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35 Export Of Soviet Cars To The West

Export Of Soviet Cars To The West


It is known that a plenty of cars made in the USSR was exported to other countries. Some cars were exported massively, while delivery of others was of an advertising nature mostly. The latter can be related to sale of VOLGA GAZ 21 to England.

The right-wheeled VOLGA GAZ 21 is one of the rarest cars in the world. Only 100 units of it were available and just 15 cars were purchased by the Englishmen who called the vehicle Volga M-21. Soviet cars seen in the street of New York in 1958 were rather demonstration models sent for some exhibition.

Pobeda, 1957.

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35 Responses to “Export Of Soviet Cars To The West”

  1. CZenda says:

    “Poland preferred cars made in the USSR.” Hahahahaha! If the Poles had a choice, they would no doubt be driving Western cars instead of the Soviet jokes. The bus on the pisture is Škoda RTO and it also shows Škoda Octavia and Wartburg 311.

    • Iggy says:

      That’s right, this sentence also gave me some laughs :-)
      Also Poland didn’t have to prefer soviet cars as it had its own cars factories.
      Pozdrawiam :-)

      • IamI says:

        Same with me – great joke! LOL!
        BTW – there’s much more probable, that there’s no Pobiedas (especially on the second to last picture), but Warszawas (local manufactured and slightly improved).
        And – what “Warsaw, 1970. Soviet cars were also in great demand in Cuba.” means? What has Warsaw common with Cuba? ;)

    • Alex says:

      So, that means Poles are very special people in comparison to Finnish and Scandinavians who also drove those cars. I bet no one forced to buy Russian cars in Finland. Sure everyone would love to drive Mercedes or Lincoln’s but there always be people with limited budgets. I think those soviet cars were not much different from the other ones in the 60’s. Later they fail to compete due to the lack of improvement. So, now there are Chinese cars..

      • CZenda says:

        To cut the long story short, during the bad old times, Joe Average in Ostblock could only dream about driving even the cheapest VW, Renault or Fiat (let alone Merc or Beemer). Thus, saying that these people “preferred” Soviet cars is a bad joke. Just for the hell of it – where I live, only these brands of passenger cars were sold during 70s/80s – Škoda (CZ), Wartburg/Trabant (DDR), Polski Fiat (PL), Dacia (RO), Moskvich/Lada (USSR) and ocassionally Zastava (YU). If the person was lucky enough to get hard currency, he/she could get several Western cars for outrageous prices through state owned import company (e.g. R16/R5, Fiat 600/127/Uno, Simca 1307, later Ford Sierra).

    • Piotr says:

      “Poland preferred cars made in the USSR.” – Is this a joke? The pictures are cars: Warszawa, Syrenka, the Nysa and Skoda, Wartburg, VW – which of them are produced in the USSR?

  2. OLUT says:

    Lada has just left Finland. It’s a real shame, I would like to see Russian cars have the same worldwide success as Japanese, German and American, etc. cars have.

    One Finnish film features prominently an old Volga, it’s the Aki Kaurismäki film “Pidä huivista kiinni, Tatjana” or “Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatjana” in English. It’s a road trip film set in the early 1960’s about two guys who hit the road, in search of coffee and vodka. They are joined by two women who need a ride to the harbour. Very good movie, and the car is awesome! It has a phonograph instead of a radio.

    • Tovarich_Volk says:

      I don’t think that Russian cars would have much appeal in the US, though I think that Russian trucks, as well as the GAZ van would see some success here.

      • Snowbee says:

        Most Russian cars probably wouldn’t, but I really want an older Lada Niva, and I know of a few others that I could talk into lusting after them as much as I do, as well.

    • CZenda says:

      If I am not mistaken, East German Trabant appears in “La Vie de Bohème”, the villain in “Juha” drives Alfa Romeo and the hero of “The Man Without a Past” hires Ford I did not recognize to go outing with his beloved.

  3. ihs says:

    Where was last three pictures taken ? LAst
    Warsaw I know but two previus ?

    • lortea says:

      About last 5 photos. I’m not sure about black-white, but 4 coloured shows Warsow. Two of them shows Old City, completely destroyed by Germans in 1944 and rebuilt brick by brick after war.

    • hangover says:

      Warsaw as well

    • xmz says:

      Prudential Hotel, Plac Powstanców Warszawy and
      Trasa W-Z, Warsaw, Poland

    • buk says:

      It is Warsaw too (Old Town and Hotel Warszawa).

