The GAZ-M20 “Pobeda” was a passenger car produced in the Soviet Union by GAZ from 1946 until 1958. It was also licensed to Polish Passenger Automobile Factory, as FSO Warszawa. Although usually known as the GAZ-M20, an original car’s designation at that time was just M-20, for “Molotovets” (GAZ factory bore a name of Vyacheslav Molotov).
The GAZ-M20 Pobeda was one of the first Soviet cars of original design and moreover introduced a new vogue in automobile design; only the front suspension and, partially, the unitized body was influenced by the 1938 Opel Kapitän.
It was one of the first cars to introduce ponton styling with slab sides, preceding many Western manufacturers. The M20 was the first Soviet car using entirely domestic body dies; it was designed against wooden bucks, which suffered warping, requiring last-minute tuning by GAZ factory employees.
The first prototype was ready on November 6, 1944 (for the anniversary of the October Revolution). The first production model rolled off the assembly line on June 21, 1946.
Total production of the Pobeda was 235,999, including 37,492 taxis and 14,222 cabriolets. A great number of cars were used by government organizations and government-owned corporations, including taxicab parks (there were no private taxis in the USSR). Despite its 16,000 ruble price tag, with an average wage of 800 rubles, the Pobeda was available to buy for ordinary citizens, and by 1954–1955 the demand for cars in the USSR started to exceed production, and there appeared long queues to buy a car
The car was a successful export for the USSR, and the design was licensed to the Polish FSO (Passenger Automobile Factory) factory in Warsaw, where it was built as the FSO Warszawa beginning in 1951, continuing until 1973. A few were assembled in Pyongyang, North Korea.
If you’d like to see more abandoned aircraft then check out our articles on the stunning photos of Soviet Aircraft Boneyard and the The wreckage of two abandoned Soviet Mig-21 aircraft in the middle of the Gulf of Finland