Tuesday 28 July 2015

Togliatti – Motor City

Submerged under a hydro reservoir and rebuilt from 1951, named after an Italian communist, it’s Russian Motor City Central. A working class town, home of that little Russian workhorse, the Lada. The locals love their cars, yes they love their cars. And they sure do love and appreciate the Dodge and the Whippet. It’s cheers and thumbs up from every Lada owner in Togliatti. The Mazda / Honda / BMW / Chev / Toyota / Kia / Hyundai / Benz / Renault / Nissan crowd also make an effort but no-one identifies with a rusting, chugging, gear-grinding, oil-leaking, under-powered Willys Overland Whippet like a Lada-owner.

The Togliatti Technological Museum welcomed us like brothers. Free entry and tour, and please drive your cars in for a photo parked by any exhibit you wish. How about the Whippet next to the T-34 tank, one of the heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad? Bill had expectations of staying for life examining each piece in detail or at least filling the Whippet with more vital pieces of equipment that could be of use in the future.

The Museum has a huge display of mechanical equipment, mostly military tanks and vehicles, support vehicles, also planes and helicopters and a 2000 tonne submarine. A parachute transport section, trains and tractors also feature with a few space vehicles. There is little need for English translations and a good cafe with real coffee helps fill in the time. It also has a shed full of recent Lada prototypes. All of great interest to kids and technology nuts (is there a difference?).

Director Dimitri Nikitin was only too pleased to have us as guests. Free entry for a couple of photos of the car and while you are there we will give you a personal bus tour and then you can bring the cars in a take photographs of them with any of the exhibits you like, even drive them into the Lada Shed. Open House. We have found that whereever we go in Russia. Welcome, what can I do for you? Dimitri was a perfect host and we would recommend a tour for anyone interested in technology. We loved it. Bill is still dreaming and scheming how can he get most of it to WA.


John & Ian

On the road

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment. It's nice to see you sharing our adventures.