Welcome to Soviet Saturday where I discuss greatest automotive legends from the Soviet era in diecast form.
Volga was a dream car of every USSR citizen which was sadly unobtainable to most, especially in a station wagon variant.
GAZ 24-02 was a station wagon variant of GAZ 24-01 which was introduced in 1967 as a replacement for quickly aging older model known as the GAZ 21.
Many design cues were borrowed from foreign vehicles such as Plymouth Valiant and Holden HR.
Volga, like most other Soviet vehicles had a conventional layout. It was a unibody, front engine, rear wheel drive. Most Volgas came equipped with a 4 cylinder engine and manual transmission. There were special KGB versions made that came with 5.5 liter V8 from a GAZ-13 Chaika.
Volga, much like the RAF-2203 which was featured last week was a Soviet work horse. It can be compared to America’s Ford Crown Vic or Chevy Caprice.
Both, sedan and wagon Volgas were extremely popular with taxi and ambulance service. Sadly, very few wagons were sold to civilians. In USSR it was frowned upon for civilian to own a station wagon because government believed that the person would be inclined to use the vehicle for illegal employment.
Volgas in general were very expensive and unattainable to most, let alone wagons. One had to be a member of the elite to get their hands on a wagon. Some actors and famous people got their hands on Volga wagons.
GAZ 24 was produced until 1992 when it was replaced with a newer model. Over the years it saw several improvements and small design changes but remained mostly the same.
Onto to the models. I have several wagons in 1/43 scale by both Soviet and Chinese manufacturers. I am still trying to get my hands on a couple of Soviet Aeroflot versions. There is one on Ebay right now with original box but I can’t bring myself to spend $50 on it.