Volga GAZ-21 Review from North America

1968 Volga GAZ-21 R 2.445 4 cylinder carb

Year of manufacture1968
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.445 4 cylinder carb Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired130000 kilometres
Most recent distance134000 kilometres
Previous carVolga GAZ-21I

Summary:

Volga forever

Faults:

Both the worn transmission shaft and a bent rear wheel rim of this veteran Volga gave us their portions of shake and break. That once ended in the central ignition cable disconnecting (a good chance for the driver to show his class).

Anyhow, as scary as it was, it did not stop us short of passing a brand-new Cadillac at 65 mph just for a record.

By the way, the head gasket did not blow at 50,000 miles, and the cloth seats were quite neat in their thirties.

General Comments:

You would not miss this car on a big parking lot, unless that's a Chevy "Suburban" dealer's lot. Save for the shapes you'd not confuse for any other, you got it as tall as Cherokee, and just about as much off-road capable, with no less ground clearance, even though we call her "car". If you really can't see the roof above other SUVs, look for the antenna, so eagerly copied by the New Beetle.

We could keep up with the Massachusetts traffic pace (skeptics might say, it would not take more than a bicycle for that, however, that probably wouldn't be a bicycle from Russia anyways). In fact, the fabulous couple In-line Four 2.5 and the three-bang shift-with-a-finger would let you forget about shift and clutch once over 20 mph - just push the accel as you please, or fix it with the hand lever and cruise!

But there was one real unbeatable purpose for which it was worth importing the car from Russia: what other car you would use to go for a fall apple picking? Is there any other vehicle whose cargo capacity is measured in sackfuls of apples?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th December, 2002

13th Jan 2006, 00:20

So if I am an apple grower, I should use a Volga to transport them in- in sacks. Am I missing something?

27th Dec 2007, 17:07

I own a 67 Volga and enjoy it immensely... individuals must have imported a number of them into the USA in the 60's because I frequntly see Volgas in used car lots at the outskirts of cities. They are usually in the back of the lot rusting away and you can pick one up for as little as two hundred dollars. So many were imported, parts are still easily available.

4th Jan 2008, 15:21

I found a 65 Volga fully restored in and out no rust at all, its in Tashkent Uzbekistan. Lady wants $20000 for it. Does any one know how to and how much it is to have it shipped to US. Is 20k a good price for show room quality 65 Volga?

18th May 2008, 20:17

Does anyone know any used car dealers or other sellers in the US of the Volga 21?

25th Aug 2009, 21:19

I have just bought a fine 63 Volga 21 in Estonia, and it's being shipped to me in Australia.

I know of no other Volga 21s in Australia.

lembit _at_ juniper.net

Average review marks: 5.0 / 10, based on 1 review