13 American Test Drive of a Soviet Car

American Test Drive of a Soviet Car

Posted on July 12, 2012 by team

Let’s see the photos of Life magazine showing how Americans were testing the Soviet “Pobeda” (“Victory”).


During the final modernization of 1955 “Pobeda” acquired a new radiator case, more attractive upholstery, a new steering wheel with a ring horn button, a receiving set A-8 and a new emblem on the radiator case.

GAZ M-20 soon received recognition from the Soviets and moved further to the world market. It was readily bought in Scandinavian countries, Belgium, in some countries of Western Europe.

Post-war Europe needed inexpensive, comfortable cars and “Pobeda” met these requirements. Western specialists made flattering remarks about the car being impressed by its endurance, they found only two serious disadvantages: insufficient dynamics and rearward vision.

American magazine Science and Mechanics wrote in 1957 that “Pobeda” was good on hard roads a driver was not in a hurry. Stable for its size due to its weight and powerful springs.

After testing “Pobeda” the respected British magazine The Motor wrote it was a reliable car capable of going at remote distances along bad roads with no many servicing points. Beauty of lines and high characteristics became the victims of usability and practical purposes. But the constructors paid attention to details: a cigar lighter, heaters and other inner staff for comfort.


Happy owners of “Pobeda”

Some American car presented with the “Pobeda”

Trunk capacities being compared

–nextpage–via spb-auto

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13 responses to “American Test Drive of a Soviet Car”

  1. Adam says:

    Wow cool photos. Thats the eastern airlines building in the background aka knowing as Rockafellar center now. Good stuff!

  2. mookins says:

    I’m liking the ground clearance, looks like a good alternative to the Jeepster.

    Now here’s a suggestion, Russia: buy the rights to Aptera’s three-wheeler, ditch the expensive battery power, throw in the Honda Goldwing engine, and sell 80mpg high-performance for $25000. The established players’ll never do it, they’re invested in the conventional.

  3. GAZ20USA says:

    there is a video on youtube with all the photos of this car in chronological order, type in “Soviet Car On The Streets of New York 1956” enjoy

  4. BobbyJoe says:

    “Some American car” is only a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air 4 door. I guess the Pobeda was trying to compete in comparable class?

  5. Ariel says:

    The comparison was not fair, they have compared a 1957 car (Chevrolet Bel Air) against a 1946 car. A correct comparison would be GAZ M-20 vs 1946 Chevrolet Styleline, Fleetmaster or even the Deluxe.

    • PolishReindeer says:

      It was fair.
      Please make the remark that the Pobeda was still available as brand new car in 1957 on the market.

      It’s only soviet fault (or not, if considering long-term conditions of particular market of USSR – spare parts coverage/endurance/costs etc.) that they offered technically obsolete car for Western consumers (which had no chance to win the comparision against almost any western car).

  6. jac says:

    Looking at the photo comments, I almost had am impression that the british and americans were lining up to buy that sturdy, brave, good looking car.. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your national car industry. But pleeasssee, a little bias..

  7. Muzzlehatch says:

    Very comprehensive tool kit. Even a grease gun!

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