The holiday "Russian Car of the Century" took place.


They drove in one after another and a column lined up at the front door. And the new “Lada” and “Samara”, “cool” foreign cars - all the other cars were left at some distance, in front of the sign “brick”. Only the old, vazovsky “kopeks” who had seen a lot of their time, had the road opened. They became real birthday people that day.

In Togliatti, the holiday "Russian Car of the Century" was held. And his modest VAZ 2101 became his hero - a model which, according to the results of voting, our motoring readers called the best domestic model of the century (ZR, 2000, No. 1) and which, by a happy coincidence, celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year.

At the AvtoVAZ Palace of Culture and Technology, both those who were involved in the birth of the famous “penny” and those who determine the date of the car factory gathered. In the lobby there are laureates of the referendum “At the wheel”: the VAZ “ten”, GAZ-21 “Volga” and the main hero of the occasion - “one”. Slogans greeting the creators of the best Russian car of the century.

However, it turned out that not all Togliatti and even not all VAZ residents are ardent fans of locally made cars. Here, for example, Benjamin Innokentyevich Lazarev. This is his “Volga” - just like a museum! - stands in a place of honor in the lobby. He bought it four years ago, moreover, having managed to be the owner of both the Lada and the Moskvich-412. He says: “Volga” was previously unavailable, so even now you need to ride on it, you’re glad and don’t need anything else. ”By the way, Veniamin Innokentyevich is one of those rare people with whom fate makes incredible jokes. He walked somehow from work and bought a bottle of “Zubrovka”, and on delivery - three tickets of the Sprint lottery. One opens - a Moskvich car! The second - 25 rubles, but the third - without a win. Okay, so far the court is up, I took a cash prize and bought more tickets And he won 30 and 25 rubles! We have such happy readers.

… Congratulations sounded, shots from old films and newsreels flickered on the screen, dancing couples circled on the stage, Valery Syutkin sang, causing, by the way, animation in the hall by replacing words in the well-known song with words suitable for the occasion: “VAZ“ zero first " - the very first". The chief editor of the magazine “Behind the Wheel” handed the certificate for the second place to the GAZ-21 Volga to the deputy chief designer of GAZ V. Nosakov.

And finally, the long-awaited moment - the rewarding of the winner! Director General, President of AvtoVAZ A. Nikolaev receives from the hands of the Editor-in-Chief a prize made in the form of a penny with the very “penny” - our car of the century.

At the end of the holiday - a draw of the VAZ “dozens” among the survey participants (recall: there were 80 thousand of them). Especially for this, a computer with a database was brought from Moscow, where the numbers of profiles of all who chose a Russian car of the century were entered in advance.

First, as usual, checking the operation of a computer program. The presenters asked if there were those who participated in the voting in the hall. From somewhere in the back rows a man got up and shouted his name. The operator dials it, and … the remaining data is displayed on the screen: first name, middle name, last name, place of residence, which car owns. “Is everything right?” Asks the host. “No!” The viewer answers. A general short confusion, after which - a clarification: "This is my son, he filled out a questionnaire …".

So, the computer program is working. Now, in five windows on the screen, digits start spinning quickly and quickly in random order. Two kids, called from the hall, press a key, stopping their run. Holding their breath, the audience watches as 2, 1, 5, 7 and one more time jump out 7. Here it is, the number of the profile of the lucky one! Which of the readers is hiding behind him? The computer instantly finds its data. And again the hall gasps: the city of Kopeisk! Sergey Sergeyevich Blaginin, a subscriber from the Chelyabinsk region, lives in a city with such a fantastically appropriate name for it. He is already over forty, but not yet fifty, he works in industry, does not have his own car! The only thing that slightly does not correspond to the image of an “exemplary participant in the vote” - Sergey Sergeevich chose the Volga as the car of the century.

Of course, the Togliatti people were a little disappointed that the “ten” would go to a foreign city. Therefore, a consolation prize - a radio tape recorder - was played among the audience. But that is not all. Everyone who brought old magazines “Behind the wheel” with them for a holiday got gifts - books from our publishing house. The oldest copy was in April 1961! We could not even imagine that in Autograd, which began to be built in 1966, there are such ancient magazines.

The holiday is over. Now, recalling the twentieth century, we can name, among other achievements, this: BEST RUSSIAN VAZ 2101 CAR. So you - motorists of the country have decided. And at the Volga Automobile Plant, they gratefully accepted this decision. Everyone who spoke at the celebration of the voting results, from the president, AvtoVAZ CEO A. Nikolaev to the factory’s ordinary workers, said that the choice of the Russians was not only a high assessment of VAZ’s past achievements, but also an advance for the future.

Well, their current generation has made its choice. Choosing a car of the next century is already different.

General Director of AvtoVAZ JSC

A. Nikolaev with a "penny" cast in bronze.

Holiday "penny" - a holiday of its creators - designers of AvtoVAZ.

Deputy Chief Designer of GAZ