We were quite impressed by the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. While everybody else seemed to be obsessing about the snowflake that flaked out, we were thrilled with the parade of Soviet-era cars including a Chaika limousine, a Moskvich, a Zaporozhets and a Volga.
Speaking of the latter, we combed the files here at FeralCars and came up with an iconic GAZ-21 (Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod) Volga Series III sedan that we espied loitering at a gas station in Great Falls, VA, just a few minutes from CIA headquarters in Langley. This one was built sometime between 1962 and 1970, meaning it rolled off the line in Nizhny, Novgorod under the watch of either Khruschev or Brezhnev.
When George W. Bush (remember him?) visited Moscow back in 2005, his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin (Pootie–Poot in Bushese), showed him his own Volga. We offer a look at this automotive encounter as a remembrance of (some) things past. Pootie-Poot is still very much in the driver’s seat — shirt optional — despite what you see here.
Volgas were, typically, powered by a 2.4 liter OHV 4 cylinder motor developing around 80 horsepower. There was a very limited production V8-powered version, GAZ-M-23, known colloquially as Dogonyalka (“the “Chaser”), used as an escort vehicle for motorcades and high speed police work. It used the 5.5 liter motor from the Chaika limousine and was the Soviet Union’s embodiment of the Pontiac GTO/Plymouth Roadrunner formula: light car + big motor = go fast.
Former NBC chat show host Jay Leno actually owns one of these. If you want to see his and his not-all-that-great Russian accent click here. This 1 minute film from the Khruschev era provides some glorious Soviet context.
We highly recommend a visit to this amazing Volga website which is worth a click, if only for the Little Richard-inspired music.
If you’ve stalked a feral car near CIA headquarters, the Kremlin or anywhere else and would like to submit a photo of it for posting consideration please send it to us: info (at) feralcars (dot)com OR through our Facebook page.