Friday, December 1, 2017

GAZ-21 Volga (Part 1)

The car GAZ-21 represents a whole epoch in the history of all republics of the USSR. It was indeed the first mass Soviet car that could be acquired in the store for quite a reasonable amount. Over the years of production (that period lasted from 1956 to 1970), the Gorky automobile plant released many versions of this middle-class vehicle with different body types.

 Each variety of the GAZ-21 had a specific indexing that could be used to determine the configuration, approximate year of production and the region, for which the car was released. Thanks to the preserved reference books, we revealed 55 different versions of this model. Externally, the first Volga underwent the so-called restyling 3 times, which significantly changed the exterior elements: the optics, bumpers and radiator grille. The most popular version, however, became the car of the last, third, series, manufactured in the plant in the years 1962-1970. Actually, these cars constituted the main part of the taxi fleets of the whole country. That is why the Volga of the third series is of no collectible value to car collectors, although it is a living representative of the car-classics of the 60-ies.

Due to simplicity and phenomenal maintainability, the GAZ-21 Volga is still common on our roads. But as a rule, they are rather miserable in appearance, since they are mercilessly exploited by their owners, primarily for agricultural purposes. There are surprising exceptions, however. Very rarely, we come across some decent instances, which are restored with enviable zest and meticulousness.
To be continued…