92 Year Old Drives a Tesla After a Lifetime of Soviet Cars

Moskvitch to Model X? That’s a big leap.

byJames Gilboy| PUBLISHED Nov 4, 2017 1:14 PM
92 Year Old Drives a Tesla After a Lifetime of Soviet Cars

It can be argued that cars made under communist (or similar) governments tend to be on the appalling end of the spectrum. The BBC's Top Gear has explored vehicles made both in China and the Soviet Union, and reached unsurprising conclusions on each country's attempts at making vehicles. Imagine being forced to drive a car like the Lada VAZ-2101—a car engineered by Italians, and built under license by Russians—for your whole life. 92-year-old Roosi of Tallinn, Estonia, is possibly her country's oldest licensed driver, and has driven Soviet cars her entire life. Each summer, she endures driving her 1974 Moskvitch for hundreds of kilometers per week, and has never once owned a Western (or modern) car.

YouTube channel Geenius Meedia met up with Roosi to see what she would think of the cutting-edge Tesla Model X. Upon placing her in the driver's seat, it was discovered that Roosi had never even driven a car with an automatic transmission before, making her the instant idol of three-pedal hardliners the world over. She was reminded to keep her left foot idle on the dead pedal, letting her right do all the work, and had to be taught how to put the car in drive.

In a now-retracted English translation of the event, she uttered a comment that's sure to make Elon Musk proud: "just like my Moskvitch! What's the difference?"

Tesla critics, some of whom find the upstart company's interiors underwhelming at the price point at which Teslas are sold, are bound to repeat this quote for years.

Rossi eventually is impressed with the car, however, declaring, "super duper! I would buy this one! Very nice!" She reiterates herself after taking her hands off the wheel, entrusting her life to Autopilot.

Despite receiving Roosi's praise, the comparison to Soviet cars—her only point of reference—continues, as she states that the Model X felt familiar, like her old GAZ-M20 Pobeda. After a a life of driving only communist-built cars, though, her comments ought to be taken as a compliment, and not a roast. A driver as experienced as Roosi recalling one of her favorite cars from her youth, regardless of how strange the comparison may be, in praise of the Tesla Model X is hardly insignificant, is it?