An Oakland in Croatia
Kenny Roach recently contacted me about an inquiry for parts from a gentleman named Ivica Presecki in Croatia. Kenny referred him to me. The fact that I can help him is mundane to the rest of the story as I relay it here. The area known as Croatia has a long and sometimes violent history. Just after WWI Croatia was part of Hungary. By the time this 1925 Oakland model 6-54 Touring was assembled, Croatia declared their Independence and eventually became part of Yugoslavia. I had to go look at a map to see just where Croatia is and read about its history. My recent DNA Ancestry test showed I am about three percent Croatian but many generations back. It was an interesting read. This Oakland was purchased new from a dealer in Zadar along the coast of Croatia. That would make sense since Croatia’s coastline was a tourist destination even before WWII. But what did surprise me was that it was supposedly assembled at a plant in Croatia! Oakland was always a General Motors export car but I had no idea they had an assembly plant in Croatia. This 1925 Oakland was purchased new in 1925 and resold in 1928 to the owner who made it a daily driver up until 1942 when the Nazis invaded. The original owner stored it in a “hidden” garage. Ivica says it remained there until a few months ago when Ivica and his father got a tip about the car. It seems that the elder Mr. Presecki owns and/or operates an antique car museum in the city of Krapina. And the car was purchased from the original family just a short time ago!! Some of the pictures accompanying this article show the car coming out of that storage garage. It is missing some parts but the engine turns over and the wood is solid. Their plans are to restore the car and make it the centerpiece of their museum ! You can go online at their website to see pictures of this car and all their other cars. It is the Oldtimer Museum Presecki at www.muzej-oldtimerapresecki.hr . They are now members of our club and I’m sure if I didn’t get the story straight, they will respond with the correct information.