Welcome to Soviet Saturday where I discuss greatest automotive legends from the Soviet era in diecast form.
Today I will show you my collection of RAF 2203 Latvia minivans.
RAF (Riga Autobus Factory) was one of the most popular minivans in the USSR. It was a successor to RAF 977.
These vans quickly found their calling as a typical Soviet ambulance and taxi. It was Soviet’s take on American Ford Econoline and European Ford Transit.
Like most Soviet cars, RAF had front engine, rear wheel drive layout. The drivetrain was from a Volga GAZ 24. Actually a lot of the parts on these were reused from other vehicles like headlights that came from a Moskvich.
RAFs were made from 1976 to 1997 before being replaced with a new van from GAZ but that’s a story for another edition of Soviet Saturday.
The RAFs in my collection are mostly Chinese repops made by DeAgostini but I do have 4 Soviet models as well. The box that is pictured in the background is from a USSR model. They are all 1/43 scale.
The 1980 Olympic version is highly sought after by collectors as there was a limited run made and they were quickly removed from production due to incorrect graphics. I’ve seen them fetch over $600 on Ebay.
These are the USSR models with opening doors and trunk. I have 2 green vans. One is numbered and one is a later build version.