I know it’ll probably bug Freiburger if I say it, but I can’t imagine better Roadkill car designers than Eastern Bloc countries. The automobiles churned out by our Cold War enemies withstood the tests of time for those few who could own them. The varying stories and legends remind us a great deal of the Paykan, Iran’s official and unofficial national car for decades. They run poorly from the factory and continue to do so for decades while driving overloaded across poorly maintained roads and only falling apart three or four times a week. Sounds like most of Roadkill’s vehicles, right?
The Soviet-built Ladas, Moskviches, Trabants, ZiLs, and—lest we forget—ZAZs were generally simple machines. As you would imagine in stark places, they lacked performance entirely and were, in theory anyway, pragmatic machines. However, that’s never stopped adventure-loving Eastern Bloc car enthusiasts from rallying and racing these heaps. Most importantly in places where resources sometimes lacked: One could repair most of these cars with a rock, some string, a bit of time, and a few choice curse words. That should definitely sound familiar
Perhaps someday we will put together a compendium of great Roadkill-caliber Eastern Bloc car stories, but in the interim, we found a great host to show our audience around a typical Soviet car. The Life of Boris YouTube Channel provides hilarious and ostensibly accurate commentary on varying aspects of Slavic lifestyle. As such, he’s a great host to show you around this hammered orange Moskvich 412 (Someone please send us a radio like this the one in this car because we need it). If you like his Gopnik style, you can also watch Boris turn his Volkswagen Golf into a proper Slavic automobile. The videos do have a bit of Not-Safe-For-Work language, so mind the speakers if you’re at work or school.
Apparently, he wasn’t kidding about drift mode.