At the prototype stage, this model was called "Rodina", but it would be incorrect to sell a car with that name, and therefore in 1954 it gets a natural and obvious name in the city of Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod) - "Volga".
In total, 638,875 GAZ-21 vehicles were assembled at the Gorky Automobile Plant. The last model rolled off the assembly line on July 15, 1970. This car is kept in the GAZ History Museum in Nizhny Novgorod.
In total, three series of these cars were produced, which differed in a number of technical details, including engines. Outwardly, these series were also different from each other. Specifically, the first series featured a star on the grille, the second series featured a shark's mouth grille, and the third series had a grille with twice as many vertical stripes called a whalebone.
Auto experts claim that the first Volga GAZ-M21 was one of the most distinctive and original Soviet cars. The rich experience of engineers and stylists, accumulated during the creation of Pobeda (Victory - editor's note) and ZIM, influenced the work on it. In contrast, the GAZ-21 did not copy any specific Western model. The creators of "Volga" only creatively used the latest achievements of Western, primarily American, companies. Some European designers and constructors acted in a similar way then. However, by the mid-1960s, the Volga began to rapidly become obsolete against the background of its Western counterparts: it never received an independent rear suspension, a more powerful engine and brakes, an automatic or at least a four-speed gearbox ...
Of course, despite such a solid age, this legendary car can often be found on the streets, and not only in Russia. They continue to be driven from time to time by lovers of vintage technology or collectors. In the ads on the network, you can also find the price of this car. On average, it will be about 5 thousand euros.
By the way, the “old Volga,” as it began to be called after the appearance of another model - GAZ-24, was filmed by film director Eldar Ryazanov in the first full-fledged chase in the history of Soviet cinema - in the great comedy Beware of the Car. Innokenty Smoktunovsky was at the wheel, and the "traffic cop" Georgy Zhzhenov was catching up with him on a motorcycle.
Of course, due to well-known socio-political and economic reasons, it was almost impossible for an ordinary citizen to buy this car in the USSR. And it's not even about the price, although it cost exorbitant money at that time - about 10 thousand rubles, with an average salary of 150 rubles a month. It's just that it was a common Soviet phenomenon that affected all goods and services that were popular, at least to some extent, - DEFICIT.
It is interesting that the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin visited Gorky only once - in 1963, and even then unofficially: he arrived at GAZ to repair his 21st Volga. For flights, the first cosmonauts were awarded an apartment, 15,000 rubles. and the Volga. The quality of the Soviet car industry is evidenced by the simple fact that only two years have passed since the donation of the new Volga to Gagarin... And he brought it to repair not to a car service, which simply did not exist, but to the plant...
Several years ago, Turkmen President Berdymukhamedov drove the emerald green Volga of Russian Prime Minister Medvedev.
True, in the USSR, the most prestigious color of the "Volga" was considered black - such cars were driven by large Soviet officials and shadow entrepreneurs, mainly from the southern republics of the USSR.