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Friday, December 09, 2005


Have you ever wondered about Volgas?

I have, but that's because I spend a lot of time in them.

Although this RFE/RL article delivers the bad news that the brand has been discontinued, it also provides more history and customer feedback on the old Soviet standby than you ever really needed to know.

I have mixed feelings about Volgas. Our drivers have them and while they are sturdy and reasonably comfortable (lack of air conditioning notwithstanding), every model looks the same to the untrained eye. They only seem to come in black and white, and white is the overwhelming consumer favorite. After 18 months, I can almost always identify our white Volgas in a large parking lot or traffic jam without looking at the license plate. Movsom's has unique seat covers and Rashid's has a certain slope to the hood, along with the dent on the back seat passenger that happened one cold January day in Sumgayit.

"We'd better buy now before the prices go up!" suggested Expat Monkey, marking probably the first time such a recommendation has been made in the history of Volgas.

At least they aren't Zhigulis. Every fifth car in Baku is one of those cranky little four door sedans. These are totally devoid of the Neva's and Volga's style and class. Discontinuing them would be no great loss.

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