We may never expunge the happy two-beat and whistle-stop melody line (is that part of "Camptown Races"?) from our heads, but this Finnish TV commercial from the mid-1950s is worth watching if just for the history lesson. Back when the USSR and Finland were semi-allies, or at least regular trading partners, Russian Moskvitch (or "Moscovite") 400s started showing up in Finland by way of the "Moskvitsh Scandinavia" distributorship. The Finns, who had apparently started dressing like American cartoon characters, required economy cars that could withstand the country's extreme weather conditions. Based on the Opel Kadett, which had become the "Moscovite" when Russia "relocated" Opel's factory after the war, the Moskvitch 400 fit the bill. Its high ground clearance, skinny tires and six horsepower engine (or thereabouts) could fit a whole family of hand-drawn Finns and their copious hand luggage. The rest, as the Finns say, is historia.
[via English Russia]
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