What’s the first thing you think of when somebody mentions the country Russia to you? Vodka? Yakov Smirnoff? Those big furry hats? I’m sure the last thing you would have ever thought of is cars. And why would you? There’s nothing that great at all about Russian automobiles. No great stylings, or innovations, nothing that makes them stand out against the rest of the world. In fact look at the evolution of Russian-made cars and you’d see very little change over the years. You would think Russian car manufacturers took the same approach to cars as their arms industry did with the AK-47 and that is to make it simple, and keep it simple.
However, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia and other former Soviet states have received an influx of Western influences. In recent years, the Russian car scene, especially their lowriding scene, has exploded. Known as “lourayding” in Russia, lowriding has grown beyond being just a form of self-expression and has evolved into a act of social protest against the uniformity, simplicity, and blandness Soviet culture was known for.
As a child living in post-Soviet Russia, Moscow resident Vitaly Malykhin was raised in the center of communism’s mundane confines. However, luckily for Vitaly, he also had the privilege of having access to Western television, more specifically rap music videos. Vitaly used to watch videos featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop, and Ice Cube cruising around in their lowriders.
Mesmerized by what he saw, Vitaly dreamed of owning his own lowrider and becoming a part of the culture that he idolized. As he grew older this dream became a reality, as Vitaly went on to form one of Russia’s first lowriding clubs with his friends, Non Grata C.C. as well as owning a lowrider of his own, a ’63 Impala SS nicknamed Ola De Blue. This does give new meaning to the words “Russian lowrider.” This is the real thing, laying down on the ground in the streets of Moscow!
Vehicle: 1963 Chevy Impala SS
Owner: Vitaly Malykhin
Vehicle Nickname: “Ola De Blue”
City/State: Moscow, Russia
Club: Non Grata
Engine: 1991 350 Chevy
Body/Paint: Body and paint by Tino Customs
Interior: Dakota Digital gauges
Suspension: Denominator 2600 cylinders, Bosch batteries, airbags by Long Island Customs in St. Petersburg
Wheels/Tires: 13-inch OG wires, 155/70/13 Uniroyal tires