If you were to write a list of the great car-making nations, you’d probably run out of ink before you thought of Latvia. And yet this former Soviet republic, sandwiched between Estonia and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, has produced some truly excellent machinery. Over the past hundred years or so, the country has made tanks, trains, trucks, buses, aeroplanes, ships and even Fords, which were built under licence in the capital Riga until the Russians barged in. Today the Latvian car industry is represented by one company: Division Automobile Riga Tank Zavod. Or Dartz, to you and me.
Photography: Rowan Horncastle
This feature was originally published in Issue 282 of Top Gear magazine.