During Soviet era KGB was using different special vehicles for its needs. Visually they didn’t look much different from regular cars. However they were much more powerful, much faster, they were more secure and safe to drive and were loaded with special devices and gadgets. But you couldn’t tell them from other cars looking at the traffic coming before you. And here we have some of those cars in detail.
Starting with ZIS-115 special remake of Soviet ZIS-110 car.
One of those was even used by Joseph Stalin.
The car development was ordered by KGB and they wanted it to be like a moving fortress.
An armored capsule inside the car with 75mm thick armored windows made it virtually unvulnerable for any weapon.
To lift or lower the window they were using the hydraulic jacks, like the ones you use to lift a car when changing the wheel.
This is how thick the windows were compared to the modern day smartphone. Just imagine how heavy they were.
In total the weight of the car was 4.2 tons and was using six liter eight cylinder engine.
However from outside it was a full copy of a regular “civilian” ZIS-110 and you couldn’t tell this is a special KGB car.
Just a few small details were putting it apart – like a third headlight in the middle or the special tires.
The next special KGB car was a GAZ 20 M Pobeda car – first special car made in series for KGB. It was not a just simple regular civilian Pobeda car mass produced in USSR. It was a totally different car.
It had a special “poweful” 90 hp engine which was exceeding 70hp version of the civilian one and can go as “fast” as 130 km/h.
Interesting detail of this special Pobeda car is that you could open a trunk from inside. They say KGB agents used this option to use it as a shooting turret, opening from inside and start shooting into the car that was following them.
Next car is a special KGB version of a mass produced GAZ-21 car which was called GAZ-23. It was having V8 engine (instead of regular 4 cylinder engines on normal cars) and was made exclusively for KGB and other Soviet special services. On its exterior look it has zero difference from normal GAZ-21.
In it’s documents it was called a “high speed car” or a “escort car”. It had a 5,5 liter v8 with 195 horse power with an automatic gear box from GAZ-13 Chaika.
This car was 300 kg heavier than a serial car but still was much faster.
Also the suspension was very different, stronger springs, some cars went with two batteries to power the special KGB communication devices that were mounted in the trunks.
After the GAZ-23 the new KGB car became this GAZ-24-24 which was a special version of a civilian GAZ-24 car.
It was a Soviet super car looking like a regular mass-produced Volga car. It also had that 5.5 liter 195 hp V8 engine. It can go as fast as 180 km/h – unheard speeds for Soviet cars.
It also had special secret communication system and hidden police-like flashers.
Not really known how much of those was produced.
In 1985 they were replaced with newer GAZ-24-34, and again it was masked to look like the normal car.
Interesting detail – you probably have seen some people put a fake double exhaust on back of their car to look it more “cool” and “sporty”. Like on the pic above. However those Soviet KGB Volgas were more concerned on hiding the “cool” details so they on contrary were re-connecting its V8 double exhaust into a single pipe on the back so it looked like a normal car.
And then a bit later a special ZIL-41074 “Scorpio” car arrived.
They were some of the most weird ZIL cars made. It was huge 6.3 m long, was made to protect and in case of an open battle to be a “fire support” vehicle.
Really huge car had also huge side steps and rails on the roof – so the agents could travel outside standing on the step and holding the rails.
They also had a sun roof but not for fun but rather for shooting thru it. Also the back window could be instantly dropped going out of the way and let the agents shoot thru the empty back window frame.
The rear seats were rotating so the agents could track the surroundings easily and in case of need it was easier to shoot and fire.
Just eight of such “Scorpios” were made.
Also there was existing another ZIL car which was known as “Armored Capsule”.
It had an actual armored capsule with steel armor ranging from 4 to 10mm thick, armored windows, 43mm-47mm thick.
It had multi-layered fuel tanks that could “self heal” itself in case it been shot. Also they couldn’t explode.
On a totally different note – an old Soviet “Zaporozhets” car – the most comic car of the late Soviet era – was also having a KGB special operations twin.
According to rumors some of those comic cars had a Volga super charged engines but didn’t change their appearance at all. Which together with it being a very lightweight car made it a real “missile”.