Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Master of Many Talents

Continuing the theme of famous Armenian car restorers, it would be inappropriate not to remember one of the highly revered figures among the local car enthusiasts. Everyone who has ever been interested in classic cars, has met or, at least, heard of the famous restorer Zhora Petrosyan.




Zhora is a truly versatile personality. After graduating the Terlemezyan Art School, he, for 22 years, worked as a sculpture teacher at the Abovyan Shool of Art. In the mid 70’s he became addicted to repairing classic cars, and starting from 1982, he got completely immersed in this craft as a professional. It should be mentioned that, only quite recently, Petrosyan discovered his gift for poetry. Well, the talents of a true man of art manifest themselves in everything.


This master has always preferred to deal with cars of European origin, particularly those from the beginning of the 20 century. The cars restored by Mr. Petrosyan were filmed for many soviet movies, that is why they are so well known to not only car connoisseurs, but also to the general public.
I also would like to mention that this master has a serious hobby, for which he has very little time- he is able to create a car with his hands.


Unfortunately, he has developed only two examples so far. The first one is a mini car made in the style of 1920’s. The author named it “Titernik”, which, translated from Armenian, means a butterfly. The improvised radiator grille flaunts a handmade logo in the form of a butterfly. The car has rather tiny dimensions- the interior can accommodate no more than 2 people. It is no wonder that the basic design of the car mainly consists of parts of soviet production: the engine, gearbox and electrics are taken from the VAZ-2101; there are also motorcycle parts widely used in the design of the exterior. The car is still kept in the personal collection of the master.



As for the second car, the author sold it long ago. It was a convertible strongly reminiscent of the Morgan Plus. There is an action story about a trip on this car across the country to an exhibition in Moscow. There were only 2 days before the exhibition opening at VDNKh (permanent general purpose trade show and amusement park in Moscow¬¬¬), so the choice was made for the shortest route, through Gazakh (a town in Azerbaijan).



It was the spring of 1989, so the trip to Moscow started with an armed chase, from which the “Morgan” managed to safely escape. In hot pursuit, Zhora was able to accelerate the car up to 180 km/h!!!
Having reached the final destination without a single damage, the car stood at the exhibition for six months, after which it was taken back to the native village of the master, Balahovit.