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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, October 28, 2014

Oct 28: Putin's great idea

Imagine that you are Valdimir Putin and after causing grief in the Ukraine, you are wondering what else you can do to increase Russia's prestige on the world stage? Think, Vlad (you don't mind if I call you that, do you?). Think. What would be reminiscent of the good old days, when Russia was in its cold war glory?

Yeah, that's it, a new limousine. Remember in days gone by, before that Iron Curtain came down? Remember those "party official only" big, black limos, that were unique to Russia? Those cars with the side and back window curtains, that would hide those humorless looking officials, as they cruised around Moscow.

Usually they would be a Zil (shown here in front of one of Stalin's "Seven Sisters" buildings in Moscow) or possibility a Chaika........

.....big, black and styled after an older American car or a combination of several. Gone, but not forgotten. When I was in Russia last Summer, I was hoping that there would be a few left, but no such luck, as I didn't see a single one of these icons from days gone by.

Anyway, back to Putin's dilemma. What could possibly help a country that is struggling economically, than a new series of these black cars? Well, surprise, surprise, that is exactly what he is considering. His Project Cortege has been in the works for a number of years, with the intention of coming up with a new Zil or Chaika type prestige limo. Tough to do in a country, which basically has no car industry, just branches of western manufacturers. I guess those stretch Mercedes, of which I saw several, are just not doing the trick.

Something unique, with maybe a hint of the past would work, as this preliminary rendering and mock up show.......

Ah, those good old days cruising to the dacha! Their prestige, which would add to Russia's standing in the world(?), would be just like the good old days, when these behemoths roamed the Russian roads.......

Yes, Vlad, no question that this is a worthwhile use of your country's somewhat limited resources. Why settle for a Mercedes, when you can make your own questionably styled status symbol?

Until next time.....


  1. Going onto 40 years ago, a caravan stopped in Lethbridge with (2) exhibits: the Bonnie and Clyde death car, and Josef Stalin's limo. We all know about B&C's death car so I won't elaborate on it at all. But the limo used by Stalin (apparently snagged by the allies during the Korean War) appeared to be as well built as anything coming from North America during the post war years. I knew a mechanic who grew up in Russia then defected over here at the close of WWII. He said: 'you built something well because building it was something you loved; you also built something well because the consequences of doing a bad job could last you a lifetime.' I don't think the builders (or mechanics) of cars for the Russian leaders skimped very much; they did the best they did, for either of the aforementioned reasons.

  2. George, maybe the limos were a "life or death" build, but not the everyday cars. I'll revise my blog. Thanks as always.