EX-SOVIET CLASSICS SELL FOR PEANUTS
Cars abandoned in Finland are great value for adventurous bidders
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