GAZ Module Automobile Manufacturers

GAZ-Gorky Automobile Plant


Sevastopol Victory Day Parade GAZ-M1 IMG 1572 1725.jpg
Manufacturer GAZ
Production 1936-1943
Assembly Gorky, Soviet Union;
(now Nizhny Novgorod, Russia).
Body and chassis
Class Passenger car
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Related 1932 Ford
  • 3.3 L (201 ci) GAZ-M (Ford L-head-4) I4 (1936-1940)
  • 3.6 L (218 ci) GAZ-11 (Chryslerflathead) I6 (1940-1943)
Transmission 3-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,845 mm (112.0 in)
Length 4,625 mm (182.1 in)
Width 1,770 mm (69.7 in)
Height 1,780 mm (70.1 in)
Kerb weight 1,370 kg (3,020 lb)
Predecessor GAZ-A (1932–1936)

The GAZ M1 (“Эмка“/”Emka”) was a passenger car produced by the Russian automaker GAZ between 1936 and 1943, at their plant in Nizhny Novgorod (then called Gorky) in the former Soviet Union.

Systematic production ended in 1941, but the factory was able to continue assembling cars from existing inventory of parts and components until 1943. In total, 62,888 GAZ M1 automobiles were produced.

Much of the car’s production period coincided with the Great Patriotic War (World War II), and many Emkas were used by the army as staff cars. Various special versions were produced such as the Gaz M – FAI and BA-20 armoured car models

The car has subsequently become an icon of its time in Russia, having been relatively popular, and featuring in film and photographic images of a defining period in the history of the Soviet Union.


The Soviet Union’s first passenger car had been the GAZ-A, produced between 1932 and 1936, and based on the Ford Model A (1927–31), built under license/technology sharing agreement with and using parts purchased from the American Ford Motor Company. It would be many years before passenger cars became available for private buyers in the Soviet Union, and passenger cars at this stage were produced for official and military use. By the time the GAZ-A was being produced in the Soviet Union, the western original Ford Model A was already becoming superseded in its western markets, and the politicians and Red army looked for a way to reduce dependence on imported components and replacement parts. The version of the Ford adapted for Soviet production was an open topped car which was unsuitable for the winter climate encountered in most of the country, and the cars were felt to be unreliable and insufficiently robust for the relatively harsh Russian conditions.

There had therefore been various attempts to modify the GAZ-A using locally designed elements, but the body structures in question had used traditional timber frames with panels attached, which were labour-intensive to produce and excessively prone to deform. In the US car body construction was changing radically during the later 1920s, using technology pioneered by Ambi Budd, for the production of all steel car bodies. The new approach used far more complicated steel pressings than had hitherto been possible, and the same new techniques were adopted by the more prosperous of the volume auto-makers in the west of Europe through the 1930s. GAZ’s western technology partner, Ford, took a conservative approach to these developments, but during the early 1930s they, too, would join in the switch to all-steel car bodies.

The Soviet Union was keen for the same technology to be applied at the GAZ plant in Gorky, exploiting the ten-year technology sharing agreement which had been signed with the Ford Motor Company in 1932, and which at this stage remained more or less intact.

Development and introduction:

Work began in 1933/34 on a replacement for the GAZ-A, again using a (newer) Ford model as the basis. The model in question was the Ford Model B, which was becoming available with a wide range of different bodies in North America.

Specifically, the first prototype for the GAZ M-1 was based on the 1934 Ford Model B 40A four-door sedan. The prototype was powered by a four-cylinder engine, although it appears already to have been intended that production cars, like the Ford on which they were based, would use V8 units. Documentation was transferred by Ford in accordance with the terms of the technology sharing agreement and the first prototype was unveiled in February 1935. A major innovation for the manufacturer was the all-steel body, although at this stage the roof was still reinforced using timber side rails and was coated with synthetic “leatherette” fabric.

In 1936 the M-1 replaced the GAZ-A on the manufacturer’s production lines, with the first two cars produced in March of that year and volume production starting in May. By the end of 1936 the plant had produced 2,524 GAZ M-1s, and in 1937 an M-1 was displayed in Paris at the International Artistic and technical exhibition of modern life. The letter ”M” was included in the car’s name as the plant’s name included that of Vyacheslav Molotov.

This 15 rouble “special issue” postage stamp of 2012 reflects the car’s enduring iconic status in Russia.

