How to drive a Rolls-Royce in Russia

How to drive a Rolls-Royce in Russia

How to drive a Rolls-Royce in Russia

Any dream - one of those that arise in the consciousness that is already fading at a late time, so that you will not understand whether it is a thought or already a dream - may one day come true. Believe me, I know what I'm saying, it's happened to me several times already. So: when fate knocks on your door and asks in the voice of a messenger: "Did you order Glory (money, love, a first-class trip around the world, an apartment on two levels)?" -- we have to be ready. You need to know exactly how you use what you have delivered, so that you are happy and then you don't have to regret what you have lived aimlessly.

Why am I saying this? Yes, recently Autopilot offered me a 1985 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit car. The editor - in- chief called and said: anyway, tomorrow morning will be at the entrance. You don't mind? What are your plans for the near future? You say you have a lot to do, will you have to travel? Well, that's good for you. Tell me later how it was. And I almost asked for the number of the car, but I caught myself. The gentleman in the back. First impression: just a black car, not even very big. Moreover, after looking closely, you begin to discover common features inherent in the generation - the back somehow resembles, Ugh, God forgive me, the GAZ-13 "Seagull" of the last Soviet spill, headlights like the "Lincoln" of the same time, door handles purely "Volga", chrome all around in the vanished solid fashion... But after looking a little closer, you realize that there is something... well, some kind of unusual... it seems like a suit made to order by an English tailor is different from just a very good one, even from some Zegna - it fits differently, the shoulders are slightly slanted... Firstly, black color without any metallic luster, no additives, just a deep glow of black lacquer and polishing. Secondly, chrome is a different kind of chrome, a different, slightly greenish shine. And not chrome at all, as it turned out, but silver plating or even the simplest cast silver, right in a piece. And it's not that the imagination is affected - for example, the winged lady herself over the radiator, the famous "Spirit of Ecstasy" (she is the "Spirit of Ecstasy"), it's entirely silver, the price is $3000 - to hell with it, with the price, but the shine is different. There's a "Silver Spirit" here, there's something like that -- not Russia, or even Europe, but a free-standing island, a green country of sheep and their owners, the same as a lord or a tenant, in rubber boots, but in tweed jackets with ties, a country of fireplaces not for beauty, but for heating, washbasins without faucets (alas, there are fewer and more common amenities), icy bedrooms and scalding ceramic hot water bottles under blankets, a country of moonshine with the proud name whisky and inedible for a foreigner The black pudding, discreetly called Great Britain, is given away by this huge mobile black mirror with silver ornaments. Great Britain shakes off wheel caps with the initials RR, in which one R, like a shadow, comes out from under the other. The fragrance of the United Kingdom spreads in the damp air of the Moscow thaw from the radiator grille with an Empire house and a silver woman above her, wings thrown back, like an angel doing exercises. And from the inside it looks like anything but a car.

There are no "recaro-type" seats, no "seven adjustment positions" and other worldwide Japanized pontiars - beige thick leather sofas, silver brackets of handles, shiny polished walnut - either the library of a modest (but accessible only to members) club on the Strand, or a carriage. That's unless the steering wheel is for some reason, an almost trolleybus-sized black thin wheel with a round button-bib in the middle, and a tape recorder from the new, democratic times, from which the aboriginal blatnyak of the cursed all-pervading "Chanson" is heard... Those who are carried by such cars drive only as passengers. In Rolls-Royce, they sit only in the back seat and are not interested in the number of cylinders, ninety-second gasoline per hundred, the parameters of the manual transmission and the durability of the racks. The engine is quietly wheezing - not young, though. The "Silver Spirit" floats heavily over the ground - not swaying like relaxed American dreadnoughts, but not jumping like European frivolous compacts, firmly but smoothly moving across a foreign land. Natives of a country with a great colonial past are no stranger to wild places, and the bearing And gentleman from the front seat asks, slightly turning around, the gentleman sitting behind: "Where are we going, sir?" And although "sir" is not pronounced according to local conditions, but only implied, it somehow automatically pops out of sir: "Home and then to the bank, Jack." Although Jack, of course, is called Glory. The gentleman in front. His name is Slava, and it is written on the cardboard pinned to the lapel of his jacket -- Slava, driver. He looks a little younger than me (that is, old middle-aged), blond of average appearance. A black double-breasted suit with metal coat of arms buttons, a white shirt with a black tie, a soft cap (like James Bond when he appears in the form of a commodore) with gold branches on a lacquered visor and white gloves. Coats are not allowed in any weather, including Russian weather - if the weather does not coincide with British ideas about it, so much the worse for the weather. In the city, it can withstand a cruising speed of 60 kilometers per hour, and nothing can make it go faster - as, indeed, slower. For all the time, he did not stop in any traffic jam and practically at any traffic light, somehow inexplicably driving past cars that stood up deafly on Petrovka, at Stoleshnikov, always keeping up with the green at the intersection and driving under the "brick" with the full, but restrained, without saluting, approval of the traffic cops. We drove into my yard near Belorusskaya, inhabited by homeless people and rats. Some guy in the morning state, seeing the appearance of us to the people, clearly crossed himself, driving away such unusual devils.

