Волта (Volga)

An old sedan is passing by me who is photographing in Vanadzor. A boy is smiling at me on the passenger seat. "Ah, Volga" Russian car. The name must be from famous Volga river.

For me, there are common pictures among former USSR countries. One of them is gas pipes running in the air as I mentioned before. And other one is an abandoned Soviet car on the street. Ten to one, the car was Volga made by Russian maker GAZ from my experience.
Volga is a middle sized sedan which is upper class compare to a popular basic car Lada, for example. I often see old Lada still runs about in good condition. Meanwhile, the end of Volga is somehow sad. The body is rusted and the tires are flatten. The car is put fallen leaves on. Why so many Volga is ended on the street? That has been a question to me.

My first encounter to Volga, a predecessor Pobeda in exact, was in Donetsk of Ukraine. As same as other Volga, it's left on the pavement wearing autumn leaves. The car, which was made just after WW II, could be elegant classic car if it's well restored. In Bukara of Uzbekistan, recent model of Volga was left under the giant tree and covered with desert dust.

I also saw two abandoned Volga in Vanadzor. One was the 1970s model in sky blue. It's left on the grass yard in residential district. The other one was the early model, might be made in late 50s. Slightly rusted but beautiful champagne gold body was laid down on the edge of tree lined street like an art work. Art work? Yes, it's like an art object which took a role to make a picture of the town as if there is unspoken agreement "Leave the broken Volga on the street, and make it takes part in the landscape of your home town!"

In Vanadzor, I saw working Volga too. The car in wine red and gray was parked in front of a housing complex. It's polished from body to chrome molding. The old housing complex was mirrored on the engine hood. There were some scratch marks on the body side but looked well maintained.
Then I recalled 50s American classic cars in Cuba. The dynamic design felt still being cool even today. Meanwhile, the early model of Volga was something different from that. It looked on the border between clumsy and cool. Yeah, the attractiveness of Volga is this "geek cool" feeling.

The other working Volga was in green body which passed in front of me. Days later when I was crossing the street, I met Volga and took shutter. Then I noticed the same boy was smiling  through the side window as if saying "I know you". I watched the old car through the window. The rear seat was snatched off and steel body was exposed. Even so the boy looked proud of his father's Volga. Certainly, it's wonderful excursion for a kid to be taken a drive to a town with father's sedan. It doubled on my own memory in childhood.

As so each Volga has each story. I feels like abandoned Volga is an old photo album. And those are left here and there in the town. Or it could be happier for the car to gradually rusting beside the people than being taken to the scrap factory.