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Soviet made car

I arrived the air port of Kyiv, Ukraine, late at night. I had not made hotel reservation. It meant I had to walk around looking for a hotel to stay after midnight. Well, it makes me always nerves walking down the unfamiliar city where I just arrived, especially late at night. But I got accustomed to such situation.
I stopped at red signal on the crossroad. Lamborghini Gallardo and Audi R8, two super cars passed by in front of me competing each other in full speed. From any reason, I saw many expensive European car like Porsche or Bentley in the night. I wondered if Ukraine was very expensive country for travel. Anyway I found a hotel where I could take a rest.

Next day, I got started walking in the city as usual. Then I was a little bit relieved. Super cars were only for rich people.
And at same time, I found another fact. This country has extremely high rate of Japanese car appearances. Actually, some tourists from western Europe were surprised and talking about it.
I heard the news before that Japanese secondhand cars flood into Russia. However here in Ukraine, they were not secondhand old car at all. They were latest model. Japanese car sales were now shrinking in world market. But it looked still kept good sales in this country. Japanese car makers should fully thank to the customers in Ukraine.

Whenever I visit the new place, I'm looking forward watching the cars on the street. That is my fun. But to tell the truth, what I expected for Ukrainian motor scene was not the Lamborghini or the Toyota but the old Soviet made car. So I closely watched on the street. Yes, I saw a lot of Soviet cars as many as the Japanese.
One of the most popular car in Ukraine must be LADA of the company named Avto VAZ. The classical type three box sedan is still sold and always it's a popular name for the casual usage. I often see the Lada Taxi in Ukraine. I believe the LADA perfectly matches to the scenery of this country. I remember I drove Lada several time in Cuba.

Let's talking about another Soviet made car. Whenever I was attracted by its style and ask the name of the car for the people, their answer was always "Moskvich". For the car, the manufacturer had already bankrupt in 2002. So all models are discontinued. My impression from talking to owner is Moskvich has much more core fans than Lada. I felt some sort of enthusiasm in their words.
The basic concept of Moskvich is same to Lada. It's an inexpensive public transporter. But now, Moskvich has been added more collectors item taste than Lada because it's discontinued. It must be in similar situation to Trabant of ex- East Germany. Let's say, if a well maintained Trabant is pulled in the parking lot of Berlin, the old car fan cannot ignore it.

However this is also true, old Soviet cars are gradually fading out from city scene of Ukraine. It's regrettable. But time's passing.

The car abandoned on the roadside was old "POBEDA" of the 1950s. The autumn leaves were laying on the old car which is an eyewitness of the history. How many autumn have you passed after you lost your lord?

Nov. 2009

Today's piece
" GAZ-20 Pobeda " Donetsk , Ukraine 2009

fumikatz osada photographie