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?
" GAZ-20 Pobeda " Donetsk , Ukraine 2009