Author Topic: Cars of the Soviet Union  (Read 32025 times)

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Offline Lt. Campers

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Cars of the Soviet Union
« on: 01:04 01-Feb-2008 »
I'm sure expats have been waiting in anticipation for this one - Cars of the Soviet Union.

Well here they are in glorious technicolour.

First is Putins favourite brand of vehicle the Volga.
Here we have the ubiquitous Volga GAZ M24 pictured in Lviv Ukraine in 2006. The GAZ-24 used
to be every mans dream car in the USSR. The GAZ-24 was introduced in 1967 and continued
production in its original format until 1992.
As the BBC reported in a recent article - the russians never had much love for their Ladas. But
the Volga was different, it was the Soviet Mercedes Benz, Rover or Buick.
So if you wanted to impress your Soviet girlfriend, this was the car to be seen in.





Even the President of the United States, George W. Bush just couldn't resist taking the
wheel of Putins 1956 Volga, seen here on a recent visit to Moscow.



Then we have the Zaporozhets or ZAZ. This has a special affection for Vladimir Putin for being
his very first car. In fact for many people in the Soviet Union, the Zaporozhets is the entry
level, cheapest car you could buy in the USSR. Even today it is warmly remembered by many
people in the former Soviet Union, much like the mini, the Voltswagen beetle or the Trabant
in East Germany.

Mr Bush checking out Putins little runabout



Other Zaporozhets - the ZAZ 968



Side view of the ZAZ 968



Next we have the Moskvitch 408 - a real gem for the discerning connoisseur of Soviet classic
cars. This Moskvitch 408 is taken in Lviv, Ukraine in 2006. The Moskvitch 408 was produced
between 1964 and 1976 in the Soviet Union. This particular Moskvitch belongs to the first
generation of the 408 (1964-1969)



Sports version of the Moskvitch 408 in blue with roof rack. The Moskvitch sports is easily identified
by a pair of training shoes in the rear window. Photo taken in Lviv, Ukraine.



TV video of the Moskvitch 412 being put through its paces in the DDR East Germany in the 1980's.
The test track featured in this video is an East German / Soviet army tank assault course


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Moskvitch 2140 pictured in Bulgaria in 2006. In 1975, the 412 got a facelift and was renamed
Moskvitsh 2140



The Moskvitch 2140 station wagon

The Station wagon version of the Moskvitch 2140, here pictured in Viljandi Estonia in 2007.
In 1975, the 412 got a facelift and was renamed Moskvitsh 2140. The 2140 carried the
Moskvitch 500 name for Western exports.



The GAZ 12 ZIM

In the hierarchy of Soviet luxury cars it was in the intermediate position between ZIS-110
and the smaller GAZ M20 “Pobeda”. The GAZ 12 ZIM was produced between 1950
and 1959. ZIM = Zavod imeni Molotova (”named after Molotov”)



UAZ 452

UAZ 452 photographed in Lviv Ukraine in 2007. UAZ-452 (van, pick-up, truck) was introduced
in the Soviet Union in 1966. The offroad abilities of UAZ-452 made it popular among farmers
and also widely used by Soviet / Russian military.



Lada's produced by the VAZ factory on the banks of the Volga in Russia.
The Lada plant was set up as a collaboration between Italy & the Soviet Union in 1966 and used as
the basis of its first collaborative production model the Italian Fiat 124.
The lightweight Italian Fiat 124 was adapted into something intended to survive treacherous
Russian driving conditions. Among many changes, aluminium brake drums were added to the rear,
and the original Fiat engine was dropped in favour of a newer design also purchased from Fiat. This
new engine had a modern overhead camshaft design but was never used in Fiat cars. The suspension
was raised (to clear rough Russian & Ukrainian roads) and the bodyshell was made from thicker,
heavier steel.
The first Lada models were equipped with a starting handle in case the battery went flat in Siberian
conditions, though this was later dropped. Another feature specifically intended to help out in
cold conditions was a manual auxiliary fuel pump.

The Fiat-based Ladas feature various headlight, trim and body styles. The original, Fiat style
models included VAZ-2101 sedan and VAZ-2102 station wagon.  1972 saw introduction of deluxe
version of the sedan, VAZ-2103, which was based on Fiat 124 Speciale and featured new 1.5L engine
and twin headlights. In 1974, the original VAZ-2101 was updated with new engines and
nteriors; VAZ-2102 underwent the same improvements in 1976. The body style with two round
headlights was manufactured until 1988, all others remain in production in slightly updated form.

