Posts Tagged ‘old timers’


Cars

As some of you might know, I grew up in East Germany. Cars were hard to get; sometimes you had to wait as much as 17 years to get a car. Yes, there were waiting lists and especially the underprevileged factory workers had to wait half a life to get one of those corrugated card board box two stroke engine mini cars called ‘Trabant’. My dad used to own one of these when I was about 6 years old. He applied for it when he got just out of puberty. Oh, geez. Trips in this car with my two siblings used to be quite violent experiences. From both sides: siblings and, sadly, parents: “QUIET NOW/slap/slap/slap”. One for everyone.

Later, due to his advancements as a computer engineer my dad was eligible for a russian type four stroke car that was a licensed rip-off of a Fiat (wich now owns Chrysler, hehe, circles are closing here certainly). We sure were proud of it, because now there was enough space so that I would not have to sleep on the floor boards during our 18 hour trip to my grand parents house in eastern Poland, instead I was able to sleep on the suitcases in the back of the station wagon-like back of the car (though the dimensions of the car where still compact… very compact). The make was called ‘Lada’.There where other Russian makes around town these days, ‘Wolga’, wich was the Cadillac of our time (spacious, grand and stylish sort of), mostly used for cab services and ‘Moskvich’, also preferably used for cabs but also for politicians and the likes.

25 years later those cars have vanished from the streets of Germany. You might find some refurbished Old Timers here and there, but because of the bad memories of those failure prone machines nobody has too much inclines to keep them alive.

But Russian pride and economic desperation does. Those cars are still around on the country side in good ol’ Russia. As you can see in those pictures below. I just took the most delightful ones of course and I apologize up front that I’m not able to track down the source other than I think I got them from a post from boingboing, a website full of curiosities, where I’m sure you’ll find out quick who made them, if you have a quick internet connection (I do not). Nevertheless: enjoy. The first picture involves a ‘Wolga’ and the second one a ‘Lada’. As I understand it, both where made in the former Russian province of Kasachstan. Enjoyable life there, apparantly.