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Russian Cars

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Yeah, not so bad until you look inside:
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Russian cars have always been a laughing stock or simply totally ignored. Yet there are things that can be said about Russian cars because they were - well - designed by Russians for Russia. They're somewhat undependable, but simple to fix with any handy part (remember, the same state factories also produced traactors and other equipment) which makes up for it. Also, most every car by its national virtue has to be a decent off-roader, even the big staff sedans.

Honestly, I would totally ignore some of these new 'Russian' cars designed by Italians, engineered by Koreans, and powered by Japanese engines. To me, there is something perennially alluring about a real Soviet-era car like the big Zil 4104 state limousines:

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Introduced in 1978, they're still being made today at around 15-20 or so a year. And talk about a throwback, here are some stats:
*X-layout frame (ya know, like the '59 Oldsmobiles?).
*7.7l V8 with 315hp@4600rpm/449ft-lb@4000rpm and dual carbs.
*3-speed manumatic with paddle shifters on the wheel.
*32 gal. fuel tank.
*15" wheels
*20'+ OAL
*0-60 ~ 13sec
*7500lbs curb weight

Still, I'd love to drive one. What an impression it would make.

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If that's considered "coming a long way," I can't imagine what they were like before. If ever a car was ungainly... :o

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