    • IamI says:

      Last 5 (five!) pictures were taken in Warsaw in the following order (staring from the fifth):
      – 1. Old Town square (“Western manufacturers used to export their cars to dependent countries” caption – what??)
      – 2. Vistula banks (b/w photo)
      – 3. So called “WZ (East-West) Route near the Old Town
      – 4. Warsaw Uprising Memorial square
      – 5. Bank square (at that time called temporarily “Dzierzynski square”)

    • buba says:

      The Hotel is Hotel Warszawa, previously known as Prudential. The tunnel one is the Old Town, view from the river bank.

  4. lortea says:

    “Poland preferred cars made in the USSR” Good russian joke. Creators this site likes jokes, for exemple when put photos of Wyborg without mention, that town was stolen from Finland.

  5. banditrider says:

    The UK and France were former colonies of the US? I don’t think so, although one could consider the UK to be a US colony these days. :D

  6. Ben says:

    Many fotos of “soviet” cars comes from Poland, and those are not soviet cars, but polish cars based on urussian licence.
    The truth is that Poland didn’t have any choice to buy eny other cars, from other countries.

  7. Sirduke says:

    I think England and France might take offense at being labeled as USA’s colonies alongside Latin America.
    I saw a few USSR cars while serving in Germany, they were pieces of junk, like most Soviet products.

  8. chris says:

    Last photo, in Warsaw, it’s Fiat 125p, skoda and mainly cars produced in Poland, not in USSR

  9. Ben says:

    Poland in period 1930 to 1990 had many cars better than russian construction. For example car called LUX (1930′), Warszawa 210 (1960′) which probably was platform to build Gaz Wolga.

  10. ChrisSmith says:

    Considering that the best selling car in Mexico and points south of the Rio Grande was…the VW Bug. And Mexico is about as German as India. Don’t get me wrong, the Big 4, all had thier stakes in Latin American, but the Bug pretty much crushed the competition.

  11. ptc says:

    Soviet car in New York – question to the proud ofwner – “you build this alone?”

  12. xyzzy says:

    Cars in the last photo:
    – in the foreground: Fiat 125, Simca 1000, Skoda 100, Warszawa
    – in the background from left to right:Fiat 125 (red – only back wisible), Nysa (ambulance), Syrena, not sure about the white one, yellowish – probably Gaz24-Volga, the truck is probably a Kraz, and another Nysa.

    • jo pa says:

      Thank you! I was most interested in the Warszawa and the Nysa ambulance (nice design). You know your cars!

    • Volga B says:

      Simca 1000? Not too shure. Look at the boot lid (front on this car). It seems to me looking rather like a Renault 8, or even more probably the clone of this Renault, a Dacia 1100. I confirm seeing a GAZ 24 Volga next to the Lorry.

  13. Toitsu says:

    Second pic the “right wheeled volga m21″ is actually left steered moskivits…

  14. Jonne says:

    i use 100% american car, communist drive: renault/nissan/lada (same sh**, lada own them all)

  15. Thomas says:

    “I bet no one forced to buy Russian cars in Finland”

    Yes. But Lada was much cheaper to buy than Volkswagen (Beetle), it had more room and real heater. Essential in Finnish winter. Also as Finland bought Soviet cars as goods exchange (basically no money involved) we could pay a lot of cars & oil by making ships, a good deal.

    Very functional car too, as the original, Fiat 124, was one of best family cars in 60s and those features didn’t vanish even if the place of manufacturing changed.

    Somewhere in 80s it started to really leave behind as the rest of manufactures started to think about noise and fuel consumption and Lada couldn’t compete in these properties.

    I’ve had ’74 Lada just recently, I should know (along some more modern cars.) I had to sell it as it needed some repairs and I run out of time: Too many projects.

    • Vulqan says:

      You could buy Comecon cars with very good payment terms in Finland back in 1970’s. That’s why many people bought them although had preferred western cars of the same price.

      Lada was a market leader for many years in Finland. It was not only cheap but it actually was a good car – it started in -30 C with ease, had an efficient heating system and it was relatively reliable and fuel economical, at least compared to the other Soviet cars as Moskvich.

      The Soviet cars raised many strong opinions. They had their fans over the decades and there were also others who didn’t want to touch them due to ideological or other reasons.

      Although in Finland people told often jokes about the Soviet cars they were actually better than their reputation – well, maybe apart from ZAZ-965, that was sold under name “Jalta” (Yalta) in Finland. That car was a true disaster.

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