Auto Culture in Arkhangelsk

Sometimes, glancing through the posters of upcoming events in Moscow, it seems to me that you can visit at least one “soulful” festival even if you are into collecting chapelniks or plows of the XVII century. It must be nice and interesting for a wide range of people, but we are advocates of petrolheads and all that, so every year we eagerly await what interesting things we can visit. Today is just such an event that you should visit even if you only like the sounds of VTEC engagement and the rear of a Honda Prelude in the automotive world!

The idea of the versatility of automotive culture has been voiced more than once. Usually, if you start a conversation on such a topic, you are going to talk about some part of the culture and are unlikely to think about the main thing: automotive culture is primarily about the attitude towards cars. It is this sensitive attitude that unites all of us, fans of particular brands or automotive eras, subcultures, or sports directions. But attention to detail and precision must be multiplied manifold when it comes to rare cars!

Today we will talk about the “Auto Culture” festival organized by the Vetrok auto club. The club members are the owners of either rare sports cars or classic and young-timers in a fully authentic (except for wheels, suspension, and exhaust) rendition. In Russia, the culture of owning such cars is not very developed yet because it requires money and understanding in general why one needs to have a 30-year-old car that may turn out to be more expensive to own than a new Lexus, for example.

The ideology of the auto club is to take existing young-timers out of garage storage, centrally allowing owners to exhibit them for public viewing within the framework of, for example, a well-organized festival, where the Jaguar E-type will not be next to, for example, a Solaris in tasteless vinyl on Chinese wheels. I hope no one will be offended by this example, you got the idea.
By the way, about the E-type. I hope you won’t be offended if I don’t even try to list everyone who was represented at this exhibition? But about this Jag, I can’t help but mention it. It was located closer to the entrance to the park, in the shade of trees and next to the ice cream stand. No car that day was as popular: people took photos with it, photographed it, tried to touch it by hand and even leaned against it (which should never be done!). It took me about 10 minutes to fully enjoy these forms of classic British design of bygone days. Just for this alone, if you even slightly love automotive history, it was worth coming. Probably something similar is felt by lovers of painting, although I’m closer to graffiti than Aivazovsky.

It is worth mentioning separately the location where “Auto Culture” took place. Nowadays, there are special locations like “Flacon” where automotive (and not only) exhibitions are held. But they are not suitable for those cases when you want to showcase a Porsche Carrera RS or a Ferrari in the right light… any Ferrari. These cars are more sophisticated, emanating a certain spirit of elitism, as pompous as it may sound. And where to find more elitism and noble spirit than in a palace?!
The history of the estate dates back to the times of Ivan the Terrible and is connected with the noble families of Golitsyn, Sheremetev, Yusupov – many aristocrats of the Russian Empire. The architectural-park ensemble in the neoclassical style emerged at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, and it perfectly complemented the forms of the cars. They were mostly located in the park, among living hedges, lawns and gravel paths.

Passing by the Lamborghini Gallardo, I couldn’t help but entertain intrusive thoughts about the pleasant crunch of its tires on the stones as it arrived here, smoothly turning with minimal speed. The owner, stepping out of the car, could easily take a glass of champagne and go meditate on one of the benches in the forest. And with the pleasant gravel sounds of the mudguards, the Mercedes 190 Evolution could leave from here in a controlled drift, followed by the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI TME! These warriors no longer look out of place at social gatherings: although they have not gained weight or lost shape, they are increasingly used less for their original purpose in sports competitions, making way for younger fighters.

Standing at the top of the park with my back to the palace and surveying the magnificent view mixing Russian history and automotive history (unfortunately, predominantly non-Russian), one couldn’t shake off the feeling of “this is it: the exact place and time where everything has come together perfectly.” Surely there are those who did not appreciate some cars or did not understand the value of the Peugeot 205 GTi – it’s normal, different tastes have different markers. But to see such diverse, yet valuable cars in one place, not in a stuffy pavilion, but in a bourgeois corner, is indeed a unique phenomenon. We sincerely believe that Vetrok will prepare an equally atmospheric event next year!

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