The GAZ Chaika was a Soviet luxury car built in two series between 1959 and 1988. The first series somewhat resembled an American sedan from the 1950s. This, the second series (which was built between 1977 and 1988) doesn’t really resemble anything sold in America. This wasn’t the top of the line Russian car of the day – for that, you had to step up to the ZIL Limousine.
This car is powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 making 220 horsepower. It’s a limousine and should seat six. They were generally only available to government officials, and this particular car was purchased straight from the Lithuanian government.
They only built about 100 of these per year with final production output reaching 1,114. There’s a number of them still around, but Mikhail Gorbachev had the blueprints and tooling destroyed, which is nice. This is being sold without reserve. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.
Russian cars are so weird. But in a really interesting way. The “marque” is usually associated with a particular factory, in this case it is GAZ – which roughly translates to “Gorky Automobile Plant.” It is located in Nizhny Novgorod, which, coincidentally, will be the name of my first-born child.
The Chaika (which kind of translates to “seagull”) was a car used by Soviet government officials – but not the really important ones (they got ZIL limousines). This was for your run-of-the-mill bureaucrats and field officers. You might be thinking “How is this a 1978? It looks like something from the mid-1950s.” Well you’d be right. After WWII, the U.S. government prodded Packard into licensing (or selling) their old body dies to the Soviet Union, presumably to appease them into not nuking us.
Well Packard did just that but Packard also went out of business in the 1950s. So the Chaika (Mark I or “M13”), which was produced from 1959 through 1981 was almost a direct copy of the 1955-1956 Packard Patrician, at least from the outside. The engine was a 195 horsepower 5.5-liter V8. It also used Russia’s first three-speed push-button automatic transmission (which was essentially copied from Chrysler). In 1977, the Chaika M14 was introduced and it was more of an original (and contemporary) design, at least for the time.
Chaikas are really rare – anywhere in the world, especially in the U.S. They were not mass produced by American standards – or anybody’s standards, really. And their limited market ensured not many would be built. It’s really interesting and a piece of Cold War history. This one is in really good shape and can be yours for $69,500. For more information, click here.
The next highest selling car is kind of a weird one. It’s a recreation of a three-axle Mercedes-Benz Type G4. These monstrous automobiles were originally built for the Germany military and high-ranking Nazi officials. What you see here is one of three faithful re-creations of said cars that was offered at this sale. Two sold, one did not. All were built from scratch at a very high cost. This one brought $269,500 – much less than you could acquire a real one for (if you were to even be able to find one).
This 1990 Pulse Litestar was one of 360 built. It’s four-cylinder engine was capable of 100 mpg and doing 140 mph. It sold for $22,000.
One of my favorite muscle cars (although I prefer the convertible option) is the 1967 Plymouth Hemi GTX. There was one at this sale and it sold for $47,300.
One car that is quite fascinating is this 1952 Packard Pacifica Concept. The car was designed in 1952, but never built. In 2001, someone found the drawings, bought some 1951 Packards and set about building this very attractive retractable hardtop. It sold for $88,000.
And finally, the coolest car of the whole sale has to be this 1977 GAZ Chaika M-13 Limousine. These cars were based on 1950s Packard designs and were used by the upper echelon of the USSR Communist Party. These are very rare in the United States and about as quirky of a production car as you can find. A time warp to the Cold War, it sold for $40,700.