In 1986, I participated in the test under the working title "Volga Ring". It was almost the same test as the Peugeot 308 test report is dedicated to in this issue. The protagonist of 1986 was the VAZ-2105, popular at that time.

Of course, Zhiguli and Peugeot 308 are vehicles of completely different generations. However, after reading the Peugeot report and re-reading the 1986 material, I realized that the main difference between these articles is not what cars they talk about. The main thing is who they are written for!

The 2013 report is for those who choose a car among dozens of similar ones on the market. For those who are primarily interested in price and seasonal discounts, appearance, cabin comfort, trunk volume and warranty conditions. Well, more engine power, fuel consumption and dynamic performance. I can assume (you have the right to disagree with me) that many open the hood only to fill in the washer fluid or add oil. And most likely, they never look under a car.

A completely different people - millions of car enthusiasts who eagerly waited for each issue of "At the wheel" in 1986. Residents of cities and towns, villages and villages of the vast USSR - a country of universal locksmith literacy.

Most men, in addition to their main profession, should have been able to do everything. Just in order not to be helpless in the face of domestic problems in a country where almost no service was available. A real man in the USSR knew how to fix a radio and a TV, repair a door lock, a gas stove, a leaking faucet or toilet, introduce a bug into an electric meter so that it would count less … Otherwise, he is not a man!

And of course, the “normal man” was able to maintain and repair his favorite car. Own a car at that time was “our everything”, a dream of a lifetime and a tremendous value for the sake of which people were torn at work and earned money on “hack”, saved up money for years, lost their health and often conscience. In those days, there was a popular wisdom: a car owner is happy twice in his life - when he buys a car and when it … sells! However, no one was in a hurry to sell.

At that time, “Driving” was a unique vehicle of automotive literacy with its reports on the operation of cars, which contained a great deal of unique technical information. Here, for example, is just a fragment of what the test sector promised to tell readers in August 1986 about the test announcement: “A variety of parameters will be recorded that will interest motorists. These are engine power and CO content in its exhaust gases, adjustment of the ignition system and condition of spark plugs, compression in the cylinders and gaps in the valves of the gas distribution mechanism, the effectiveness of brakes, suspension, wheel alignment - wheel camber and play in the steering … and, of course, under our constant the control will be … tire wear, fuel and engine oil consumption. ”

The magazine taught oneself to overcome difficulties: “They began to think how to get out of this situation. Come up with. They took a self-tapping screw (it seems, one of those that fastens the headlight unit) and screwed it between the contact board and the distributor housing, thus rigidly fixing the position of the board. We set the gap between the contacts and the engine started up half a turn! ” Just a song for those who plowed the groomed open spaces of the Soviet Union.

Of course, other times are different songs. However, sometimes it becomes sad that a glaring ignorance in everything comes to replace the past, indeed almost universal, locksmith, and often quite engineering literacy. Instead, something equivalent has been formed. For example, universal consumer literacy, which could protect a modern person, including the owner of a car, is as effective as universal locksmith once helped out.