Chaika

A Chaika (Ча́йка), which means gull, is a luxury automobile from the Soviet Union that was produced from 1959 to 1981 by GAZ. There were only 3,100 vehicles built during the 22 year production run, largely because it was never for sale to the public. Chaika’s and its more upscale cousin, the Zil limousine, were only available to Soviet elites. Nikita Khrushchev, although entitled to a ZIL, was known to prefer Chaikas.

The early Chaikas model M13 produced from 1959 to approximately 1977 very closely resembled the American Packard Patrician from the same era. The M13 was powered by a a 195 horsepower (145 kW) 5.5L V8 with a top speed of 99 mph (158 km/hr).

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In the late 1970s the M14 was introduced with more modern styling and had an updated 220 hp engine.

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The Chaika model was discontinued in 1988 and can now be found in museums such as this unique museum outside of Moscow which features over 300 vehicles from the Soviet era.

Today, GAZ specializes in mid-price and premium cars all sold under the Volga brand.

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