Dartz Celebrates 25 Years of Lunacy


The always entertaining Latvian automaker will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next month. Topless women will likely be involved.

The Latvian automaker known as Dartz that’s famous for such insane vehicles like the armored Prombron and custom items like whale foreskin leather (yes, that’d be whale penis skin) is now celebrating its 25th anniversary, although it traces its lineage back to 1869. First founded as the Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory in 1869, it started life making opulent cars for the Russian Empire Railway. After that market began to decline in 1907, the company moved into auto production, with its first models launched the following year.

It started going by the name DAR (Division Automobile Riga) but this was changed to BTAZ and later to RBVAZ. The company eventually shut down, but in May of 1988, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev allowed some new companies to open and the present day Dartz was founded by Leonard F. Yankelovich. Dartz is now the go-to company for drug and war lords who require armored opulence, as well as fictional dictators created by Sasha Baron Cohen. To mark the occasion, Leo sent us the usual whacked-out and hard-to-decipher press release and a series of photos. Happy 25th Dartz. Here’s to 25 more years’ worth of complete lunacy.

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