This Carpet-Covered Lada Is the Most Soviet-Era Car Ever Made

There are many Soviet-era remnants scattered all over the Russian Federation, but few as blatant as this old Zighuli car covered in Persian-style rugs that recently went viral on social media.

The Zhiguli VAZ was a popular car model produced in Soviet Russia and exported all over the world. Outside of the Soviet Union, it was sold under the LADA brand, so it might look familiar even if you’re not from Russia. It was always considered a reliable vehicle that could take some punishment and still run, but overall it was one of the many symbols associated with the Soviet Union. Still, no model was ever as Soviet-ized as “Carpets”, a unique VAZ 27011 that captures viewers’ imagination with its unusual exterior – a layer of old Persian-style rugs that were once all the rage in communist countries.

Photo: Georgy Makarov/Instagram

“Carpets” is the creation of Georgy Makarov, an automobile enthusiast and student at the Moscow Automobile and Highway State Technical University, who wanted a car that was cheap but that could also stand out. He inherited the love for old Russian cars from his father, who has been involved in vehicle restoration for 30 years and is one of Russia’s vintage car experts.

Georgy’s first car was a 1981 Zhiguli 2702, which he had rebuilt almost from scratch, with his father, in the family workshop. Unfortunately, he crashed it in an accident, and putting it back together involved too much work. However, a friend of his had a 44-year-old VAZ 27011 that was gathering rust and suggested he breathe new life into it using his restoration skills. It’s safe to say that Georgy did just that, and then some!

“‘Carpets’ is my vision made real. It is made up of three concepts: the Soviet Union, the ‘Zhiguli’ brand and carpets,” Makarov said. “For me, these are inseparable things, so I connected them in one car. Now it is an art object, a historical monument, and just a means of transportation.”

The VAZ was already a quintessentially Soviet vehicle, but by combining it with the Persian-style carpets that many Russians and other Eastern-Europeans grew up with, Georgy Makarov raised the nostalgia factor to critical levels. At least that’s how he explains why his unique vehicle has been drawing so much attention on Russian social media.

Georgy doesn’t plan on embarking on a project similar to Carpets in the near future, but he does want to get deeper into the world of car restoration and see where that road takes him.

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