EX-SOVIET CLAS­SICS SELL FOR PEANUTS

Cars aban­doned in Fin­land are great value for ad­ven­tur­ous bid­ders

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

Acol­lec­tion of 128 cars aban­doned in La­p­land by eco­nomic mi­grants cross­ing into the EU from Rus­sia has gone un­der the ham­mer. If you were in Salla, Fin­land, for the sale, you could have bid in what ended up be­ing a bar­gain-packed sale.

Col­lec­tors from around Fin­land and other parts of Eu­rope cashed-in on these ex- Soviet odd­i­ties dur­ing the sale on 15-16 July.

The most ex­pen­sive car was a Volga M24 (right), which made

€ 1200. ‘All cars were sold,’ says auc­tion spokesper­son Heli Kar­jalainen. ‘Some made just € 1, but those were in poor con­di­tion. The ones bid­ders were most ex­cited about were the Vol­gas.’

‘In­ter­est in the event has been ex­pressed as far afield as Ger­many, Swe­den and Rus­sia. It was even be­ing filmed as a part of a doc­u­men­tary!’ says Erkki Parkki­nen, Mayor of Salla.

The sale was held dur­ing the an­nual ‘Salla in the Mid­dle of the Night’ celebration – where every­thing in the vil­lage is open un­til mid­night for live mu­sic.

The auc­tion at­tracted huge in­ter­est pre-sale, and was packed over the two days. ‘On Fri­day there were more than 500 peo­ple there, al­though Satur­day was quiet. Amaz­ingly, the youngest bid­der in the sale was just five years old,’ Kar­jalainen adds.

There were so many cars in Salla in La­p­land – some 600 miles north of cap­i­tal Helsinki – be­cause the mi­grants find it a com­par­a­tively easy route into the EU.

The cars were aban­doned there be­tween De­cem­ber 2015 and March this year. They were there be­cause mi­grants used to cross the Rus­sian-Fin­nish bor­der by bi­cy­cle as foot cross­ing is for­bid­den. But asy­lum seek­ers turned to old rusty cars af­ter the Fin­nish Gov­ern­ment banned bi­cy­cle cross­ings.

The full re­sults of the sale weren’t avail­able as CCW closed for press, and the or­gan­iser had yet to de­cide if there would be another. Mur­ray Scul­lion

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