Subscribe via RSS Feed

Barn Find in Kemerovo!

September 24, 2015 2 Comments

Here we are in Russia, reunited with Baz and Donna and we’re in a city called Kemerovo, population 500,000, N 55° 20′, E 86° 02′.

We’re waiting for Barry’s Ford Ranger to be fixed. The front end has finally, this time I think, given up the ghost and refused to let the driver continue without white knuckle clenching of the steering wheel, wondering if she will get around the next corner.

Much more of that later, because the subject of this particular story is that the workshop the Ford is in is an absolute Barn Find. I have taken some photographs, but will attempt now to describe the scene.

Okay, it’s Tuesday night, 9pm, dark and wet and we enter a big, industrial yard, car wrecks, scrap metal, a timber mill, coal everywhere. A bit like a scene from Mad Max.

Kemerovo Mechanic

Our Mechanic at Kemerovo

We have a chap named Andre with us, a 30 year old manager of a Volvo mining equipment facility in this city, who we picked up in a city 200km away. We are following him to a mechanic, 4wd enthusiast and friend. In and around a few aisles of broken cars, in the open yard, then in the dark, a big wooden door opens. A bear of a man, in overalls and army camo gear covered in grease, comes out. He’s Andre as well, so that part is easy!

We follow him in to his shed, all wood. It’s an entry before an entry and I can see a KGB agent in every corner. Then, we walk along and the smoke haze gets thicker and thicker. Then another door, where there are three more men. Subordinates of Andre, who don’t rate an introduction, but it’s nods and grunts all round. I’ve downloaded an internet free Russian translator on Lynn’s smart phone, so we go to work.

The shed is a collection of vehicles and tools dating from WWII.

There is an armoured personnel carrier tucked in one corner with junk all over it. It looks like what you’d see in the Colonel Klink Stalag 13 show.

There is a mid-70s Toyota Land Cruiser (Andre likes Cruisers!). There’s a car that looks like a mid-‘60s Rambler sedan, but is Russian, maybe a Zil, complete with original old number plates. Beside it is a smaller sedan which looks like a Hillman Hunter, but Russian made.

There are numerous 4wd Russian “Jeeps” in various stages of modification. The walls and roof are timber, but clad in old posters, like movie posters, but vehicle orientated. Despite my efforts, I can’t find a girly calendar or poster!

Andre has given me consent to photograph my way around the shed.

The air is thick with smoke, cigarette, vehicle and general coal smoke. The city is a huge coal mining area, with the air and inversion layer to go with it.

Andre has agreed to give me a set of car number plates, he has a heap of them, so it will add nicely to my collection. I had been a bit worried about getting plates from Russia, as all the suitable cars had had their plates removed and there is an air of severity about the place. Don’t confuse severity with alarm, risk or danger – far from it. I wouldn’t like to be caught breaking the law in this country though!

Filed in: Diary

About the Author:

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Vic Watts says:

    Love the parka in the photo Baz

  2. Christine says:

    Glad to hear you are all ok and enjoying the trip.

Leave a Reply