The previous comment was extremely well written and most informative. Thank you. I agree that the Volga 3110 did not rate particularly well in crash tests. However, in a low impact accident situation, I think I`d rather be in a Volga, than a Kia or Hyundai. These Korean vehicles, although better finished, have much thinner gauge steel in their panels, and literally crumple up in a minor accident. I have witnessed the aftermath. In a "roll over" situation, at speed, the Volga`s roof-line remains reasonably rigid and intact. The Hyundai and Kia are generally flattened- along with the occupants. The fact that the Volga is based on an old fashion design, is not necessarily a bad thing. I do agree that the installation of dual front and side air bags will be a must in the Volga, as it will be in all other cars.
I live in Afghanistan and am trying to ship a 1959 Volga to the US (which is a nightmare due to Afghan regulations). Volga's are renowned in Afghanistan for being "strong" cars. In the Panjshir valley (home to the Northern Alliance) it is the preferred means of transportation. People have driven them for decades over rough dirt roads filled to the brim and with the roof stacked with friends, family, watermelons, bags of wheat, and the odd mujahideen. They manage to keep them running with few spare parts and fewer trained mechanics. It's part of the genius of Russian engineering - the AK-47 of the vehicle world so to speak - the whole thing can pretty much be taken apart with a screw driver and a pair of pliers. These things literally run until the integrity of the steel fails and the whole thing collapses into a pile of ruble. You can't beat that.
This is for the above commenter. Russian cars don't really have model years, like most Western or Japanese makers. Rather, their cars are sold based on year of manufacture, (ie calendar year). This means that improvements or changes to the design are put into production as soon as they're ready, rather than held until the new models are launched. Since Volgas are continuously improved/modified in production, it is possible that two otherwise identical cars may differ in a few details. GAZ also offers a much wider range of options/packages that other carmakers, so it could be that your friend's car may have a slightly different specification as well.
As a reply to the writer enquiring on bringing a Volga into the UK, I have a few tips; I am from the US, but currently live in the UK and have brought cars into both countries. The previous writer was correct that the car must be over 25 years old to be exempt from DOT (safety) requirements. In the UK, the law is 10 years to be exempt from SVA (compliance inspection). The 1981 Volga is basically the same as the 3102. Furthermore, you can still buy fully assembled bodyshells and engines and just about anything else. There are companies in Russia that can put new running gear and body on 1981 Volga. I am currently in the process of arranging this for a UAZ. You may want to double check the exact import rules for the US, as I have forgotten the details, but it should be quite possible. Russian cars are great, and although they require more maintenance than a 'new car,' (think of it like a 1960s American car: reliable, but things do go wrong; tolerances were much rougher then than now) HOWEVER, you can fix everything, and I have surprised myself by being able to solve most problems myself, which in other cars would require a tow to a shop. Hope this is helpful.
I am 100% Russian, but currently living in the US. Dealing with these types of cars in the past, I can truly say that the only "modern" Russian car is the Lada Kalina, and even it should have been produced 10 years ago. When you compare the top-of-the-line Volga, it ranks no where with a simple car as a Toyota Corolla or a Chevy Malibu. Russia makes great cars, but, even considering that, over 80% of the population now drives imports... Unless you are going for a "unique" factor on the streets of the US, which are full of Civics and Integras, look somewhere else...
The volga is a great car. It may have bugs but it is fine. Pity they stopped making a V8.
Is anyone still reading this particular thread? I have been to Russia several times and have always liked some of the later Volga models. I have decided that I'd like to privately import one to the USA, but admittedly I am a newbie at importing foreign cars, so I thought I'd post here for some guidance. Anyone ever done this, hopefully recently? Would I really need to get a 25+ year old version to avoid the crash test standards?
I lived in ru for almost 5 years; returned last autumn. I can't help on the import regulations, but if you're shipping a car from ru to the US, I'd drive it to fi (or Estonia) and ship it from there. I'm sure you'd avoid expenses and hassles from the ru customs people, if they are unaware that you're permanently exporting the vehicle. I'm in the process of arranging a classic US car for import to fi - to sell to Fin, Rus or Swede, whoever is most interested.
I have reliable friends in St. P, if you'd like some help getting a car, etc., when you're there. :-) R S.
I'd appreciate any help. I've been doing research on the import stuff, though I hadn't considered the other-country aspect of it; that might save hassles in Russia, but I wonder if there would be any new ones created in Swe or Es? My email is email@example.com - send me something there RE your St Pete folk who could assist in locating a candidate vehicle. Thanks.
I am from Iraq. I have a Volga 3110. It is great car, but there are some problems with the engine; it is very hot always, because of our weather in Iraq, so I was thinking to replace the original Volga engine with a new engine from Toyota. Could you please advise me which kind of engine will be suitable for my dear Volga?
Thanks a lot
Well as I mentioned in two previous postings, I endeavored to import a Volga from Russia into the USA. I am proud to update this thread and announce that I was successful. I now have a 1983 Volga sitting in my garage. At the risk of sounding corny/cheesy, I must admit that I am in love with that thing! Sure, it has its flaws that date back to its original manufacturing (Russian QC leaves a lot to be desired), but overall it is in fabulous condition and I couldn't be happier.
If you really want to have a Volga, it can be done. Import it privately, buy one that is 25+ years old and you'll be OK. Good luck!
To whom may be interested:
Buy a 25 year old car, then ship the parts: gear box, fender, engine parts or the entire motor (everything labelled as parts) and you should to be fine.
Love Soviet cars.
How much did it cost to bring your Volga to the USA? I'd buy one already here. Any sellers?