A festival of vintage vehicles has just finished at Kronschtadt, where visitors enjoyed real masterpieces of the vintage car industry. Not only the number of displayed vehicles is impressive - about fifty - but their condition is also amazing.
Rodion Kovalev, correspondent:
«In front of me is one the most technically perfect and comfortable Soviet cars. ZIS-110, created by personal request for Joseph Stalin. The car’s improvements included an independent front suspension, a hydraulic transmission and a quite sophisticated ventilation system. And a full package on the inside. The seats are stuffed with eider down. The interior is so spacious one can easily stand there. No wonder this car mostly served the most high-ranking Soviet government officials».
For one day, Fort «Constantine» became the parking lot for almost 500 similar vehicles. The «Fortuna» fest is officially the biggest vintage vehicles festival of the North West, but car owners are pretty sure that it is the biggest in Russia.
Participants have arrived from all over the country. Almost 20 cities take part in this fest, including Vladivostok and former Soviet republics. Fun fact: most of participants have driven their cars here.
Yak Unnuk, participant (Estonia): «What problems? It’s been running for 59 years, so what problems could even occur? The engine is fully renovated, the only thing left is a crankshaft, everything else is brand new.
As owners of these old-timers say, modern cars are impersonal and look absolutely alike, while every car here is created with soul and for the soul. The best example is American classics from the 1960s.
Vitaliy Pakhomov, participant: «Comfort is a synonym for American cars. Their width, air conditioners, transmission – all of which American cars had a while ago. Their trucks had automatic transmission since WW2. What are we talking about here».
The japanese speedcars from the 1980s are the youngest vehicles here at the festival. The grandpa of the festival is the automobile born in 1905. Every vehicle here is truly a museum item, with its own lifelong history and a wide travel map.
Fyodor Chernousov, head of «Retro Bus» project: «This Skoda bus is from 1953, it is 54 years old. First it was a passenger bus, then a mobile blood transfusion station. Such medical cabinets were imported to the Soviet Union from Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. It worked as intended in Chelyabinsk region».
Despite the age, the horsepower is making itself heard from underneath the trunk. As a part of the festival, the organizers decided to hold a competition - because the racecars are a little old, they named it a classical maneuvering tournament. Winners take it all - lifting screws and set of useful tools.
The festival will end by 7 pm. Participants will have a triumphant ride along the streets of Kronschtadt. Fill the tank after that, and be on the way. A long way home.