Local modifications:

The development of the M-1 involved many changes to the Ford on which it was based, so that many came to view the Russian car as a separate model. The rather primitive Ford suspension was completely redesigned to cope with local conditions, and matched to strong steel wheels. The V8 engine was based on the same technical drawings as those used for the Ford engine, but Ford has sent only drawings. The GAZ development team had not had access to the actual Ford engine as fitted in Detroit, and so any necessary interpretations of the technical drawings were their own. The GAZ engineers also redesigned the front wings which left the Russian car with a more elegant shape which provided better protection from the elements for the front suspension.

The body:

The M-1 represented a huge advance over its predecessor in many respects. Most obviously, it came with a body that used the “all-steel” approach of the more modern western designs (despite retaining timber structural elements in the roof frame) and, unlike its predecessor, a permanent fixed roof. The chassis featured an “X” shaped cross member making it far stronger. The suspension was more modern and the road holding more sure-footed. Under the bonnet/hood the car came with automatic ignition, while the cabin featured front seats that could be adjusted, sun-visors, along with an electric fuel gauge, and windows which could be swiveled into an open position.

The engine and transmission:

The engine was more powerful and more durable. Maximum output rose from 40 PS (29 kW; 39 hp) to 50 PS (37 kW; 49 hp), supported by a compression ratio increased to 4.6:1 and a new carburetor design. The new engine came with a fuel pump whereas its predecessor had depended on a gravity driven fuel-feed system.

The same engine was subsequently installed in the GAZ–MM light truck, an upgrade of the GAZ-AA.

The three speed manual transmission now featured synchromesh in the upper two ratios, and was the gear box that would be carried forward to the replacement GAZ Pobeda in the later 1940s.


Most of the cars were painted black with a thin red stripe down each side. The seat covers were of thick cloth material coloured grey or brown, while the interior décor was characterised by painted metal, albeit combined with some wood trim.

Engine Upgrade:

Towards the end of the 1930s the decision was taken to replace the by now rather dated Ford designed side-valve engine. Again, the manufacturer turned to the US auto-industry, this time to Chrysler. The engine selected was the six cylinder unit fitted to the Dodge D5, which was considered relatively advanced at the time despite being a development of a unit that had originated back in 1928. The 3485cc unit produced 76 PS (56 kW; 75 hp) which was far more power than that produced by the Ford designed units that had powered the earlier M-1s. The necessary drawings were purchased in 1937-38, and after all the measurements had been converted to their metric values the necessary tooling was created and volume production of this engine, now designated as the GAZ-11 unit, began in 1940. The same unit was the basis for power units fitted in the manufacturer’s Pobeda and in the larger Zim limousine. It also found its way into the remarkable all-wheel drive GAZ-61 as well as various military applications such as tanks and gun carriages.

Taxi use:

Plans to develop a dedicated taxi version of the M-1 were never fully realised, but there was nevertheless a demand for taxis in some cities which the M-1 fulfilled. The first 20 cars produced were introduced as taxis in Leningrad in 1936, and by the late summer of 1939 there were 20 of the cars being used for taxi work in Minsk. By that date there were 465 registered for taxi work in Leningrad and a further 2,740 in Moscow.


  • GAZ-M21: Prototype 6×4 truck version. Produced in 1936.
  • GAZ-M22:
  • GAZ-M23:
  • GAZ-M24:
  • GAZ-M25: Prototype 7-seater car based on GAZ-M21. Produced in 1938.
  • GAZ-M415: Pickup truck version. Produced 1937-1941.
  • GAZ-M1g: Gas generating version of GAZ-M1.
  • GAZ-VM: Prototype halftrack version.
  • GAZ-11-73: Passenger car version. Produced 1940-1941 and 1945-1946.

In addition to these variants, a special model of the GAZ-M1 had been developed in 1938 for the NKVD agents. It was powered by a high-performance version of the Ford V8 engine, which was directly imported from the U.S. rather than built locally.


Volga GAZ-24
GAZ-24 "Volga" in Estonia.jpg
Manufacturer GAZ
Also called
  • Scaldia-Volga M24
  • Scaldia-Volga M24D
  • GAZ-2401: 1970–1985
  • GAZ-2402: 1971–1985 (5-doorstation wagon)
  • GAZ-2410: 1985–1992
Body and chassis
Class Executive car
Predecessor Volga GAZ-21
Successor Volga GAZ-3102

1974 and 1978 Volgas – represent two generations of GAZ-24 Volga

The Volga GAZ-24 (pronounced Volga; nickname Barja (Barge)) is an automobile manufactured by the Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (GAZ-Gorky Automobile Plant) from 1970 to 1985 as a generation of its Volga marque. A largely redesigned version (practically, a new car in modified old body) – GAZ-24-10 – was produced from 1985 to 1992. It was sold as the Scaldia-Volga M24 and M24D in the Western European market.


