The need to clearly define and position the work priorities in the retro car guild has been discussed for decades, but without clear criteria and frames for their implementation. The organization of events, regardless whether summits, parades, rallies or elegance contests is a small part of the retro car life in Bulgaria. Many of the other aspects, such as raising awareness and promoting the historical vehicles or events themselves as well as the idea and attitude towards them, are very meagerly covered and excluding the two magazines, one of which is not officially published and the other has no clear publication period, only the face-to-face communication remains. The latter cannot be overlooked, but its efficiency is basically equal to zero due to the low coverage and penetration. We must not forget the social networks, nor neglect their contribution, but no matter how big, it remains incomplete, unsystematic and multi directional.

All of the above determines the founding of an association, which to work for the culture, history and promotion of retro car life in Bulgaria. In the following pages of this leaflet, we would like to show the current state in Bulgaria, to tell who we are and how we see the main directions for our retro car life in the future.

Regular enthusiasts with a view of the European culture and practice in this field. We have the hope and the vision to develop those in Bulgaria. In the year 2000, we were a main part of the team, who shot the movie “...Tradition and Future!” for the 10-year anniversary of the Bulgarian Retro Car Club – one of its kind in Bulgaria. In 2002, some of us started the ( and we still support and develop it. Today, the WEB platform has over 11 000 uploaded photos and contains over 210 subpages.

Our biggest pride is the Tour d’Europe™. This is an initiative, which started unintentionally with one shared idea and friendly talks in 2011. Thanks to it, we visited more than 50 car museums in Europe and over 10 expos and markets. A total of 30 colleagues from the clubs in Bourgas, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Varna, Sofia, Belgrade and Blagoevgrad participated in its seven editions.

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Just like any human activity in the developed republican society is regulated by the laws of that same society, so is our hobby, and everything related to it falls in that legal framework. If it is good or bad, advanced or backward is a matter of endless dispute and maybe the subject of an academic masterpiece.

All legal amendments for the purpose of regulating, alleviating and unequivocally defining the subject of our interests are accompanied by many years of efforts, meetings, talks, propositions, requests, letters by many colleagues. Last, but not least, let us not forget that the legislation of the European Union, as well as that of its Member States also has contributed for these achievements.

Historically, the legal privileges in Bulgaria are ordered as follows:

  • The biggest achievement for the fans of retro cars was in 1999. The publication in Issue 74 from August 20 1999 of the State Gazette waives the annual roadworthiness inspection for all road transport vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1960.
  • We also have Ordinance No H-3 from February 18, 2013 for the amendment of the construction of registered road transport vehicles, registered outside the Member States of the European Union or other country, which is a party in the Agreement on the European Economic Area”, in force from March 1, 2013, in which the term “road transport vehicle of museum or historical interest” is introduced for the first time in the Bulgarian legislation. 

A road transport vehicle of museum or historical interest is a RTV, which is not less than 30 years old, preserved and maintained in working order, close to its original state, not used as primary daily transport, and is part of the historical and cultural heritage, proof of which is its identification card.” - Ordinance No H-3 from February 18, 2013, in force from March 1, 2013, published in the State Gazette, Issue 21 from March 1, 2013

  • In 2017, Ordinance for amending and supplementing Ordinance No I-45 from 2000 for registration, reporting, commissioning and decommissioning of motor transport vehicles and their trailers, and for the rules for providing data regarding the registered road transport vehicles is published in Issue 62 of the State Gazette from August 1. It reads: “Article 12(c)(1) Initial registration of the historical vehicle with an identification card, issued by the International Federation for Antique Cars or another body empowered by it on the territory of a Member-State of the European Union.”

In view of everything mentioned above, the work of many people and organizations in the coming years will yield the achievement of other required legal changes and their related transitional provisions. However, these planned or desired changes must be reasonable and feasible, and not the dreams of illiterate or greedy people. 

The safety of road traffic is essentially a symbiosis between the safe and proper conduct of its participants, the safe infrastructure and the safe automotive equipment. The safe road traffic concerns each of us directly, as a member of society - from earliest child years to good old age, as a participant in traffic - pedestrian, cyclist, driver, and so on. It is everyone’s responsibility, starting from the competent bodies, which must provide the suitable legal framework on one hand, and the control of its implementation on the other.

The traffic safety is first and foremost a matter of culture and respectively every member of the society has his or her share of responsibility regarding what happens on the road. It is necessary to improve the culture of the traffic participants, the tolerance and adequate behavior in the modern automotive traffic.

The historical vehicles, which participate in traffic, must always be driven with respect to other participants. Their drivers must always follow the legal requirements of road traffic and behave according to the horizontal marking and vertical signs. The violation of the rules is not beneficial for the road safety, nor for the promotion of historical vehicles.

