Spotted in China: Volga GAZ-24
Published on February 7, 2014 by Tycho de Feijter
A very impressive Volga GAZ-24 sedan, Spotted in China on the premises of the Beijing Classic Car Museum. The vehicle belongs to the museum collection but is sadly & badly always parked outside. The Volga GAZ-24 was manufactured from 1968 until 1985 with a major facelift in 1977, this is a facelifted example. The GAZ-24 was a regular sight in northern China up until the early 2000’s. Nowadays however almost all have disappeared, but some can still be seen riding over the endless grasslands of Inner Mongolia Province.
The black example in Beijing was in a reasonable shape and apparently in running condition. Some parts were broken, like the rear lights, and the left-rear door didn’t close properly anymore. The paint was fading a bit on the bonnet and boot lid but the chrome was still shiny. The GAZ-24 was powered by a 2.4 liter four-cylinder with 98hp, mated to a 4-speed manual. Volga also produced a special variant of the GAZ-24 for Soviet security services, powered by a fatass 195hp 5.5 liter V8. The Beijing car has the base 2.5, which was good for a 150km/h top speed.
When I traveled through Inner Mongolia and Mongolia (the country) in the late 1990’s I sat inside many of these brilliant cars, very spacious inside and an imposing presence on the road. I actually drove one myself on an otherwise empty ‘road’ somewhere around Erdenet, an unforgettable experience…