies followed and it was used as a daily vehicle until October 2021 when it sustained damage in an accident. Happily for the owner, it was repaired and returned to the road and has been enjoyed ever since.
It is perhaps one of the more unusual vehicles to be found at this year’s show, but we are very glad that it is here as an example of how drivers can fuel their cars with something other than petrol.
LPG has always been more popular on the continent than in the UK and is a really clean fuel, for now and in the future.