Rust never sleeps, is the name of Neil Youngs album from the seventies. I have mentioned it before. The car, which was a source of inspiration for blanket “Rust”. It is still there, below the lovely tree and rust is working relentlessly. Despite of the all the e-mails I have received from passionate Polish car afficionados, nobody has picked it up for restoration. And I still don’t know who the owner is. But I just love it! It has been parked there for as long as I have been driving in and out of this fjord, at least for twenty years.
It is definitively a wreck. And it is a heap of garbage and should have been removed. I am deeply fascinated by the turquoise color which is almost gone. The decaying, rusty surfaces with holes, crevices, stripes, spots, the irregular, chaotic texture. Moss is growing on the bumpers and in the window, lichens are colonizing the fenders.
It is a witness of shortage and import restrictions, this Warszawa Pobeda Gaz M20 1953 model. Many years ago it was beautiful and gleaming in the sun, and a proud owner showed it to his neighbours, friends and family.
How did a Sovjet built (or maybe Polish built) car make it to the coast of Troms, hundreds of kilometers north of the arctic circle? In Norway there were import restricitions on cars until 1960, with the ecxeption of eastern European ones. In 1957 the Pobeda was the second most sold car in Norway, just beaten by Volkswagen. The M20 Pobeda GAz model was shown to Stalin already in 1944, but production started first two years later. Pobeda means victory in Russian, so I read on Wikipedia. Some of the production was licenciated to Warszaw, Poland, therefore the suffix Warszawa.
We always wonder when driving past the wreck: is this uncle old Alf’s car? Uncle Alf owned a turquoise Pobeda and he sold it to a guy living in this very fjord, but we don’t know anymore. Getting a ride in this car was the peak of happiness for boys and girls in the sixties, suddenly the world opened up, driving out of the fjord as far as the inland or even the Finnish border.
The car is especially beautiful in autumn. Golden birch leaves fall down on the rusty hood. They decay and turn to soil, just like the car will sooner or later.