M-24 prototype (photo dated 1967). Some prototypes had quad headlights. First prototypes were built in 1966.

“Pre-serial” Volga depicted on Soviet 1971 10 kopeks post stamp

Development of the GAZ-24 (then called M-24) finished in 1966 when several prototypes were built. The Volga GAZ-24 was unveiled towards the end of 1967. However, only 32 units were built in 1968,]]). primarily for road tests, with another 215 units built in 1969.1968/69-built Volgas are often called “pre-serial” because full-scale manufacturing started only in 1970 (18,486 units built). Distinctive feature of the very first several prototypes were two outside rearview mirrors fixed on front fenders. Most of the pre-serial and all serial cars got one mirror placed on front left door.

The GAZ-24 was developed to replace outdated Volga GAZ-21 developed in 1950s. The new Volga had a longer wheelbase (2,800 mm (110 in)) than the GAZ-21 (2700 mm (106 in), but slightly shorter overall length (4,735 mm (186.4 in) compared to 4,810 mm (189 in)) ) and was substantially lower ((1,490 mm (59 in)) compared to 1,620 mm (64 in)). Width remained untouched. Long wheelbase, boxier styling, bucket seats with lower bases and flat roof made the new Volga generously sized inside, with comfortable five- or six-passenger seating. The car was designed to last for years in severe road conditions, and its reinforced unibody construction gave the Volga extra weight if compared to foreign analogs. Yet power steering was not even an option, and it gained the nickname “barzha” (barge)

Standard engine was aluminium-block overhead valve 2,445 cc (149.2 cu in) ZMZ 24D inline-four producing 95 hp (71 kW; 96 PS) with one twin-chokecarburetor. Only a four-speed manual transmission with floor-mounted shifter was offered (though GAZ did prototype an automatic, a column-shift manual, and a three-speed manual with overdrive).

The GAZ-21 trim lines (“standard” and “improved”) were dropped, all GAZ-24 Volgas had similar trim. No specific options or extras were listed, but standard equipment included self-adjusting power drum brakes with front/rear split brake system, three-wave radio with power antenna, interior safety padding, central armrests (both front and rear), alternator, three-speed windshield wiper and foot-operated windshield washer, heater with defroster, rear window defogger, electric clock, and trunk and engine compartment lights. Early cars had “ribbon” speedometers , with gauges that filled up with red, in a thermometer fashion. The interior was available in three colours – red, brown or light gray. The dashboard was made of aluminium and painted in exterior colour, the upper part covered with safety padding and black vinyl.

The Volga’s styling was rather conventional and American inspired. Some features were thematically quite similar to those on the GAZ-21 such as vertical tail lights, so called “baleen plates” grille, tiny fins on rear fenders. One of the most recognizable feature of the GAZ-24 Volga sedan styling are chromed rhombic vents on the C-pillar. Among another distinctive features can be mentioned dashboard handles with “ivory” plastic inserts, two chromed “fangs” under front bumper, large two spoke steering wheel and large chromed parking brake handle placed under the dashboard on the right.

Interior colour selection was so haphazard, it was a standing joke the choice was made based on whatever was immediately at hand Official cars were almost always black outside and red inside.


The GAZ-24 was displayed at the London Motor Show in 1970. Full-scale manufacturing started 15 July 1970. Export sales began in 1971  During 1970-74 the Volga remained almost unchanged. Only minor modifications took place in 1972-73, when the car got new trunk decklid lock, flat ashtrays in rear doors instead of early ashtrays that were built in rear doors armrests, new rear bumper and new radio with more pleasant appearance and modified construction. In 1973 dashboard with simulated wood insert appeared (also there was a “silver” grained finish, used until 1974). After 1973, the ignition switch was moved from the dashboard to under the steering wheel to prevent knee injuries in road accidents, although that was inconvenient for the driver. Also in 1974, the Volga got additional C-pillar parking lights on(something like opera lights). The 24-01 was joined in 1977 by the 24-07, which was fitted to use liquified propane.

The original strip speedometer was changed to dial 1975, the same year the ignition switch was moved from the dash to the steering column. Beginning in 1977, seatbelts began to be offered.