The Lada 2101 or VAZ-2101



The Lada 2103 or VAZ-2103


 

Lada 1200 S
Lada 1200 S (VAZ 21051) pictured in Finland in 2007. Lada 1200 S was manufactured in
Soviet Union in 1982 - 1990.



Lada 1200 Combi

The Lada 1200 Combi here pictured in Narva Estonia in 2007.



Zil 114
The limosine of choice for all high ranking officials of the Soviet Politburo, including the General Secretary
of the CPSU. Expats living in Moscow during the heyday of the Soviet May day parades would be
familiar with the Zil.




Please note - this post maybe updated from time to time.
« Last Edit: 00:30 31-Dec-2008 by Lt. Campers »


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Offline kietatina

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Re: Cars of the Soviet Union
« Reply #1 on: 13:24 01-Feb-2008 »
there are more ;):
москвич 2141
niva
« Last Edit: 13:28 01-Feb-2008 by kietatina »

Offline matlockk

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Re: Cars of the Soviet Union
« Reply #2 on: 00:01 02-Feb-2008 »
Wonderful Campers! We overtook a 1956 Volga between Kremenchuk and Cherkassy today.

Offline Lt. Campers

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Re: Cars of the Soviet Union
« Reply #3 on: 02:28 03-Feb-2008 »
Yes, the Niva is the russian off road vehicle. Will add it later.
« Last Edit: 09:36 03-Feb-2008 by Campervan »
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Offline dazure

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Re: Cars of the Soviet Union
« Reply #4 on: 10:34 03-Feb-2008 »
Back in New Zealand, in the early 90’s when I was finishing my apprenticeship, the firm had a number of work vehicles. Toyota, Nissan, Ford, and also (one of the directors was a partner in a dealership) Lada Combi estates.

I was the lucky recipient of one of these.
It was joked, unkindly, that they gave away a Lada with each tank of gas.

Tasked with carrying loads of electrical gear whilst sometimes towing more,
things began to stop working, fall off, leak.
If turned sharply to the right the motor would cut out.
The rear door handle spat itself off (no problem, a luggage strap over the back bumper fixed that). I could go on.

Numerouse trips to the dealership for repair.

Then, one sad day, 7 months later, at the side of a lonely country road, gearbox shattered, Ladas service life ended.
Towed off to the wreckers yard and given the coup de grace (stripped for parts).

No problem, they had more, I was given another one.

Offline Lt. Campers

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BBC sends their man in a Volga down the Volga
« Reply #5 on: 22:40 04-Feb-2008 »
Yes its true, the BBC have joined the Soviet car appreciation society by dispatching
one of their intrepid Moscow reporters, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes on a 2000 mile trip
from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod ( formerly known as Gorky ) and onwards down to Volgograd.
Sounds crazy, I know but Ruperts mission is to buy ( that masterpiece of Soviet engineering )
the Volga and drive it all the way along the river Volga in the middle of the russian winter.

Along the way he reports on life in Putins Russia and reflects on Soviet times.

Rupert with his Volga:


Starting out on monday 28th January 2008, Rupert posts his reports every other day on
the BBC Europe news website on just how he and his Volga are doing.  ;D

The BBC reporters trip.
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Rupert tries to infiltrate Cold War strategic bomber base Engels ( Home of the TU95, Bear )
in his soviet Volga but fails miserably.    ;D
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Journeys end, Rupert and his Volga car finally make it to Stalingrad, present day
Volgograd with the BBC reporter pleased with the car.
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Looks interesting.  ;)


« Last Edit: 02:43 15-Feb-2008 by Campervan »
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Offline SilverBullet

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Re: Cars of the Soviet Union
« Reply #6 on: 01:19 05-Feb-2008 »
When flagging down a private taxi in Kyiv I always take a Russian car. Much more fun. I enjoy the back seat of Ladas and Volgas and the fares are better too. Once took a private taxi from the airport to downtown and the driver had an old BMW which he took out all the way on the freeway. Perhaps he was upset that I bargained the fare down to Hryvnia 110. I have never made it so fast to Kyiv but promised myself never again in a BMW. It is safer in a Russian car after all. At least the drivers know the limitations of the cars  :)

My lesson of wisdom is, whenever taking a private taxi take a Russian car since the driver needs the extra money and look for saints placed on the dash board. Whenever a western car pulls up with no saints, I just pass on the fare.
В чужо́й монасты́рь со свои́м уста́вом не хо́дят.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Век живи́ — век учи́сь.
Live and learn.

