On this day: Production of the first GAZ-M20 Pobeda cars began

Pobeda is a valuable collector’s item.

Pobeda is a valuable collector’s item.

Sergey Mikheev/RG
This passenger vehicle became a symbol of postwar Soviet life.

In 1946, the Pobeda was the first Soviet automobile to have turn signals, two electric windshield wipers, four-wheel hydraulic brakes, an electric heater, and a factory-installed AM radio. 

Many Pobeda cars were used by government organizations, including the state-owned taxicab parks (there were no private taxis in the Soviet Union). The car’s price was twice the average annual wage of 800 rubles, yet there were long queues to buy it. In 1954-55, demand exceeded production, and the Pobeda had the first chance for the Soviet automobile industry to export and compete with Western manufacturers.

Pobeda’s total production was 235,999 units, including 37,492 taxis and 14,222 cabriolets. In 1958, the car was replaced by the GAZ M21 Volga. Today, Pobeda is a valuable collector’s item.

Read more: Why do some Americans, Europeans and Australians love vintage Soviet cars?

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