Yaroslavl Oblast: Ivanovo – Soviet Automotive History Museum
When I was little, my parents gave me as presents 11 miniature car models of Soviet cars – ladas, nivas, volgas, moscvitchs, etc. Made in 1:43 scale, those were exact replicas with all the minute details like side mirrors, windshield vipers, and rubber tires and polished rims. Fast forward to present time, and I now have a collection nearing about 1000 cars in it (thanks to Russian collection-obsessed audience demanding new versions of Soviet-era models). So imagine how I felt at the Museum of Soviet Autohistory in Ivanovo!!! Like I was shrunk into a liliput size and walking around the rows of my own collection. The collection here at the museum was stellar – all the main iconic models from Stalin-era black limo ZIMs and Pobedas, to 60s Volgas and Chaikas, to mass-market 70-80s Ladas and even a tiny Zaporozhets (subject to all the jokes back in the days given its dorky size, lack of horsepower and the engine located in the trunk). Even my dad’s old car – VAZ 2102 – was here. All vehicles were in absolutely mint sparkling conditions, and apparently some of them were actually used as model vehicles for creating the recent 1:43 scale miniatures.