February 05, 2013

history | Pobeda | Warszawa | Volga

1/43rd diecast models

GAZ M-20 Pobeda
The years of ’50 in Romania meant the apparition of the Russian mass luxury car, GAZ - M20 Pobeda (Pobeda means Victory in Russian language).First units were made on 28th of June 1946 but due to some technical problems the production stops for one year. Only on the 1st of November 1949 the production restarts becoming really a mass production. From 1946 till the modernization in 1955 were produced around 160,000 units. The price of such a car in Romania was around 75,000 Lei (source not verifiable) and in the same time the average salary was around 337 Lei per month (Romanian Institute of Statistics). The most of them were used by the local authorities or by the institutions.
Warszawa 223
 The same vehicle was produced in Poland from 1951 to 1973. The factory was located in the capital of the country, in Warszawa (Warsaw) and it was named Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych. So this is the reason for calling the vehicle FSO Warszawa. The first model was M20 exactly the same as GAZ - M20. Later a discreet face lift (the front grille) and some mechanical modifications gave birth to the Warszawa 200. In 1964 the body was changed in a more modern shape, 3 volumes. The new name is Warszawa 223. Now, the 3 volume body configuration gives a modern look of the car and a more dynamic shape. Personally I love the shape of 223. I find it interesting, giving an idea of what it means in those times a car: something big, heavy, with a powerless engine with huge essence consumption (all this comparing with nowadays 1.2 liter engines developing over 100 BHp). Over 500,000 units were produced  untill 1974, the year when on 30th of mars the last Warszawa get out on the gates of Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych
GAZ M_21 Volga family
The replacement of GAZ M - 20 Pobeda was GAZ M - 21 Volga. It was a totally new car, more modern and inspired from the design of the American cars of the era. There is an obviously resemblance between Volga and Ford Mainline of 1954. It was produced from 1956 to 1970 in three generations esthetically different at the level of the front end (front grilles) and at the level of the bumpers (front and rear also).The car has some major luxury features for that time, such as the reclining front seat, cigarette lighter, heater, wind-shield washer and 3-wave radio set. Some interior buttons was also made in a special plastic which imitates the ivory. A station wagon was also produced and sold. From November 1956 until July 1970, 639,478 units were produced. During its life, Volga get not less than 60 modifications. A V8 engine equipped a little series of vehicles called M-23 with a special destination in USSR.
In Romania the three vehicles were used as the authorities’ vehicles or institutional ones. An important destination also was the TAXI cars. Some private persons buy them at second hand after the institutional use. Very few units are still running today and unhappily there are also some in very poor condition.
Here I tried to remember those times through some die-cast models 43rd time smaller than the original ones. The interiors and the exterior were detailed in order to have some of the époque shine who consecrated them.
sources : wikipedia; DeAgostini review
photos : M . C . H  (c)

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