About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 25: Hey Comrade! What are you driving?

Thank goodness the days of that detested Iron Curtain are many years behind us. While it existed it did several things, but what is of interest to this car guy, was the rolling stock that was made in the Soviet aligned countries. This curtain seemed to curtail the car developments that we got in the west. So much so, that whenever we saw pics of Eastern Bloc cars, they were way out of date or just plain strange looking. All the time, while we were riding in our golden chariots, that were evolving as fast as the competition would allow.

But I was intrigued by Eastern Europe and her cars. Years after that curtain was raised, there are now a number of comprehensive books that appeal to your blogger. Books that show all the old Soviet era cars, with lots of pics and descriptions. A must have for any car guy's library and this car guy has most of them. Let's take a look.......

My latest acquisition arrived last week and it deals, as the cover says, with the cars of Eastern Europe. You can see from the inside shot that their cars are well covered. Occasionally we'd get imports like the Czech Skoda or Romanian Dacia, but their sales were dismal and the brands were withdrawn from our market. Here is a chance to see what else we didn't get.

Now this book about cars from Russia really goes into depth. I'd seen a number of these cars in photos, but many were a mystery to me. Laughable by our advanced standards.

Detailed by brand and model. What is interesting, is that some cars were sold under different names, but they were identical. Something to do with government business practises, but unusual never the less.

Limousines are one of my favor types of cars, so this next book was a must have.......

Read the fine print, "Soviet Limousines 1930-2003". Exactly the kind of info that I needed to know. And look at that beautiful old Packard on the cover. Oops, it just looks like a Packard, when in reality it is a Zil. Some of those early Russian limos were either very close to the looks of a western car or blatantly borrowed design elements from them. Always many years after they were out of date in the west. Same thing happened in China, but to a lesser extent.

All sorts of great pics of big limos, that only the very wealthy could afford. But, hey, this is Russia and there were no capitalists, so these cars were made in limited numbers for only the party higher ups to drive. When the prols saw a car like this, they were very, very respectful (probably).

No such thing as any Russian walking into a showroom and walking out with a new whatever. With these books, I'm able to go back in time and see what was happening in the far, far away. See what the folks could put money down on and take delivery in a year or two. Interesting and it helps make me a very well rounded car guy...........at least in my own eyes.

Until next time.......

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