Sunday, January 06, 2008

Six of One, Half A Doz(higuli) of the Other

In Marat Akchurin's Red Odyssey, the author took an epic road trip through Central Asia just as the U.S.S.R. was imploding. An elite member of the nomenklatura, Akchurin had all the trappings of a decadent capitalist, owning not one, but two automobiles.

For the first leg of his journey, he rode with his mechanic friend Liberman in Liberman's VAZ-2101 (Zhiguli). Always the show-off, the author noted that he has an almost identical Zhiguli at home.

To his horror, after Liberman abandoned the trip, and the author, Akchurin was forced to ride in a pedestrian Moskvich 412. But in his self-deprecating style, Akchurin confessed:

"But when I saw that he had a Moskvich-412 I was a bit upset. Like every other Soviet Zhiguli owner, I was biased against Moskviches. When a country produces just two brands of cars, the customers inevitably fall into two parties-- those who like to eat their boiled eggs from the top, and those who eat it from the bottom."

Here are a few eggs in your face.

Nice orange Zhiguli

Zhiguli sold as Lada in the decadent West

What a looker!

Plebian 412

Massive 1500 cc engine



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