From 1956 to 1970, a Soviet automaker dubbed Gorkovsky Automobiljni Zavod (GAZ) produced the 21, a vehicle offered in four-door sedan, five-door wagon, and two-door cabriolet guises. Over 600,000 examples were produced. This isn’t one of them. However, it desperately wants to be.
We recently came across these images on a Russian website and were at first baffled by what we saw. It is a GAZ 21 Cabriolet replica based on a 1999 Mercedes-Benz SLK. