Russian Leather-Covered Car Lacks Taste, Offends Vision
We're not Putin you on, this Russian custom car is swathed in real Canadian buffalo hide inside and out – including the trunk and the engine compartment. Better not take it out in the rain... better yet, don't take it out at all.
The latter advisory is well-warranted unless the smell of burning leather gets your juices flowing. One wonders if the vehicle's finish was inspired by “Don't Touch Me There” by The Tubes. The seller at Russia's online Auto Exchange guarantees a lifetime warranty on the buffalo leather's durability... the life of the buffalo or the vehicle, we're not quite sure.
Credit (or castigate) Moscow car enthusiast Maxim Sarmatov with this unique (one would hope) touring tour de force. Featuring a quad bucket seat interior that appears to be trimmed in fur, the retro rocket rolls on four Goodyear tires. The “they see me rollin', they hatin'” meme was never so appropriate.
By the looks of it, the car was based on a late Forties to early Fifties American chromesmobile. The vaguely lion-ish grill emblem offers few clues. Then again, regular production Russian cars sported that sort of styling well into the Seventies so its true origins must remain a messy mystery.
The engine is a 2.5-litre four-banger that certainly isn't original equipment. Other engineering features include automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive, and a steering wheel mounted on the right.
As for the tanned and cured bison leather masking every bit of formerly exposed metal barring the hubcaps (baby sealskin must have been in short supply), significant portions have been embossed with middle-eastern motifs. This leads to speculation the target market is somewhere in or around the Persian Gulf.
Reinforcing the inference is the sticker price: a whopping 40 million Russian rubles or 1,215,000 U.S. dollars. Don't know about you but for that amount of dough we'd demand a shirtless Vlad Putin pop over every weekend to buff der bison-wagen with saddle soap. (via WeirdHut)
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