Hailed as the Soviet answer to the rear-engined Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvair, the ZAZ Zaporozhets essentially served the same purpose as the original Volkswagen Beetle did in the west.
With a production history spanning from the mid-60s to the mid-90s, it’s a bit hard to tell exactly when the car left the ZAZ factory in Ukraine. What is known is that the car sat for almost two decades in a dusty garage.
That was until our favorite crazy eastern slavs at Garage 54 got their hands on the car, then showed it off in all its rusty, dusty glory alongside the young Russian lad who got the car running and driving again.
We meant it when we said not to mess with Russians who have a set of power tools handy. When Russians deep clean an old car, they really do mean very deep indeed.
What follows is 40 uninterrupted minutes of pure car-washing bliss as seemingly an entire truckload of detergent soap, degreaser, wax, and polish was used to transform the barely running little Zaporozhets back to a state where it’s now a beautifully preserved piece of old Soviet history.
If you don’t have time to watch the whole 40-minute video, feel free to see a slide show at the top of this page for every angle these masterful Ruskis managed to turn from derelict to nearly fully restored. It's a fair bit to skip through, but each photo has a wonderful story to tell.
And please, do our Russian friends at Garage54 a favor and go subscribe to their new restoration Youtube channel. It’s the least we can do for how much they entertain us.