Sochi or Bust

A documentary producer and a journalist took a road trip from Moscow to Sochi to see the Olympics. Their rented vehicle was a Lada Niva, a car selected because “it is the closest thing to an automotive version of the Russian soul.”

With its snub nose and mile-apart headlights, the Niva looks like a dimwitted but scrappy puppy, and the ride is about as comfortable as a minor earthquake. When driving at highway speeds, the wheel squirms in your hands as if you’ve offended it. Gear changes are about as smooth as eating a spoonful of hot gravel, and the gas pedal might as well be made of soft cheese. The Niva is as drafty as a paper bag and about as fast as you’d expect of a Russian car that originated, for all intents and purposes, while Elvis was alive.

Along the way, they attended a wedding and an Orthodox Christmas celebration, but the star of the story is the Niva, a tough little car that can be reliable if you are good with a hammer. –via Metafilter

(Image credit: Paul S. Amundsen)


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Ah yes- the (dis)comfort of the Soviet-created vehicle. I heard a group of men recently discussing the old Soviet semi-truck compared with the super luxury of the modern semi (which still are nothing compared to the outfits they have back in North America). Those drivers were tough!
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