In recognition of our unionization, here are the ten cars that will surely be implemented into our lives and we’ll be forced to live with forever, comrades.
Yank Tanks are American cars in Cuba, that have been kept alive by parts imported from Russia. Because of import restrictions that have existed between America and Cuba, this was the only method of keeping many of these cars running, aside from making due with whatever household hardware and appliances were laying around.
Designed with brutal Russian roads in mind, these bikes have been some of the toughest machines running on Eastern European roads for over 70 years. Just throw your pet bear in the sidecar and you’re good to go.
The Škoda 130 might have not seem like much stock from the factory, but when rally teams began to get their hands on them, it changed everything. My coworker Raphael Orlove can explain:
The Škoda 130 was more than just another shitty econobox from the former East Bloc; it was a rear-engined Czech family car with the potential for rally brilliance. These things racked up 17 consecutive championships in their class in the UK’s RAC rally and god only knows how many wins the Škoda rally team had with these things everywhere else.
In case you’re wondering about how fast this Group H 1986 Škoda 130LR actually is, I can say that weighing 1,900 pounds and with 130 horsepower thrumming from its rear-mounted four cylinder, it is surprisingly not as powerful as a box-fresh M3 that any schlub can buy from the dealer. That’s 0.15hp/kg for the Škoda and 0.25hp/kg for the BMW.
Of course we couldn’t forget about this incredibly successful Dakar race truck. There are very few things that amaze me more than watching this enormous blue whale of a rig fly across sand dunes over and over and over again. Each time this truck returns to the ground from a jump, people everywhere can feel the might of the CCCP’s red hammer.
Back in the days of WWII, the Gaz GL-1 was the one of the fastest cars roaming the Soviet Union. In testing, engineers were able to reach speeds of nearly 100 mph. This might not seem like much, and it really wasn’t. Unfortunately as WWII grew, research and engineering for the GL-1 began to slow and this project was put on the back burner.
This luxury sedan was the choice method of transport for communist officials around the world. Sporting an air-cooled, rear mounted V8 and design lines that I’m not sure anything in America could compare to, this is definitely a very special thing. And just how many headlights does it have? Six???
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose vehicle, look no further. Lada Niva’s have been used in military service, ambulance work, police service, as grocery getters oh and also as a rally car. Sure the car has practically been the same for the past thirty years, but who cares? What more do you really need? My coworker Jason finally got to drive one last year, check out his writeup on his experiences with it.
A mid engined, two wheel drive, 300hp (if turbocharged) car weighing in at just over 2000lbs sounds like the perfect recipe for way too much fun. The Lada Samara EVA was originally designated to be run in Group B rally, but Lada couldn’t get the cars together and dialed in until the series came to an end.
If you’re a communist leader looking to ride in style, look no further than at what ZiL has to offer! ZiL has been the ride of choice for communist leaders around for world for decades. Why choose the peasant options that those Westerners at Jaguar, Rolls Royce and Mercedes-Benz have to offer when you could ride with the luxury and security that a ZiL limo can offer?
Possibly the most common car seen on roads east of the former Berlin Wall, and a few of them even got their wheels into racing. My coworker Stef Schrader can drop the deets:
Not because it’s good or spectacular, but because of its long racing history. It was never a good car. It was the car that people might be able to have if the totalitarian powers-that-be let them have a car. I can respect racing whatever you can get your hands on, and that’s why the Trabant is great.
Despite all common sense, the Trabant has lived on like a great little commie butt wart on the world of racing. People just keep racing them for some reason. It’s amazing and wonderful for all the looniest reasons.
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Top Photo Credit: JOHN LLOYD via Flickr