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A real workhorse from the Comecon block | Chromiez x Werdy

Its sound can be recognized from miles, while its chunky shape brings back sweet memories from our childhood. Even though it is a rare sight on the roads today, there are still some operable models out there, fulfilling the not exactly good-smelling role: the sewage truck IFA is another eternal automobile. If you put the Chromiez version on your shelf, does it make it a van?

The speediest vehicle of the Comecon market is undoubtedly and obviously the IFA, as it is always an IFA that leads the line of cars. This is the reason why if we ask anyone to say something about the IFA, the answer will most probably include the need of overtaking it. This is a fact not known by many, but the engine of the monstrosity, a more than 6000 cc 4-cylinder N/A diesel engine, did not only the offer the opportunity of mobility to those who went to work with these vehicles, but also to those who have ever sat on an Ikarus 211 autobus, for example. That’s right, they installed the W50 IFA engines into the Ikarus 211 models without major changes, which was not only a frequent phenomenon in Hungary, but also in the GDR.

Photo: Fortepan (courtesy of: Magyar Rendőr)

The number ‘50’ used in the specification of the type alludes to the fact that the IFA has a load-bearing capacity of 50 tons, which looked more like 10 tons in reality. This high load-bearing capacity and durability might have meant a great advantage for the type, but it also had its weaknesses. It had terrible suspension, for example, this is why we can find so many old truck drivers with rheumatological complaints. Its advantages certainly included the fact that the mechanics didn’t get cold at oil changes in the winter, either, as the engine is located in the driver’s cab. And this marks the end of the list of advantages of the engine’s placement. The engine was squeaking quite loudly in the passenger area, and the smell of oil and diesel was quite disturbing in terms of “driving experience”, coming in from the engine hood placed in the passenger area. It’s true, however, that we have not mentioned the word ‘experience’ in the same sentence with sewage work, and for good reason. 

Photo: Fortepan (courtesy of: Sándor Bojár)

In spite of all the nuisances, the IFA W50 remained incredible popular until the early 2000s, and was not an odd element in the streetscape of the time. It had plenty of versions, practically anything could be built on its chassis. Due to its good operability on different terrains, there was a tipper version suitable for agricultural work, there were models featuring cranes, there was a sewage and a sheeted model, not to mention the firetruck and garbage truck versions. You can still see versions with special bodyworks working in the countryside to this day.

However, the most interesting story in relation to the IFA W50 is when in 1968, in order to demonstrate its ability to work on different terrains, an original version went up the stairs of Népstadion in Budapest, to the highest section of the stands.

The pieces of our limited CHROMIEZ collection are now available in HYPEANDHYPER’s online store. Look for the miniature version of the IFA W50 sewage truck under the name Werdy – The maintenance whale in our store! In addition to the wooden cars, retro car fans can also get special limited edition prints matching the automobiles!

Click on the product and head to our online store right away!


Product photos: Lilla Liszkay

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