Cars have always been a passion for the men of Vafiadis family. We can say that those cars were the only precious toys of those big boys. As we know from the photos in the family archive and from the told stories, cars had a place in family since 1940s. Dodge, Ford, Studebaker, Opel, Anadol and many other models took place in the lives of this family. Here in this article we will share with you the cars we drove between the years 1940s and 1980s with their photos, memories and details.
From American to Polish Cars, 1940-1960s
American cars have always been the most favourite cars of Hurmuzios, Aleko and Stavros Vafiadis as well. Those cars have a very large structure, have an aesthetic appearance and even the engine sound is very nice for the person concerned. For long years Vafiadis family used American cars, but some years for some reason they changed to Polish, French and Turkish models. Let's start with 1947 Dodge and continue with other models.
1947 Dodge D24 Sedan (IST 6362) :
The first car that Vafiadis family had according to our family archives and memories was a 1947 model Dodge D24 Sedan. Dodge is an American brand of automobiles, which has been founded in 1900 by two brothers, Horace E. Dodge and John F. Dodge, and in 1928 acquired by Chrysler. Dodge continued its existence with Chrysler as a mid-priced brand above Plymouth.
When Hurmuzios Vafiadis bought this as his first car, he didn't have a driving license and also didn't know how to drive. But it was not a problem for him and he hired a driver who was known as Pepe Ismail from Kasımpasa, Istanbul (pepe is a nickname especially used for stammerer people).
Here below we share a photo of 1947 Dodge D24 Sedan together with Aleko Vafiadis in front of the mansion he lived in Kefeliköy. Look at the licence plate of the car; IST 6362. This type of licence plate is an example for plates before 1962 in Turkey. In November 1962, a new regulation has been published and the licence plates changed to todays style.
Aleko Vafiadis with 1947 Dodge D24, Kefelikoy
Vafiadis family had many memories with this 1947 Dodge D24. They travelled Europe with this car for months. Please look at the photo below which has been taken in Sandalyeciler Street together with Aleko, his uncle Minas and their friends. You will see different blazonries from different countries which has been bought during their roadtrip and mounted on the car.
Aleko Vafiadis and his friends with 1947 Dodge D24, Sandalyeciler Sokak
1952 Dodge Coronet Sierra Station, 1952 Studebaker, 1955 Ford Station (34 KA 831) :
Years passed, Hurmuzios and his son Aleko decided to change the car but not the brand. Seems like they were satisfied with Dodge. Maybe they needed a bigger car for a bigger family. We have very less information about this car, but we know that they travelled to Europe with this car as well. Here below we would like to share with you the only photo of this car that we have in our archive.
Vafiadis Family with 1952 Dodge Coronet Sierra Station, Kartal
After Dodge Station, Aleko Vafiadis bought a 1952 Studebaker, another American brand, but he used this car for a very short time. Unfortunately we don't have any photos of this car and no memories. Also just after this car he bought a 1955 Ford Station with the licence plate 34 KA 831 but the only information that we have about this car that it was in green and white colour.
1960 Warszawa 201 F Kombi (34 DT 881) :
After all American cars that Vafiadis family used, one day Aleko Vafiadis bought a new car with an interesting brand. This was a Polish brand named FSO Warszawa, and the model of the car was 1960 201 F Kombi. FSO Warszawa was the first newly designed car manufactured in FSO factory in Warsaw, Poland, after World War II, between 1951–1973. The car has taken his name from the city Warsaw (Warszawa). Those cars were so heavy and they had high fuel consumption. There were many models of Warszawa which has been used as taxis, police cars and ambulances.
This car with licence plate 34 DT 881 has been bought from Bursa. As we know Aleko sold his 1955 Ford Station here and bought this one. The interesting thing with this car is that it's originally a 2-doors car. But in Bursa those cars have been modified as 3-doors or 4-doors just for different usages like jitney ( a taxi which only starts when it is filled up with passengers ). The 1960 Warszawa of Aleko Vafiadis was a 3-doors version which has been modified in Bursa.
1960 Warszawa 201 F Kombi has been used by Vafiadis family for long years, and they travelled inside Turkey so much. As Stavros Vafiadis told in his memoirs, a total of 8 people traveled a lot in this car together with their neighbors Nektar and Hrant Kazancıyan.
Here below we share a photo of this car together with Vafiadis family and their neighbours.
Vafiadis Family with 1960 Warszawa 201 F Kombi
Back to American again...1960s-1970s
After the Polish car, Aleko turned back to American models again. He drove a Ford and a Chevrolet, but those cars were the last two American models that he had in his lifetime...
1954 Ford (34 FD 323) :
When Aleko sold his Warszawa he turned back to another American model again. This time it was a 1954 Ford and the licence plate was 34 FD 323. We learnt the colour of this car from the memoirs of his son, it was duck head green and white. Here we share a photo of this car which has been taken in Gelibolu. You see Aleko posing with his car, and if you look carefully you can see his wife Giuseppina Sanzoni inside the car with other relatives.
Aleko Vafiadis with 1954 Ford, Gelibolu
1952 Chevrolet (34 AP 125) :
While Aleko Vafiadis had those cars, he also had a 1952 model Chevrolet with licence plate 34 AP 125. This car wasn’t his personal car, it was blue coloured taxi which has been driven by driver Muzaffer. After the family sold this car, Muzaffer started to work as private driver of famous Turkish businessman Vehbi Koç and his wife Sadberk Hanım. According to memoirs of Stavros Vafiadis, Muzaffer and his wife were living in a small house in the garden of Azaryan Mansion in Büyükdere which was owned by Koç family ( now known as Sadberk Hanım Müzesi ).
