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The coolest car for a Baku teenager to drive is a pimped-up Lada Semyorka, with blacked-out windows and huge rear tyres. This iconic Soviet vehicle, once symbolic of a clapped out centralised economy, has become an endearing piece of nostalgia to bring a tear to babushka’s eye.

The car is now “vintage,” as are the recycled, Soviet-era jokes: A man finally gets on the waiting list for a Lada Semyorka and is told to come and pick it up in 10 years’ time. “Morning or afternoon?” asks the man. “What do you care? It’s in 10 years!” says the salesman.…

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