35 Soviet Cars For Export

Soviet Cars For Export

Posted on December 7, 2011 by


It's hard to believe but a lot of cars in the Soviet Union were produced for export. Thus, the Moskvich-412 was rather popular in East Europe including England and Germany.

There was no point in advertising automobiles for the Soviet people because there were serious deficiencies in them in the country. That is why most of the advertisements were aimed at the foreign buyer. Check out the photo collection and note that many of the inscriptions are made in the Roman alphabet.


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Another advertisement of the Volga. This time it is shown standing in Helsinki.

Foreigners used to call it 'tank on wheels'.

They tried to make the GAZ-24 look like his fellow cars from the West but by the time they began to produce it, its design went out of fashion. Despite that, the car still was in popular demand.

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35 Responses to “Soviet Cars For Export”

  1. tommy says:

    LADA NIVA is not (and never was) a SUV you pillocks!

    • nyuszy says:

      All time 4WD, no frame, independent suspension, no rigid axle.
      That’s a typical SUV build :)

    • ahv says:

      NIVA was the first SUV in the world

    • jd says:

      Niva is a sport and utility vehicle. Yes. The first range rover had rubber interior for washing out the cow manure. The fact that these denizens have transmogrified into luxury vehicles and are not for utility or even sport means that Range Rovers et al are NOt SUV’s, but the Lada and Cherokee are.

  2. Maesrobert says:

    The idea that the Moskvich-412 was “rather popular” in England is bit off the mark, to say the least. I never saw a single one in the UK in my entire life, and if there had been any around I would have noticed them. Maybe the Soviet diplomatic staff in London had them all!

    • Ricsi says:

      It was sold in the UK the same time as the East German Wartburg but it was withdrawn upon the arrival of the Lada range.Not sure exactly how many were sold but I did see some :)

  3. CZenda says:

    The newer Volga looked like 60s Ford Falcon.

  4. Flo says:

    The german car that looks familiar to ZAZ 968 is the NSU”Prinz” (Prince).

  5. Zonda says:

    … lack of designers in comunist era…

    • mush says:

      rather lack of need to design

    • ptc says:

      It is cheaper to obtain a existing licence – but making these cars for 10-20 years even when they are obsolete for decades is a real problem. In year 1990, some of soviet car factories were in year 1960-1970 in term of technology…

  6. Tautvydas says:

    RAF stands to agent Smith? :D

  7. Tovarich_Volk says:

    It’s a shame that they didn’t make the GaZ Chaika and the ZiL available for export.

  8. petrohof says:

    if fiat was best car in europe, they really have my sympathy. i suspect that even some of the worst soviet cars were better than fiat!

    • SMERSH says:

      The Soviet versions were licensed Fiat designs. If you’ve ever read “The New Sweet Style” by Aksyonov, the protagonist buys a Fiat when he moves to L.A. because he is homesick!

    • CZenda says:

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Fiat 124 was “A Car of the Year” in 1967, which is what the caption tries to say. You can also count how many times the brand won the award (and also include Lancia and Alfa Romeo, as they are sharing some of their designs/platforms with Fiats).

    • Hirsh says:

      lol, I’ll take a real Fiat over a Soviet built one any day. Not that i have any faith in a Fiat getting me to my destination reliably.

  9. yojimbo says:

    In the ads they pretend that they have what a westerner could have at that time(because they knew this was the desire and you have to find some way to distract people from displeasure)but those vehicles where much lower quality than any western counterpart.

    My dad was stationed is West Germany back in mid 60’s he told me once when he was visiting Berlin that he saw this Trabant that had pictures of western cars all over it.He the owner walking up and asked him about the pictures.

    The man was from East Germany and he said that he had taken the ads from magazines and glued them to his car as a way to protest the fact that he did not have the freedom to buy the car that he wanted so he glued pictures to show what he really wanted(freedom).

  10. Why is auto racing not as popular a sport in Russia as it is in the rest of Europe.I never hear of any Russian drivers in auto racing.Not trying to denigrate Russia I am just curious.

  11. People's Commissar says:

    I want one of those UAZ vans. Would cost more to ship it here than buy it though.

  12. robin yates says:

    a guy I knew had a Moskovitch, he loved it, although it was always breaking down, he had the tools to fix it.The seats were plastic and you sweated like a pig in the UK summer and froze in the winter

  13. Ludis smith says:

    This is very successful Business for export of Automobile Motor from One country to other country.
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111126002651AAqylKm

  14. Misha says:

    ‘Zaporozhez’ ZAZ 968 (and another models) is not a copy of BMW but NSU Prinz. The same conception and outside appearance.

  15. stolichnaya says:

    When I see the smiling people in the advertisements, I imagine the conversation like this: “Comrade! Let’s go for a drive to the store so we can line up for toilet paper!”

  16. RdClZn says:

    Sorry, but my country imported Lada models in early 90’s, and they SUCKED balls…
    Laika (2105) and 2104 had many mechanical problems, their engines often had catastrophical failures, their parts were hard to find, and the price definetly did not compesate the low quality (compared, for example, with the Beetle, a very cheap but reliable car…).

    Experience from Brazil: Soviet cars (maybe exception on Niva) were not that good.

  17. Jeff says:

    In the GAZ 24 02 picture there is an American 1970 or 71 Ford LTD. I thought American cars weren’t allowed in USSR?

  18. Old Dawg says:

    I like the Gaz 24 wagon, looks are a bit dated but not so much for the times. Don’t know about the dependability though. And from what I’ve seen here about Russian roads you would think the Uaz would have been very popular. I like it a lot too.

  19. Thomas says:

    “All time 4WD, no frame, independent suspension, no rigid axle. That’s a typical SUV build”

    Less than half-truth. Locks on middle and rear differential are something you don’t see in SUVs and Niva is very competent off-road car.

    Which SUVs aren’t and can’t be.

    You see, there’s more than one way to make a off-roader and looking similarities on paper don’t tell you anything. Even off-road competitors (see car trial, for example) are not using ridgid axles anymore (except trucks), that’s something which is ancient technology.

  20. Thomas says:

    “… lack of designers in comunist era…
    ….
    rather lack of need to design”

    Actually neither, but a Central Committee order not to use resources to irrelevant things like looks.

    VAZ tried several times to get permission from CC to modernize their cars (Lada as the prime example) and the answer was always “no”.

    They had the technical ability to make modern cars (at that time) but there wasn’t political support for that.

  21. Mikhail says:

    It was apparently just the same with any other Eastern Bloc country, they wanted to improve their cars but didn’t get the political support. But the lack of designers is still present in Russia, the newer Volgas and Ladas look way worse than the old ones did.

  22. Jules says:

    Does anyone know the year of each car?

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