Rare Rides: A GAZ-21 Volga - Russian Decadence From 1967
With an unusual combination of Fifties American car styling and Sixties Russian build quality, today’s GAZ-21 has everything the discerning Communist motorist needs.
Let’s talk Volga.
Project Car Hell, Soviet Edition: GAZ Volga 21 or ZAZ-966 Zaporozhets?
I’ve already got a custom-van project and a basket-case Toyota 20R-powered Sprite project, but what I really want is a genuine, red-flag-waving Warsaw Pact machine to cruise around Denver. I don’t mean any Lada, either— it’s got to be a genuine, designed-and-built-in-the-USSR car, not a Fiat clone! Fortunately, I have a car-freak friend in the Czech Republic who can get such a machine into a shipping container in Bremerhaven for a reasonable price, so all that would remain for me would be to negotiate the Kafkaesque maze of registering the thing in Colorado. How hard could it be?
Soviet Limousine: Our Favorite Oxymoron
The best thing about the Soviet Corvair, aka Zaporozhets? The original idea was to rip off the design of the Volkswagen air-cooled engine for its powerplant, but Soviet engineers made their air-cooled four a V4 so that the cylinder heads would be more accessible when working on the engine in a mud-floored lean-to in Kemerovo (no doubt using tools made on the spot from melted-down kitchen utensils). So why not make a limousine version?
1969 Automobile Revue: Russia Takes The Cake For Sexy Ads
The Geneva Auto Show always reminds me of one of my prize items of late sixties memorabilia: the 1969 Automobil Revue catalog that was always issued in conjunction with the Geneva show. Here are a few scans from some of the ads, which show another glaring reason for the collapse of the USSR: their car ads. If these two sexy guys posturing in front of the “new” Moskvich don’t quite turn your crank, I assure you, the Russians knew how to make straight sexy ads too: