Soviet Mobility

Tbilisi Automuseum

We discovered, that there is a car museum in Tbilisi, the only one in the whole Caucasus, we were told. It is based on a private collection of Soviet cars, something we had to see. If you follow us already a long time, you will know, that we seldom walk past a car museum. The museum lies in the outskirts of town, and we had to find a way to get there, without getting stuck under too low railway underpasses, which took us a while.


Whenever we see Soviet cars they somehow remind us of old American or European cars. Why is this? All the Soviet produced cars (or even Motorbikes) are copys of models of the capitalist world, staring with FORD Model A ….
But lets start whith the white Pobeda-Phaeton, a replica of a car based on the GAZ M-20 “Pobeda” is a copy of the American Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan, designed for military parades. GAZ (Gorky Automotive Plant) never built Pobeda-Phaetons, these replicas were built by various automobile workshops.


The ZIM-12 was a Soviet long wheelbase limousine, produced by GAZ from 1950 till 1960. It was the first executive car produced by GAZ, built to serve mid-rank Soviet elite, but was also used as a taxi and ambulance. Unlike its successors, ZIM was the only Soviet executive class full-size car that was actually made available for private ownership. A total of 21,527 examples were built.

Driving the Pobeda-Phaeton
That’s my ride!
ZAZ series

ZAZ 965 in red – produced from 1960-63 by ZAZ (Zaporizhian Automobile Plant) in Ukraine. Visually a copy of the Fiat 600
ZAZ 966 in orange – similar to the Chevrolet Corvair – produced from 1966-72.
ZAZ 968A in yellow – similar to the German NSU Prinz – produced from 1973-79

Black cars only for the Soviet government and the KGB
GAZ-4, a copy of the American Ford Model A
Even the logo looks similar
GAZ M1, a copy of the American Ford Model B
Luxurious “Chaika” GAZ-13 – only available to the Soviet government
“Chaika” GAZ-14 – a luxury car for middle-level officials of the Soviet Union
White “Chaika” GAZ-13 used for weddings
Soviet Vespa
BMW copy, Dnepr K-750 built in Kyiv Motor Works (KMZ) Ukraine

This was a very interesting exhibition of Soviet cars for us. Especially old Lada and Moskvitch cars as well as GAZ and Kamaz trucks are still on the road in big numbers in Georgia. We finally had to give up to photograph every old car we saw.

Under Classic Mobility, you will find all the car (and plane) related posts of our blog.

After our visit to Tbilisi, we are now on the way to Armenia, looking forward to explore this country during the next weeks, before we will return to Georgia. More on our next post!

1 thought on “Soviet Mobility”

  1. Pingback: Walk around Gyumri – we travel

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