Nizhniy Novgorod Oblast: Nizhniy Novgorod – GAZ Museum
If you thought the auto museum in Ivanovo was incredible, wait till you see the pictures from the holy grail of Soviet car making – the GAZ car factory. Nizhniy Novgorod was known as Gorkiy during the soviet times and hence the name GAZ or Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod. In May 1929, the Soviet Union signed a deal with Ford to buy several million cars and in return Ford would build a car factory in the middle of USSR. In 1933, the first Soviet light trucks – GAZ A and GAZ AA – rolled off the factory line, not so loosely based on Ford’s Model A and Model AA. A few years later came GAZ M1 or Emka, the first passenger sedan, again based on Ford Model B. From there on, all the models were Soviet designed and built. The legendary GAZ M20 Pobeda (Victory) came after WWII as well as the presidential lux limo GAZ M12 ZIM. Full size sedans named Volga came out in the 60-80s as more upscale Soviet vehicles GAZ 21, 22, 24. New truck lines were developed as GAZ 51, 53, 66. And so on and so forth to present day…. The museum is awesome with all the models on display and all the history of every model on the walls in full description, one can spend a day here. And there was even a small experimental model GAZ 18 from 1957 that never made it to full production, but apparently it was at the time the world’s smallest passenger car!