Abandoned ex-Soviet classics go to auction
Some 128 cars that were abandoned in Lapland by economic migrants crossing into the EU from Russia went under the hammer last year.
Of these cars, 18 were under an investigation by the authorities at the time and couldn’t be sold in the auction. Now the investigations have been completed, they will be sold at a follow-up auction.
Collectors of rare Soviet cars will be itching to attend the new auction on 14 July in the ski resort of Salla, Lapland. The 18 lots up for grab include Ladas, Volgas and one Marshrutka GAZ Gazel city bus. There are no reserves, and the discarded vehicles that sold at the last auction typically made tens and hundreds of pounds rather than thousands or tens of thousands.
The Soviet-registered vehicles originally entered Lapland because migrants crossed 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.
Heli Karjalainen, from the Salla tourism marketing association, says: ‘Hopefully this auction is going to be as successful as the first one last summer. Everything went really well and people were in a good mood. It was a happy and also humorous event and I’m sure this one will be, too.’