Brezhnev’s Cadillac

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2008

 

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I googled Brezhnev and Cadillac the other day and discovered, to my dismay, that Friday’s entry was the second item to pop up.  Worse, the best part of the story was nowhere to be found.

So, because apparently it appears nowhere else on the Web, here is a very short (but absolutely true!) version, courtesy of Professor Sergei N. Khrushchev and my own less reliable memory:
 
Brezhnev loved and collected fine automobiles, so when Richard Nixon came to Moscow for a summit in 1972, he requested as a present a black Eldorado Cadillac, which apparently he considered the best car in the world.  When it was presented to him, he happily got in behind the wheel.  Then he said that Nixon should get in beside him.  And when Nixon did, off he drove!
 
For three hours, while the security people fretted, the head of the Soviet Union drove the head of the Free World through Moscow and into the surrounding countryside.
 
True story.
 
Sometime after the summit was over, it was discovered that for proper operation the Caddy required a grade of gasoline not available in the USSR. So Brezhnev’s people had to wire the Americans for a barrel.
 
True coda.
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