The First Volga

1962 GAZ M-21 Volga Series 2

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

This Russian sedan – that looks like an American sedan from the 1950s – was built in 1962 by Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod. It was the first such car to carry the “Volga” name – a model that GAZ would continue to produce in many forms through 2010 (though the last of which was a re-badged Chrysler Sebring). The first body style was built in three subtly different series between 1956 and 1970.

This Series 2 car is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-four making 75 horsepower. The M-21 wasn’t quite as nice as other GAZ cars, but they were extremely reliable – which is what the frigid, cracked roads of the Soviet Union required. This was an export model (thus it had slightly more power than the home market version) and it was sold new in the U.K.

The car was purchased by its most recent owner (now deceased) in 1996 and was restored as needed. The light blue paint is quite cheery considering this car was built behind the Iron Curtain. It is roadworthy and comes with a large set of spares. It should sell for between $4,300-$5,600. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $4,619.

1983 GAZ Chaika

1983 GAZ Chaika M14

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 9, 2016

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

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.

Update: Sold $18,380.


1956 GAZ 12

Offered by Coys | Maastricht, Netherlands | January 10, 2015

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

Here’s another obscure Soviet sedan. This one was built by GAZ, one of the more well-known old, Russian automotive factories. The car is sometimes called the ZIM-12, which is the name under which it was originally built, but when the namesake for ZIM fell out of favor, the Russians changed the name of the car.

It is powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six making 95 horsepower. The styling is eerily reminiscent of a 1948 Cadillac and 1947 Buick. I guess GM would’ve been really popular in Russia back in the day had they the opportunity to market their cars.

What’s interesting about the GAZ-12 is that it is the only executive, full-size car available for purchase by regular citizens – but it was priced exorbitantly, leaving it out of reach for most. But they still managed to sell 21,527 between 1950 and 1960. This one looks pretty nice and is expected to bring between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys.

Update: Sold $107,890.


ca.1958 GAZ BTR-40

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The BTR-40 was a Soviet armored personnel carrier built by GAZ between 1950 and 1960. It was based on the GAZ-63 truck. This one has been restored and wears Israeli colors. The BTR-40 was in service until the 1980s in the USSR as well as China and they were poorly protected from all but the lightest artillery. And they weren’t amphibious.

The engine is an 80 horsepower six-cylinder and it has a top speed of 50 mph. About 8,500 were built. This one should sell for between $50,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $58,650.

Another Batch of Military Vehicles

The Littlefield Collection

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

 1942 Cadillac M5 Stuart

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Labeling this as a Cadillac might be a little misleading, but Cadillac did build it – so why shouldn’t they get the credit? The M5 was a version of the M3 Stuart – one of the most popular light tanks of the Second World War. General Motors was behind it and the M5 was basically an M3 with upgraded armor.

In all, 2,074 M5s were built – only 1,470 were built by Cadillac in Michigan. This tank has been given a new engine and fresh restoration. It runs and drives wonderfully and is usable. The engines are twin 8-cylinders from Cadillac making a combined output of 220 horsepower. It can do 36 mph and be yours for $100,00-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $310,500.

ca.1975 Panhard M3

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

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Another Five Military Vehicles

The Littlefield Collection

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

 1944 Nibelungenwerke Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Panzer IV was one of the most popular German tanks during the Second World War. It was the most produced as well. They were manufactured by Krupp, Vomag, and Nibelungenwerke – which would become Steyr-Daimler-Puch after the war. So this one was built in Austria. About 8,553 were built between 1936 and 1945.

The engine is a 296 horsepower Maybach V-12 that can push this thing to 26 mph. Used by Czechoslovakia after the war, they sold it to Syria. It was captured by Israel in 1967 and the museum got it in 2003. It is all-original and needs to be restored. But that doesn’t mean it’s cheap: the estimate is between $2,000,000-$2,400,000. Click here for more.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,750,000.

ca.1939 Krauss-Maffei Sd.Kfz. 7

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

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ca.1954 GAZ-46

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Here’s something a little more affordable. The GAZ-46 is another amphibious vehicle, but on a slightly smaller scale (I’d bet this could fit inside the LTV above). Built between 1954 and 1958, these “Mini Ducks” uses a 2.1-liter straight-four making 55 horsepower. This car-err… truck- I mean… um… vehicle was basically a copy of a Ford design but based on a GAZ jeep. This example is described as having been freshened recently “though the brakes are not functional.” Which is hilarious. You can buy it for between $50,000-$75,000. Read more here and see the full lot list here.

Update: Sold $92,000.

Stately Soviet Sedan

1978 GAZ Chaika M13

For sale at Hyman Ltd | St. Louis, Missouri

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.


1964 GAZ 69

Offered by H&H Auctions | Newbury, England | September 19, 2012

Pretty beefy, eh? This Cold War-era Russian military truck is a cheap way to have fun with both an old car and a serious off-roader. Although it is listed as a GAZ-69, it is most likely a UAZ 69. What’s the difference?

Well, GAZ (or Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod… which translates to Gorky Automobile Plant)  is and has been one of Russia’s largest vehicle producers for a very long time. Founded in 1932 as NAZ (roughly, Nizhny Novgorod Automobile Plant, named after it’s location), it was a company set up by the Soviet Union and Ford. Well, the Soviets and western business never really got along and Ford was ousted after a year and it was renamed in honor of Maxim Gorky, a Soviet author and political activist.

GAZ has built cars over the years, but commercial and military vehicles are their specialty. The GAZ-69 was introduced as a light off-road truck for the Soviet Army in 1953. GAZ only built them through 1955, when production was taken over by UAZ (a similar, but different, company). UAZ built them through 1972. So this is technically a UAZ 69, but all UAZ models were referred to as GAZs, thus heightening confusion.

These were also built in Romania as ARO IMS-57. You can learn more about ARO vehicles on other parts of this website, namely here. The truck you see here has a 2.1-liter  straight-four making 55 horsepower. You can expect to pick it up for between $6,400 and $9,600. For more information, click here. And for more from H&H at Newbury Racecourse, click here.

Update: Sold $8,000.

Auctions America Auburn Fall Highlights

Auctions America’s 2012 Fall Auburn auction featured a boatload – perhaps two boatloads – of cars. The top sale was our featured Duesenberg Model J Derham Sedan for $456,500. Second place went to another local product, a 1932 Auburn 12 Boattail Speedster for $275,000.

1932 Auburn 12 Boattail Speedster

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).

Recreation G-4 W131 Grosser Six Seven-Passenger Convertible Sedan

Other interesting sales including this 1944 Demag Half-Track for $93,500.

1944 Demag IE SPW SDKFZ 250/5 Neu Art

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.

1990 Pulse Litestar

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.

1967 Plymouth Hemi GTX

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.

1952 Packard Pacifica Concept

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.

1977 GAZ Chaika M-13 Limousine

For complete results, click here.