Offline Lt. Campers

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The Soviet army - UAZ 469 jeep
« Reply #7 on: 02:24 11-Feb-2008 »
Expats in Ukraine will be very familiar with this Soviet and ex Warsaw Pact jeep, still doing stirling
service with the Ukrainian army - namely the UAZ-469.
Of course expats would have been impressed by its performance from watching the famous chase
scene through the streets of St Petersburg in pursuit of Bond's russian tank, in Goldeneye and
( as can be seen from the movie clip ) it also handles well when reversing out of tricky
situations.  ::)

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The UAZ-469 is a russian all terrain vehicle, first introduced to the Soviet army in 1973,
replacing the earlier GAZ-69 and was soon adopted by many paramilitary units of the Warsaw
pact soon afterwards. The UAZ-469 presented two great advantages, its ability to drive in
virtually any terrain and its great reliability.



In its lifetime it has undergone some modifications to include a basic UAZ-469B with a ground
clearance of 220 millimeters and a specialised military UAZ-469, with ground clearance
increased to 300 millimiters. Since 1985, due to new industry designation standards, they
were renamed: UAZ-469 became the UAZ-3151, while the UAZ-469B became the UAZ-31512.
Manufacture of the UAZ-31512 for the Russian Army still continues today.


Its off road capability soon earned it legendary status as a very capable 4X4 and has won
the hearts of many off road enthusiasts within Russia and the former Soviet republics as
well as Europe, Asia & South America as being equal to Land Rover, Jeep & Toyota.

One of the main reasons the 469 has enjoyed such popularity is its simple design, which
allows for easy maintenance and repairs. Its simplicity is a deliberate design feature for
two main reasons: the requirements of the Soviet army, as well as the little known fact
that most people in the former Soviet Union & Russia prefer to fix their cars themselves
rather than take them to authorized mechanics.
Furthermore: the UAZ's simplicity, easy maintenance and inexpensive spare parts
allow this jeep to last much longer than more expensive and complicated western
4x4s. Even the most complicated and costly repairs can be done by the owners
themselves, and rarely cost more than a few hundred dollars.

Although the UAZ 469 has been around for a long time - it has acquired a special
affection amoungst many off roaders - It’s been said that when a person first
drives the UAZ they will either love it for its capabilities and toughness or hate it for
its lack of comfort. Either way its one of the most rugged ex Soviet 4X4 jeeps.

Video of Soviet army soldiers putting their UAZ 469 through its paces.

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Its a great jeep.

« Last Edit: 12:49 22-Jul-2009 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline Lt. Campers

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UAZ 452 Army/police civilian minibus & ambulance
« Reply #8 on: 18:11 05-Mar-2008 »
The UAZ 452 minibus and ambulance vehicle first appeared in 1966 and was initially
reserved for military use both in the Soviet Union and the former Warsaw Pact
countries of eastern europe.

UAZ 452 military minibus:


Like the UAZ 469 jeep its got a reputation for being an all terrain vehicle and for withstanding
the hard rugged roads encountered in many of the more challenging parts of the Soviet
Union with another feature being, its easy to repair.
Naturally its rugged abilities soon found favour with the Soviet police and was also quickly
adopted by ambulance services in the former USSR before hitting the civilian market.
The UAZ 452 and its variants are still very much in favour today with many 452's doing stirling
service in many countries of the former USSR, including of course, Ukraine.

UAZ 452 civilain minibus:


UAZ 452 Tackling the roadless byways of the Russian far east and Siberia:








Rail train with new UAZ 452 minibuses ready for delivery to many parts of the former USSR:


« Last Edit: 03:27 06-Mar-2008 by Campervan »
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Re: Cars of the Soviet Union
« Reply #9 on: 03:17 06-Mar-2008 »
Yes - cars of the FSU will get you their, no matter what - in all weather conditions.
Should also stand upto most Ukrainian road conditions.