The garbage dump scattered over the entire environment creaked under the wheels with plastic bags... My yard is distinguished not just by its abomination, but also by the fact that among the station tramps and feral dogs, cars such as Mercedes CLK 320, Audi A8 (two pieces, both silver) and a dark red Opel Monterey, hung with everything that is possible and impossible, park in it. I have never been able to understand who owns these expensive products of German industry. Anyway, if I had enough money for any of these cars, I would not only not live in this dump, but I would never come here. My compatriots are strange... But, be that as it may, it is not easy to drive between these beauties, and my everyday Peugeot 406 barely squeezes under my favorite comment by my usual driver, "per-rebirths!" (I liked "Kys" Tolstoy). So, Slava spent his dreadnought among these death-threatening, only scratches, scylla and charybdis, as if they did not exist, and stood in front of the entrance so that there was no puddle in front of the rear right door - which, according to my observations, is generally inaccessible to an ordinary driver. Then, according to the plan of the Autopilot film crew accompanying us, we had to be photographed against the background of my yard Lenin. The NKVD proletarians, for whom our entire block was built in the early thirties, could not live without a leader for a minute and put his plaster head, painted with silver, right in the middle of the courtyard. You can drive up to it like this: with a ninety-degree turn between the Mercedes and the rusty kopeck, climb onto a completely icy pedestrian path - our crew already looks like, by twenty centimeters - and crawl between the sharp corners of the metal fence. Slava carefully took off his cap, put it next to him on the seat, opened the left window, leaned out and drove. Frankly, I squeezed my eyes shut, imagining how a three-ton car rolls back, ripping the lacquered sides on cast-iron pins, and kneads the Mercedes - the "penny" with which the owner recently celebrated a silver wedding... There was an irritated growl of the engine, in which goddamned fucking Russia was clearly heard, sweet smoke flew along with the damp air into the carriage interior - and Glory drove in. He talks about himself sparingly and only answering questions. Respects rare cars and can adjust - or simply alter - the engine so that, for example, this instance eats no more than fifteen to seventeen per hundred in the city. A former athlete, worked in serious government agencies, housemates are very famous people... You can guess about the rest, but you don't even really want to. Because the main thing I learned about him after the first fifty kilometers of driving: I can't imagine a better personal driver on the territory of the former USSR. Perhaps they are, but I haven't been president of the country yet, so I haven't met them. Gentlemen around. Leaky "sixes", "Volga" with mufflers dragging on the ground and "Daewoo" in the mud on the last Uzbek screw simply do not pay attention. They, without looking, even without much pleasure, showering a new salt-free Moscow porridge, overtake some kind of truck and rush on into their lives. From parquet jeeps and middle-aged "one hundred and twenty-fourth" Merces, bristly young men look around and show their girls with their fingers that this is just a complete finish, not a car. You can read on their lips, "damn, this is the Rolls silver spirit of the eighty-fifth, damn, I'm crazy about style." They overtake with pleasure, waiting for a particularly deep puddle to spit the whole glass to the bespectacled sucker sitting behind. And only once did I encounter an adequate reaction.

We drove up to the savings bank, where I had to pay taxes for the year before last, when the total thirteen percent was only a dream of progressives, and my tax inspectorate made a mistake in calculations, and therefore offered me, threatening with prison, to immediately fix their puncture. And in front of the savings bank there was already a very nice "six hundredth", and even a "Brabusovsky" - in general, a decent car. And out of it, too, came a gentleman who came on savings bank business - an ordinary young man, a Fendi leather jacket, Armani jeans. He looked at RR, looked at me, and his gaze was clear. The indelible resentment was read in this look, and the offense could be understood: here you are plowing here like a tractor, you started with urea, now you have gone into colored scrap, saved up for a decent machine, and some kind of pensioner comes to RR, and there's nothing you can do about it, because already all the guys know that both the "stosoroket" and the new bug-eyed, and even the S500 in the two hundred and twentieth do not stand against the Rolls, even such an old one... Eh, life, fuck! The wreckage is solid. And looking transparently into the middle of my forehead, he gave way for the first time in his life in the doorway. Other reactions were predictable. A traffic cop in a padded jacket, over which a belt and a yellow vest barely converged, saluted, but at the last moment left it with him - a cool car, but not of that steepness, not state. The doorman at the restaurant rushed to open the door, saw the driver already opening with a white glove, and thought about the world order. The guy guarding the parking lot in front of the Bolshoi Theater - I came to a party in Maly, but got out a little way away to avoid friendly bullying - fell out of the booth, lowered the rope without question and knowingly whispered with his lips, pointing to the car with photographers following: "Security?"Near the village temple, the boys shouted: "Tourists have arrived!" -- But they immediately guessed differently: "They will shoot a movie about bandits!" The household members, who were waiting at the dacha and warned, kindly watched as the car climbed into the half-rotted gate, and patiently waited at the dining table for the head of the family, who found himself another toy. The women were sure that I had arrived on the Volga, only on a very large one. If you don't have a Rolls-Royce. Then, perhaps, you will not notice where you live. Everything else, including Jaguar, Porsche and other high-end hardware, already drives here like a native. And RR still looks like an outsider, arrogant and separate. And if you want not to be confused with the locals, Rolls-Royce is just right. Sit back, lean back and mentally say: "In the City, Jack." An excellent theater will turn out to be one actor and one spectator. And it doesn't matter where you actually go on the Moscow mud. TEXT BY ALEXANDER KABAKOV, PHOTO BY EVGENY TSOI

Rolls Royce Silver Spirit. The year of release is 1996. It was first introduced in 1979. Seven years later, to improve aerodynamics, the shape and height of the radiator lining was changed, and the exterior rear-view mirrors were moved from the upper edge of the door to the side window frame. In the cabin of the 1996 model, controls, a radiotelephone and a CD player are more conveniently placed. The ashtray and lighter received a new walnut shell lining. Specialists of the company "Cosworth Engineering" upgraded a V-shaped eight-cylinder power plant with a volume of 6.7 liters with a capacity of 247 hp. The maximum speed is 214 km /h, the price (in 1996) is from $ 100 thousand.

The article is taken from the journal