Cars built in the Communist Soviet Union are widely (and rightly) derided for being absolutely terrible. But the USSR’s car makers didn’t just dismal runabouts for the masses. They had to build cars for politians and industrialists, as well.
Coys is auctioning a number of of these high-end Soviet limos this weekend. Though some of them are unquestionably rubbish, they’re all rather wonderful. And offered with no reserve.
1956 GAZ 12
An amalgamation of late-Forties General Motors products, the GAZ 12 was built for middle-ranking officials and even available to private buyers. Though only a literal few were sold to the public; we can only imagine what you would of had to do to get your hands on one. This one looks nice for EUR20,000 – EUR30,000.
1969 Tatra 2-603
An absolutely fascinating car with a 2.5-litre, air-cooled V8 in the back. The aerodynamic shape made it pretty quick, by handling was a bit… tricky. It was built in Czechoslovakia for high-ranking party officials and heads of industry. It was one of the few Soviet cars to exported as well. This looks to be in usable condition, with an estimate of EUR10,000 – EUR15,000.
1980 GAZ 13 Chaika
It may look like something from the Fifties, but this Chaika is only 35 years old. Built since 1959, it was a copy of the 1956 Packard from America. A 5.5-litre V8 provided not very much power and build was approximate. It is weirdly stylish and this one is in lovely nick. You’ll need EUR30,000 – EUR40,000.
1986 Zil 115
Zil mostly built trucks and military vehicles. That showed through in the 115. Not only was it enormous, the body could repel a .303-caliber bullet and the floor was mine-proof. You couldn’t actually buy one; the 115 was reserved for senior officers in the armed forces and Politburo high-ups. The immense 7.5-litre V8 engine produced all of 300bhp which many, many tons of Zil up to 110mph. It was only recently that production ended when the factory went bust. This clean example has an estimate of EUR80,000 – EUR100,000.
Is anyone else thinking about setting up some sort of themed limo service?
Images courtesy of Coys