Whatever benefits man is offered by contemporary progress, there is something magnetic about old things, which produces those conspicuously high prices at the antique shops. Also, an interior design dating from Louis XIV looks perhaps even more stylish than some avant-garde discoveries by ultramodern designers. We remember the sensation called by a Pobeda car painted metallic colors by its inventive owner. It caused the owners of modern expensive limousines to twist their necks, following the old car as it drove past, oblivious for a moment to the old model’s numerous technical shortcomings, including low speed, uncomfortable interior, and gas guzzling. Tastes differ, of course, but this author believes that a pension-age Opel used for carrying apples from the owner’s dacha (even though actually having no floor) looked more interesting than the later models (perhaps due to the once famous television series about Soviet secret agent Stirlitz).
The participants in the antique car show near the Arch of Friendship in Kyiv, organized by the Avtoforum Club of Antique and Exotic Technology Lovers, proved that such old models are far too young to be written off. All it takes is finding the golden mean between one’s love of what was and scientific-technological revolution that has given us what is. Then your old car with a mileage reaching over forty years will not only look impressive on the road, but will also take you all the way from Kyiv to Warsaw. Incidentally, this was done prior to the show by participants riding their first Soviet people’s cars (pardon to one Mr. Hitler who coined the term — Ed.).
Each of the sixty cars arriving from all over Ukraine, also from Russia and Belarus, found their admirers during the show. The women in the audience concentrated primarily on models that had decades ago carried men like Al Capone. Also, if such a car were seen at the head of a wedding cortege, the city would remember the event long afterward. A US jeep dating from World War II attracted most men’s eyes. But for the able hands and nostalgic sentiments of its owner Ivan Samovych, the vehicle would have been left rusting in his neighbor’s vegetable garden. And the humming Samson we mentioned made the nostalgic pensioners in the audience wipe their eyes, every such vehicle recalling with its modernized appearance the old saying about an old horse still being good at drawing the plow and leaving straight furrows. No such old vehicles, with their rejuvenated exterior and interior, would be likely to cause smirks or sighs of sympathy from oncoming cars on the road.
For reasons few could fathom, the number of car accidents was no higher than usual that day, as the antique auto cortege drove through downtown, then on the Embankment Highway, and finally through Podil. Drivers of modern vehicles were obviously intrigued and this made them drive even more carefully. They say that such shows do not attract nearly as much attention in the West. But then, there are considerably more people there who can afford to buy such cars.