The owners and drivers of historical vehicles must follow the recommendations for roadworthiness with current maintenance. In addition, as traffic participants with equal rights, they must consider the fact that the historical vehicles do not have the active and passive safety systems of the modHistorically, rules for vehicle travel on roads were being prepared even at the time of its invention. The first written road regulations in Bulgaria are from 1986. The first Penal Code after the Liberation - Edict No 43 from February 8, 1986, section “Violations of the Personal Safety and the People’s Health” - includes nine rules for road security and safety and the penalties for their violation.

The Law on Capital Police from 1907 empowers the town headman to look after the free and safe movement on the streets.

The first Rules for Vehicle Traffic in the capital were issued on March 12, 1912. They contain the basic rules for traffic regulation and the first five road signs.

The road safety is the obligation and responsibility of everyone. Let the driving of historical vehicles bring a positive emotion for the drivers, as well as for the rest of the traffic participants.

In their nature, the retro car clubs are clubs uniting people with different interests, whose main priority is the same, namely historical vehicles. Over the years, in many publications and codes we have read that these clubs are associations of people with equal interests, but with time, purely materially, emotionally and informatively, it was proven that this statement is incomplete and more specifically, modified through the prism of life. Even so, a large part of these structures, whether public, private or departmental, has proven its efficiency contributing to the common goal, namely preserving the material cultural heritage of the engineering genius. The Management of these clubs is chosen for different lengths defined in the Articles of Association of the respective structure. In time, the number of these organizations increased as well as their members on national level.

Even before the appearance of organized clubs, events for retro vehicles have been taking place in Bulgaria, namely the initially called Rally Parades for Veteran Cars, the first of which dates back to June 11, 1966.

The organization of various events, such as summits, parades, markets, picnics, rallies begins with the appearance of the first club in December 1989, but at first, they are strictly regional, not national in form. Under “national”, we mean those that invite and accommodate guests from all over the country. All the others should be classified as “regional” regardless of the participants’ license plates. The term “national events” appears in the retro field with the calendar for 2012 and more specifically with the announcing of the First National Program. It has neither geographic, nor legal or nationalist meaning, but rather the idea is to have enough regional clubs supporting such an event in order to form its essence. Last, but not least, the designation of an event as “national” does not aim to devalue or neglect other events. 

Today, there are around 57 clubs in Bulgaria, of which 24 have official activity visible to the community. The national calendar for the last two years had between 30 and 40 events. A large part, perhaps 75% of these clubs, are of the same type, 15% circle around the previous model and no more than 10% have their own vision and character. Unfortunately, even the creation of new clubs in the end of 2019 was not much different from the creation of such clubs at the end of the 20th century.

Each new association in the field of historical vehicles must be if not unique in activity and vision, at least significantly different from all currently existing. It is not necessary to incorporate all of this in the Articles of Association, which more or less fall in a legal framework, but clearly designate and explain it.

The modern kids spend much time in front of the PC, TV or other devices. Today it is more important than ever that the parents encourage their children to find their hobby. To guide and help them discover the talents they sometimes were not even aware of. It is important for the child’s development to gather confidence, knowledge and to grow emotionally. The child’s brain forms positive models for interpersonal relations when there is social interaction. That is exactly what a hobby does - a passion that may remain for life.

The hobby develops the children’s confidence, encourages them to read and increases their erudition. It helps fill their time with constructive activities and gives them a sense of satisfaction. The hobby increases the children’s faith in their own capabilities and skills.

Hobbies encourage kids to learn new things, transform them into acting and active readers. Once they discover what their area of interest is, the children will read more and more books, related to what thrills them. The natural impulse to learn more and more without doubt leads to increasing their knowledge.

When they are engulfed by some hobby, the kids learn to set goals and make decisions themselves. It helps them grow up. Sometimes the passion that is sparked within them makes them find their professional path.

Collecting items develops responsibility in children. They learn to preserve and value what they have.

It is very important for children to spend time with their loved ones. Sharing our hobby with our kids and taking theirs to heart, we can create family fun, bringing mutual joy and positive emotions.

The academic community in Bulgaria has had sporadic interest in the field of historical vehicles for years. Unfortunately, no university in Bulgaria has formed a clear tendency, field or department for them. For decades, there has been engineering, design, journalism, media awareness and history, but no official academic recognition or accreditation. It has been a long-term practice to use recognized colleagues as panel in competitions.

Widening the scope of work with the academic community is one of our goals, which includes not only cooperation, but R&D as well. A small step in that field would be a big advance for the culture of the entire nation regarding the historical vehicles, because the academic community educates.

The education of the adolescents is the main key to forming a broadminded society. The freedom of thought comes with the creation of wide scale knowledge. Presenting the historical vehicles as a field for achievements and development for the adolescents is a chance for the education to form the next generations of those who will fight to preserve the cultural and historical engineering heritage.

The main centers for knowledge and culture for thousands of years, today they are being pushed out by classic and modern media as means of information. It becomes rarer for people to go to these knowledge bases to look for information. Libraries remain mostly in the field of view of students, researchers and enthusiastic historians.

One of our main activities would be to work in the direction of enriching the book fund with Bulgarian and foreign literature.

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