Moskvitch Weekend Edition: The 1976-1987 Moskvitch 2140/Elite

With time, the 408/412 series were replaced by the modernized 2140 series, which relied on the same basic structure. As with the previous post, there is a great deal of Finnish promotional shots courtesy of the importer.

The sole engine here was the 1500cc engine from the 412, meaning the export versions remained to be called the Moskvitch 1500/1500S and the later 1500SL.

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Moskvitch Weekend Edition: The 1964-1975 Moskvitch 412/Elite

Above the Moskvitch 408 line, there was the 412, to which I referred in earlier posts. It was positioned as a more premium choice on the repertoire, as it was her and featured a larger engine.

It’s also worth mentioning that the bulk of the photographs on this piece have been taken by the Finnish importer, Konela Auto. Those black plates really shine on the brand-new Elites, as the 412 was called on the export market.

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Moskvitch Weekend Edition: The 1964-1975 Moskvitch 408

With yesterday’s posts, we focused on the 1970s prototypes that centred on replacing the 408 and 412 series cars of the 1960s and 1970s. It makes sense to give some space to the earlier cars, as they are really rather beautiful in a narrow, upright sense. The promotional images dedicated to them are also worth taking a look at, as the colours are bright and everything is tip-top.

The first car, the black one is actually a pre-production example from 1961. Keeping in mind it took until mid-1980s for the lineage to be replaced, the base car that started its life as the 408, survived a handsome quarter of a decade – to some turbulent times.

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Moskvitch Weekend Edition: The Moskvitch Prototypes Part III

After the mid-1970s design prototypes, the basis for the new five-door Moskvitch 2141 was confirmed. The process was simplified greatly: out of the contemporary offerings in the Western market, the Car of the Year 1976, the Simca 1307 was chosen as the base. It must have been a tough decision from the designers’ perspective, as the preceding work was wiped clean, and they were told to follow in the footsteps of what Chrysler Europe had been doing.

But still, work was started over again and prototypes were again produced.

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Moskvitch Weekend Edition: The Moskvitch Prototypes Part II

After discarding the 412 as a basis for the forthcoming prototypes, Moskvitch’s design started to get really interesting. Although the source material doesn’t explicitly address this, the Saab influence in the first prototype, denoted C-1, is more than obvious in several respects.

Another amusing thing is that the 1975 C-1 prototype, due to its striking green colour, ended up being named after the children’s programme character Crocodile Gena. There are worse comparisons, I guess.

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Moskvitch Weekend Edition: The Moskvitch Prototypes Part I

This weekend, it’ll be 25 years from the German Reunification. The East and the West started a process that made Eastern Europe what it is today: countries full of well-used 1990s Volkswagen Passats and some really lovely towns to spend time in, having a hearty meal with a good beer alongside.

Redusernab has had its share of Lada photos and the occasional Samara content, and we’re not averse to Trabants, but Moskvitches haven’t been too common on this site. That’s why I’m lending a little light to The Other Russian Car Maker, the one that isn’t VAZ.

Remember Aleko? You will, after the first posts this weekend.

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Back on Track Day: Redusernab Goes to Ahvenisto

Out of all the racetracks in Finland, Ahvenisto stands out. Most of the tracks here have been built somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and that usually renders them quite flat. But Ahvenisto stands proud by a ridge, with uphill sections and daring curves without yards and yards of run-off area. Originally, there wasn’t much close by but woodlands and fields, but urban sprawl reached the track quite quickly. Nowadays the track has to hold its ground to be able to exist in modern smalltown Finland, where people move next to race tracks and then complain about engine noise. But I digress: every minute spent at the track is worth it, as long as the track is in active use and respected for the motorsport history it embodies.

It has become sort of customary for our circle of FinalGearheads to end the summer season with an Ahvenisto trackday somewhere in late September or early October, and this year was no exception. I was eager to take my Miata there, as it’s the closest thing to an actually track-ready car I’ve had in my fleet.

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Great Little Car: Mazda MR-90 was the GLC re-animated

It’s always baffling when you find out there’s a car you never knew existed. When searching for Ford Festiva images – honestly – I bumped into this press shot of the Mazda MR-90, and it completely caught me off guard. What was it? A Hyundai Pony with Mazda badges?

Badge engineering doesn’t go that way in this case, and the MR-90 is just something refreshed. You’re looking at the 1977-onwards Mazda 323 GLC, only wearing the GC generation 626’s face for the Indonesian market.

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Heavy Metal: 1977 Cadillac Coupé de Ville

Antti Kautonen September 23, 2015 Finnish Line

I love the deep copper colour on this Cadillac. I love the faux wire wheel trims on it, and the matching vinyl roof. Most of all, I love the very heavy-looking bumper and the ton of chrome on the front of this 1977 Coupe de Ville: it looks like it accounts for a quarter of the vehicle’s weight.

I shot this Caddy on the same lot as one of the first cars I photographed for this site, the Buick Roadmaster. The presence of both cars is pretty spot on.

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For Sale: Dutch 1987 Hyundai Stellar is an unlikely survivor

Let’s think back on the Hyundai timeline. There’s the Sonata, before which there was the Sonata, and then there were a whole bunch of Mitsubishi-engined Sonatas, and then there’s the Stellar. Exactly! The Stellar, an in-betweener from the time when Hyundai still built Ford Cortinas under licence, and was in transition to using Mitsubishi partsbin stuff in bodies they designed themselves.

The Hyundai Stellar was a rear-drive car that used the 1970s Cortina platform, but under the hood was a Mitsubishi four-cylinder. The body was a Giugiaro design, tall, blocky and narrow, and the glasshouse is a good few percent too far back to make perfect sense from the side on. They aren’t exactly commonplace anywhere, but there’s a surviving, fully loaded 1987 car in the Netherlands and it’s for sale.

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