Europeans unite for Soviet auto tour

  • Europeans unite for Soviet auto tour
Issue 13, May 2009.

For decades they were a symbol of the Soviet Union’s technological backwardness and material poverty, but since the collapse of theUSSR the empire’s iconic automobiles have become the subject of retro passions across the continent, with fans clubs springing up both in the former Eastern Bloc and throughout the West. This trend has allowed people long divided by geopolitics to form friendships and communicate across borders. This passion will be on show untilJune as Lviv enthusiasts for the Zaporozhets car (, Ukraine’s most famous Soviet-era auto, join forces with their German colleagues to embark on a mammoth tour which will take in 21 countries including Germany, Turkmenistan, Austria, Italy, Iran, Serbia and even Russia! The tour programme will have a distinctly Soviet flavour, taking in such notable sites as the mausoleum of Roksolana in Istanbul and the fort where Taras Shevchenko served  during his exile in Kazakhstan. The tour, which aims to promote peace and international understanding, will be repeated in 2010, when the Zaporozhets car will celebrate its 50th anniversary.