In 1978, about 1000 right-hand drive 24-56s were built for export to India, Pakistan, and Singapore; powered by the Peugeot XDP 4.90 engine, they were not assembled in Belgium, and were the last right-hand drive vehicles GAZ built.

The Volga was a status symbol in the Soviet Union, being large and luxurious, with a three-band radio. Unlike the GAZ-21, however, for most of its production lifetime, it was not commonly available to the public; those that were sold required a special permit to purchase them. This would not begin to change until the 1980s.

First generation (1968-1977)
GAZ-24 (1st generation) "Volga" (front view).jpg
Production 1970–1977
Body and chassis
Body style
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • 4-door convertible
  • 2.5 L ZMZ 24 I4
  • 5.5 L ZMZ-2424 V8
  • 4-speed manual
  • 3-speed automatic (V8 only)
Wheelbase 110.24 in (2,800 mm)
Length 186.4 in (4,735 mm)
Width 70.86 in (1,800 mm)
Height 58.66 in (1,490 mm)
Curb weight 1,420 kg (3,131 lb)

Volga Estate


Volga cars were almost the only taxi cabs in the USSR. In 1971, the GAZ-24-01 taxi was introduced. It had cheap and easy-to-wash all-vinyl interior, low compression ZMZ 24-01 engine (85 hp, SAE 95 hp) able to run on 76 octane fuel (most commonly available in the Soviet Union), taximeter under the dash, and distinctive checkerboard stripe on front doors. At first, Volga taxicabs were painted in different light colors; later, most taxicabs were painted in lime-yellow. The GAZ-24 is still famous for fantastic roadworthiness and durability. Volga taxicabs often have more than 1,000,000 km (620,000 mi) on their odometers, and several engine rebuilds. Taxicab drivers nicknamed GAZ-24 sedan “The Shrimp” due to its slim (compared to the GAZ-21, nicknamed “The Holy Cow”) appearance and two “fangs” under front bumper that resembled shrimp’s claws. Wagon taxicabs GAZ-24-04 (station wagons were used as cargo taxies) were nicknamed “The Shed” due to vast interior space; they had a payload of 400 kg (880 lb), thanks to stiffer rear springs.

Station wagon and ambulance:

In 1972, the GAZ-24-02 4-door station wagon was introduced, fitted with three rows of seats. However, Volga wagons were not sold to private owners without special permit. For example, families with many children or sportsmen who had to carry heavy sport equipment (like parachutes) were allowed to purchase a Volga wagon. Famous clown and actor Yuri Nikulin was permitted to own a GAZ-24-02 wagon because he often transported heavy circus equipment. This restriction came from small volume of GAZ-24-02 production. Wagons were primarily used by hospitals (as ambulances), state-owned shops and taxi companies, Militsiya, GAI, post offices and other state enterprises. The wagon was sold freely in export markets.

The GAZ-24-02 had generous interior area with 3 rows of seats and 7-8-passenger seating. Area behind the front seat could be converted into spacious one-level cargo compartment. 24-02 had heavy-duty rear leaf springs (six leaves as opposed to the sedan’s five) and could carry up to 400 kg (880 lb), thanks to stiffer rear springs.

The GAZ-24-04 was a taxicab breed of Volga station wagon with distinctive features similar to sedan taxicab.

Ambulance modification GAZ-24-03 was introduced in 1973.


The GAZ never built GAZ-24 convertibles. All convertibles were produced by a military plant in the city of Bronnitsy. They were used for military parades.

Pickup truck:


Volga-based pickup trucks were built by different car repairing plants all over the country. Exteriors differed.

4×4 version:

During the winter of 1973-74, five AWD GAZ-24-95s were built. It used a UAZ transfer case, with a heavily-modified floorpan. The front axle ended up being a Volga rear axle turned backwards, attached to UAZ joints for the steering, with front leaf springs (on stronger frame rails, to carry the greater load). The sump also had to be modified. In all, the changes added 90 kilograms (200 lb). Some disadvantages were discovered during the tests and this modification remained experimental. One survives in the GAZ plant’s museum, another perhaps in private hands in Nizhny Novgorod.


In 1975 the car was slightly modified. It got another, more conventional speedometer , more convenient outside rearview mirror. Engine cooling system was modified to use antifreeze instead of water.