UAZ 452 braving the snows of Siberia:
« Last Edit: 12:10 10-Mar-2008 by Campervan »
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Converting a Lada Riva into a Sports Car
« Reply #10 on: 05:34 31-Mar-2008 »
Any Ukrainian driving a Lada Riva might dream of giving it a complete makeover and converting
it into a top of the range sports car complete with jazy paintwork, spoilers, the works.  8)

Well Top Gear managed to turn one mans dream into a reality:

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In fact the program was such a success it was shown in Russia:

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Re: Cars of the Soviet Union
« Reply #11 on: 03:15 04-Jun-2009 »



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Comrades,

For those expats who wish to escape the rampant capitalism of Ukraine and trade in their
decadent Mercs and SUV's for a humble peoples car like the Trabant.
Then drive on over to the UK this weekend for the Salt-3 tour of Yorkshire.
Where the peoples collective cars of GAZ, ZIS, ZIM, ZIL, Zaporozhets, UAZ,
LIAZ, IZH, Moskvich, AutoVAZ, Warzsawa, Zuck, Tarpan-Honker, FSO, Sachsenring,
Trabant and Wartburg will be seen cruising through the Yorkshire Dales  :D  ;D  ;)  ;)  ;)
For more details on this premier event for Soviet Union & Warsaw Pact touring cars,
just check out the SovietLuxuryCars website.

Trabant 601 on the road



Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact vehicles converge on the UK this weekend

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Mercedes car driver, spots the latest Trabant Campervan from Germany
enroute from the Channel ports for last years Salt-2 peace talks rally





Trabant Campervan staying overnight at a touring cars campsite




b]Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact vehicles converge on the UK this weekend[/b]

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Two rare Eastern European cars attending last years Red October Day in
England. They are, in blue a Czech Skoda Octavia Super and in beige a
Soviet GAZ M21 Volga





Wartburg in pristine condition for the tour



« Last Edit: 18:12 02-Jan-2010 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline Lt. Campers

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Re: Cars of the USSR, Salt 3 rally
« Reply #12 on: 03:07 14-Jun-2009 »
Comrades,
              I'm pleased to report to the Ukrainian politburo that the third raid by our glorious cars
of the socialist revolution in eastern europe, have successfully infiltrated many key military
establishments of Yorkshire, in the Salt-3 rally last weekend.
              Never before have I witnessed such a display of solidarity by our comrades in arms
from the Warsaw Pact states, than I did in Yorkshire this month. Tatras, Ladas, Trabants,
Skodas, Volgas and GAZ were all out in force to prevent the take off of one of Britain's
fearsome Vulcan and Victor strategic long range bombers.







USSR and Eastern Bloc cars blocking the runway at RAF Holmpton

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The General secretary of the DDR's car arrives at RAF Holmpton in his Tatra 613S limousine
to secure the gates


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The russian general commanding the Salt-3 raid on Yorkshire. Poses behind this supurb example
of the Tatra 603 which was regarded as the best staff officers can buy in the Soviet Union



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The general's aide also cuts a dash in this fine example of Soviet craftsmanship, the Volga 3102


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As the Soviet Army secures the airfield, here we see a forerunner to the Red Army UAZ jeep, with this
GAZ 69M built in 1968



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Heres the best that the Cold War can offer on both sides of the Iron Curtain, with the Tatra 603 ( the
limousine of choice for high ranking members of the Politburo ) alongside a British Bedford, Green Goddess
fire engine



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The Entire report as featured in this month's Classic Performance Car magazine

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« Last Edit: 21:58 24-Jan-2013 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline Lt. Campers

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Re: SALT 4 tour of Wiltshire & Berkshire 2010
« Reply #13 on: 23:54 04-Mar-2011 »
 . . .


Heres some pics of Classic Cars from the Warsaw Pact & the former Soviet Union
on a diplomatic mission to check out the former Cold War bases and Civil Defence
installations of Wiltshire and Berkshire, like Greenham Common, near Newbury.


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« Last Edit: 22:01 24-Jan-2013 by Lt. Campers »
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Re: Cars of the Soviet Union
« Reply #14 on: 12:45 06-Apr-2017 »
Now even the humble Lada is becoming highly collectable in the UK as a Classic car


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Also here's some information on Ukraine's very own car manufacturer, ZAZ which stands for the Zaporizhia Automobile
Building Plant. Which was founded during the days of the Soviet Union and still going strong today.
It produced a number of hatchback cars in the 1980's and won the he Cannes Bronze Lion for trade
adverts in 1989 with this ZAZ-1102 Car hatchback advert featured in the video here.


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« Last Edit: 12:48 06-Apr-2017 by Lt. Campers »
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