The Lăstun, also named "Dacia 500", was a cost-effective
Romanian car for urban transport built between 1986 and 1992. It featured a two cylinder air-cooled engine of 499 cc, producing 22.5 hp, with a fuel consumption of convert|3.3|L/100 km|abbr=on and having a maximum speed Auto km/h|106|0. The Lăstun was built in Timişoara, Romania, although it was sold as a Dacia, and was manufactured in small numbers. The body was of glassfibre, and was not dissimilar to that of the Lancia Y10. An enhanced bodywork prototype 500 Lăstun was also made, and exhibited at the 1989 Bucharest trade fair. There was also a luxury prototype made in the early 1990s, with hubcaps, body-coloured bumpers, and head restraints. The advertising slogan was "Un Autoturism de Actualitate" (A Modern Vehicle). The name means literally in Romanian " House Martin", which is a small bird related to the swallows.
It is a commonly held belief that the Lăstun production stopped after 1989, which is not strictly correct: it continued until 1992. However, there is little doubt that the Lăstun was not adapted to the needs of Romania at the time. Due to its size and fragility, the Lăstun was only really a city car, suitable for second car status, something which was heavily frowned on by the regime and which was in any case economically inaccessible for most Romanians. Furthermore, the build quality was universally decreed to be atrocious, and the Lăstun was unable to cope with the scrapes and knocks it received on Romanian roads. Yet there were some modifications made by the Lăstun factory. For example, in 1989 cars received the luxury of side lights, and in 1991 the Lăstun was lightly restyled to the front, the only modification being a new bonnet with a one-piece grille. However, despite the car's one selling point of excellent fuel economy, there was very little market for such a car assembled in such a manner, and the last few were sold in 1992.
Due to its small size and low quality the Lăstun was subject to many jokes. Few have survived, and the number on the road has been estimated to be in the low hundreds. It was never exported.
Also the small 0.5L engine had some carburateur break-downs, which brought the average petrol consume to almost convert|9|L/100 km|abbr=on, making the car more less effective than the long time produced 1300 series.
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