Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

Unfortunately, Soviet carmakers didn’t have much to offer. However, there were some nice up-to-date cars worth mentioning like the GAZ-M20 Pobeda or the VAZ-2121 Niva, one of the first Soviet compact and comfortable SUVs made. The GAZ-21 Volga has always had a special place in the hearts of Soviet people and this love is unexplainable. You will never find a person to say something mean about this car.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

Apparently, the Volga owes its life to the Pobeda, one of the most technically advanced Soviet automobiles of that time.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

The Ford Mainline that probably served as an inspiration for the engineers of GAZ looks more elegant.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

This is one of the first GAZ-21 models. They had to change its gitter because G. Zhukov didn’t like it. Finally, they replaced it with the one you see in the photo with a star.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

Design Manager A. Nevzorov.

The Vogla was not a redesigned Pobeda. It was a new car that was equipped with modern technologies; it was more spacious, powerful and fuel efficient. The Volga was perhaps the most comfortable and technically advanced car in the country. It featured a radio receiver, a heater and an automatic transmission (which they ceased to install some time later).

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

Design Manager L. Eremeev (on the left).

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

Judging by the given picture, it is clear that nothing revolutionary was installed in the Volga.

In 1954, GAZ purchased a Ford Mainline “to study its automatic gearbox” but you can’t help noticing the similarity of appearance of the two cars (although the Volga was more compact, had a shorter trunk, etc.).

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

From 1956 till 1958, they manufactured 30,000 Volgas featuring an ATM.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

From 1959 till 1962, they manufactured 140,000 autos featuring a new gitter.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

They began to manufacture the third series of the Volga in 1962. Over 450,000 cars were made.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

The popular deer decorating the hood of the Volga of the 1st and 2nd series was not used in the 3rd series (as a safety measure). The deer was also a draw for thieves but Volga owners still loved it and often bought it to install on the hood of their car.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

This is an advertisement of the second generation of the Volga. That two-tone color was a pricy option, by the way.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

The Volga featured a very comfortable interior with a soft sofa and a beautiful dashboard.
They ceased to install automatic gearboxes because they needed good oil and service which the country didn’t have. So, less than 1,000 Volgas with an ATM were manufactured. Many car owners paid to have it replaced with an MTM.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

The GAZ-22 wagon was released in 1962.

The Volga was rather roomy and had a large trunk. It was equipped with a 2.5 L 70 hp engine which was 15 hp more than that of the Pobeda.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

This photo was taken in Kabul in 2001-2002.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

The most amazing Volga was the GAZ-23. It was intended for special services and featured a V8 5.5 L (195 hp) engine, although there was nothing special about the way it looked. Its maximum speed was 160 km/h which was an impressive characteristic for that time. The total number of those Volgas manufactured was 603.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

The GAZ-21 Volga was extremely popular in the 60s.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

The Volga and races are totally incompatible but this car once participated in an international rally.

By the way, international magazines described the Volga as a high-quality well-assembled car.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

Soviet cosmonaut Y. Gagarin was one of the most well-known owners of the GAZ-21. He received his driver’s license later than he was sent to space!

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

This GAZ-21 has been redesigned by an Italian car studio Ghia.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

An advertisement of the Volga’s Belgium importer.

Despite its merits, the Volga wasn’t that popular overseas. One of the reasons for that was its star on the gitter that indicated the car’s origin and the Soviet Union was believed to be a country threatening the world with Communism.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

Making the Volga a right-hand drive car didn’t help it win popularity in the West either, even though some of its importers would sometimes equip it with more fuel-efficient Peugeot and Rover diesel engines. The Volga was just too big for European countries.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

The last GAZ-21 Volga was manufactured in 1970. Its successor, a new GAZ-24, didn’t enjoy wide popularity either.

Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union

Nowadays, the GAZ-21 is one of the most popular retro cars in Russia. Some people are ready to fork out up to $70,000 for it! The GAZ-21 may often be seen in Soviet movies. It was popular among actors, singers, cosmonauts and politicians becoming one of the symbols of the USSR.

13 thoughts on “Favorite Car Of The Soviet Union”

  1. Nobody has anything bad to say about this car, so of course the orange brat, US-fanatic, western wanna bees of English Russia must be the first, or at least try to.

    The Russians took a western car and made it better, much better, thats evolution! The Americans have tried for years to copy or get their dirty hands on Russian missile and rocket technology. Since Russia evidently is 20-30 years ahead anything they can come up with, the entire western fleets is a bunch of sitting ducks just waiting to get sunken, which we are about to experience in the Persian gulf….

    • So, that’s what insanity sounds like?
      Russian rockets are so far ahead of ours? Is that why WE went to the MOON and you didn’t?

      And who has said anything about this car? There’s NO comments.

      They didn’t take something and make it better, they STOLE it. Just like they did the Boeing B-29. Russia has a horrible history of stealing other people’s designs. They let them spend the money on R&D, then they get their grubby little paws on it, copy it and change a few things and call it theirs. Except for the case of the Boeing, they copied right down to the emblem on to flight stick!

      They’ve even done it with microchips.

      Go back to your world of delusion.

    • Milla–Much as I admire your patriotism,nobody is 20-30 years ahead in anything. I agree Iran will be no easy walk over but lets be realistic here.

    • mhmhmh first its true, when japan cars started commin in the USA they didnt know what to do, or even french cars, i would love to drive a volga, but seem to be hard to get one in argentina hahaha

    • Many of us Westerners come here because we love Russia and want a glimpse of life in the former Soviet Union. We come here because we love Russian culture and want to learn more about things that we weren’t able to back in the Cold War. There’s no need to start insulting us Westerners right off the bat. Not all of us are gun-toting, flag-waving, mindless slaves to Western Ideology. Many of us are friends and allies. Start treating us like that.

  2. I would LOVE to have the GAZ 21 with a diesel engine. Simplicity and economic efficiency are very attractive features in an automobile.

  3. Back in July 1969, While I was visiting Leningrad, I saw a small racetrack with a number of Volgas with numbers painted on them getting ready for a little competition. My tour bus left before we got to see them race, alas.

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