Some classic soviet muscle in the shape of a ZIL 131. This model was rolled out in 1967, and I have no doubt that this one is that old….
It offers a general visual encapsulation of all Russian vehicles; it is both intensely practical and aesthetically horrifying.
In Khmer, they call these things a domrey tuk (ដំរីទឺក; literally a hippopotamus) because of its incredible ability to maneuver through mud. Watching these grumble down a swampy jungle track is a sight to behold, with all 6 wheels lurching through waist-deep mud. A massive PTO winch comes standard.
It’s almost impossible to get one stuck. Unless the transmission goes; so then again, maybe it’s pretty easy to get one stuck.
Back when I lived in Cambodia in the mid-90’s, a huge percentage of vehicles were from the former Soviet Union. There were UAZ jeeps and vans everywhere. Even today, old Russian trucks like this GAZ 4×4 or the venerable ZIL 130 are ubiquitous across the Cambodia countryside, a sort of glimpse into the Communist past of Cambodia.
I took this photo back in 2006, of a similar russian vehicle slogging through the muck on the highway between Pleiku Vietnam and Banlung, Cambodia.
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