V8-powered version:

GAZ-24-34 V8 ZMZ-505.10 engine. GAZ-24-24 had almost the same engine (called ZMZ-2424), 24-34 is a later development of 24-24 produced after 1985

From late 1974, a V8 powered version was produced in small numbers, the GAZ 24-24. It had aluminium 190 hp (140 kW) 5,530 cc (337 cu in)OHV ZMZ 503.10 V8, dual exhaust, 3-speed automatic transmission (same as the Chaika), power steering, modified suspension, and a 105 L (28 US gal; 23 imp gal) fuel tank, but the same drum brakes of the standard Volga. This modification is sometimes designated “device 2424”, and was nicknamed “The Double” (for having a V8, rather than a straight four) and “Chaser” (Russian: догонялка, dogonyalka). “Device 2424” was used by the KGB as interceptor and security car. The main function of the “2424” was an outrider vehicle accompanying governmental Chaika and ZILlimousines.


Second generation (1977-85)
ГАЗ 24 IMG 8516.JPG
Production 1977–1985
Body and chassis
Body style
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • 2.5 L ZMZ-2401 I4
  • 5.5 L ZMZ-2424 V8
  • 4-speed manual
  • 3-speed automatic (V8 only)
Wheelbase 110.24 in (2,800 mm)
Length 187.4 in (4,760 mm)
Width 70.86 in (1,800 mm)
Height 58.66 in (1,490 mm)
Curb weight 1,420 kg (3,131 lb)

In 1976-78 the car was completely refreshed. To improve the safety, bumperguards, yellow front fog lamps , secondary turning signals on front fenders and seat belts (both front and rear) became standard equipment. The car got modified interior. New dashboard consisted of aluminium body and two pieces of soft polyurethane foam padding. Upper door panels had the same construction. Lower door panels were completely different from the previous version. Seats got more convenient vinyl-and-cloth upholstery with cloth seat cushion. Due to installation of seatbelts front central armrest was eliminated. New interior was available in red, brown, yellow, lime green, dark green, dark blue, or black. Interior trim became non-reflective.

Olympiad ’80:

For the 1980 Summer Olympics a special fleet of Volga sedans and station wagons was built with special two-tone white and yellow paint. They accompanied the Olympic Torch. The color scheme was chosen by the local Moscow organizers, not the IOC- that year’s Winter Games fleet was light blue (Ford products).



From 1985 to 1992 GAZ produced an improved version, simplified for large scale manufacturing – GAZ-24-10. This car was GAZ-24 body with improved 98 hp (73 kW) engine, revised mechanicals, heavily modified interior  and many exterior differences (different headlights, flush door handles reducing the risk of pedestrian injury , ventless front doors, bumpers without bumper guards, plastic grille, plastic “aerodynamic” hubcaps, fewer bright metal parts, and so on). Also GAZ-24-12 station wagon, GAZ-24-11 taxicab and other versions were produced.

Derivative models:

RAF-2203 “Latvija” van by Rīgas Autobusu Fabrika (in production 1976-97) was based on drivetrain and suspensions of GAZ-24 Volga.

GAZ-3102 Volga (produced since 1982) and almost all later GAZ passenger cars (31029, 3110, 31105) use central body shell of GAZ-24.

International variants:

Wolga GAZ 24 of the East GermanVolkspolizei.

The GAZ-24 Volga was exported to many countries, from Indonesia and Latin America to Western Europe. Right-hand-drive export versions also existed. In Europe, one of the most popular Volgas were cars, both sedans and wagons, assembled in Belgium by Scaldia-Volga. These cars were shipped to Belgium without engines, where they were fitted with Indenor diesels (the same as in the Peugeot 404), a 2.1 litre unit with 62 PS (46 kW) until the 2300 D was introduced for 1980. The 2.3 litre XD2 has 70 PS (51 kW). Those models were called M24D and M24DB (Break, station wagon), and there was also a “Luxe” version. Standard Volgas with Soviet gas engines were sold as M24 and M24B (Break). Cars that were sold in Europe often had such features as metallic paint, simulated vinyl roof, leather interior and other luxuries. Station wagons sometimes had simulated “wood” decoration and often a rear window wiper and heater. These features were usually installed by local European GAZ dealers.

The petrol engine began disappearing from western European price lists towards the end of the 1970s. The Volga offered good value for money, with the retail price being lower than that of a Volkswagen Golf Diesel – however, the resale value was abysmal. By late 1983, Belgian Volgas were also no longer available with sedan bodywork. The Diesel Break came either as the “N” (Normale) or the better equipped “GL”.

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