Here below we share with you the only photo of this car. The checkerboard motived stickers near the car show us that it was a taxi. Seems like family used this car for personal usage too. On this photo you see Aleko and his wife Giusepina together with their relatives from Alexandroupoli.
Aleko Vafiadis and relatives with 1952 Chevrolet, Alexandroupoli
French Cars, 1960s
After American and Polish cars, now it's time for French cars which have been used by Vafiadis family. Opel, Peugeot and Renault. Unfortunately we don't have the photos of all, but we would like to share with you their stories behind.
1961 Opel Capitan :
The story of 1961 model Opel Capitan is very short in the memories of our family. Aleko Vafiadis bought this car from a gallery in Zincirlikuyu, Istanbul. But as he didn't like the car, he sold this car back in 15 days. That's all we know about this car. No photos, no more memories...
1965 Peugeot 404 (34 DR 534) :
After Opel Capitan, Aleko bought another French car. This time it was a 1965 model Peugeot 404, in spout green colour with licence plate 34 DR 534. There are a lot of memories with this car, but unfortunately no photos. Did you pay attention to the licence plate? As all we know 'DR' is an abbreviation for 'Doctor'. This car was previously owned by the chief surgeon of American Hospital in Istanbul, and Aleko bought from him. The son of Aleko Vafiadis, Stavros, got his driver's licence in 1975 with this car.
Also the twins of Aleko had many memories with this car. One day Grigoris had an accident with this car in Maslak, Istanbul. The car has been repaired by Murat Usta in Dolapdere. After the car just repaired the twin of Grigoris, Haris, had an accident. The car came back to Murat Usta in Dolapdere again but just after repaired Grigoris had an accident again. After all accidents, Aleko sold this car to a man named Levon in Ortaköy.
1974 Renault 12 (34 SF 676) & 1973 Renault 12 (34 PF 195) :
After Opel and Peugeot, Aleko Vafiadis drove two different Renault 12 in different times. One of them was 1974 model, in white colour with licence plate 34 SF 676 and the other one was 1973 model, in fawn colour with licence plate 34 PF 195. Luckily in all French models we have a photo of 1974 Renault 12 which has been taken in Kurtuluş, Akağalar Caddesi (Akarca Yokuşu), together with Stavros Vafiadis.
Stavros Vafiadis with 1974 Renault 12, Kurtulus
This photo has been taken in 1978 when Stavros came to Istanbul as allowed when he was in military service. Renault 12 was also one of the police car models in Turkey on those years.
From French to Turkish Cars, 1970s-1980s...
After French cars, Vafiadis family started to drive Turkish brands, such as Anadol and Murat 124. Anadol was Turkey's first domestic mass-production passenger vehicle brand. Its first model, Anadol A1 (1966–1975) was the second Turkish car after the ill-fated Devrim sedan of 1961. Anadol cars and pick-ups were manufactured by Otosan Otomobil Sanayii in Istanbul between 1966 and 1991. Anadol is considered to be the first automobile designed and produced in Turkey. However, Anadol's design was made by the British Reliant company (Reliant FW5) and production was made in Otosan with a license from this company. Anadol's chassis, engine and transmissions were supplied from Ford. Anadol brand cars were so famous in Turkey in 1970s. Also Murat 124 is known as a Turkish brand but it's not. In 1971, it was placed in the Fiat 124 chassis in TOFAŞ's Bursa factory and it was the first automobile produced under a foreign license in Turkey. The name Murat is the adaptation of the Fiat brand to Turkey. With this name change, Koç Holding and Fiat were made to emphasize the presentation of a domestic automobile to the Turkish consumer. As those cars were so popular in Turkey, Vafiadis family also owned two Anadol and one Murat 124.
1979 Anadol Station (34 L 4660) & 1972 Anadol (34 ZN 731) :
Vafiadis family owned two Anadol brand cars. One of them was 1979 Anadol Station, in blue and white colour with licence plate 34 L 4660. This car was owned by Aleko Vafiadis. Unfortunately we don't have a photo of it, but we know the details from the memories of family members.
The other Anadol was 1972 model with licence plate 34 ZN 731. It was owned by Stavros Vafiadis. Here we would like to share with you a photo of it.
Stavros Vafiadis with 1972 Anadol, Kurtulus
Here you see Stavros posing with his car in Kurtuluş, Akağalar Caddesi (Akarca Yokuşu). Just like the photo we shared before, it was the day that Stavros came to Istanbul as allowed when he was in military service. Actually those two photos have been taken in same day, and that also shows us when Aleko had his Renault 12, Stavros had his Anadol.
It's out of topic, but let's talk about this photo. Here you see a slogan on the wall, and it writes ' Fight until Independence'. It reminds us the year 1978 in Turkey, as there were a lot of political problems between left and right wing.
1976 Murat 124 (34 TE 245) :
We came to an end in our article. The final car that we are going to share with you is a 1976 model Murat 124. As told in the beginning of this part the name Murat is the adaptation of the Fiat brand to Turkey. Those cars were quite popular in Turkey and still there are a lot of fans of it. Aleko Vafiadis also had an 1976 model Murat 124 in fawn colour with the licence plate 34 TE 245. He used this car for a long time. Also in 1984, Vafiadis family went to Imbros all together. Below we would like to share with you a photo of this car. Here you see on this coloured photo, Theodora Koulurgioti, the wife of Stavros, is posing together with this car.
Theodora Koılurgioti with 1976 Murat 124
Apart from these cars, over time, the family drove other models of cars. But they were all modern models when we compare with those we told about. Maybe years after we will came back with a sequel to 'The Cars we Drove' article with the cars from 80s and 90s and the cars of other family members.
For more cars you can visit 'The Cars We Drove- 1950s-60s' photo gallery.
Written by: 2mi3, May 2021