Saturday, November 28, 2015

Leonid Brezhnev’s GAZ-13 “Chaika” (Part 1)

When, in 1971, Leonid Brezhnev visited Soviet Armenia, he couldn’t have imagined that in some two years his personal vehicle, the GAZ-13 “Chaika” built by special order of the government, would have ended up in Armenia.

The story began in 1964, when Leonid Brezhnev was elected as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In addition to his socialist fraternal kisses and bushy eyebrows, Brezhnev was also famed for his incredibly large collection of personal cars. Almost every car from Brezhnev’s collection is shrouded in legends and stories. One of those legends recounts a story of how in 1965, the Gorky Automobile Plant received a special government order to build a GAZ-13 “Chaika”, which was to be used by the leader on the territory of the governmental summer cottages in Yalta. This vehicle with a chassis serial number N1086 was virtually indistinguishable from standard samples of the GAZ-13- the only specific feature of the leader’s car was its light grey color (with rare exceptions, all “Chaikas” were painted in black color).
To be continued…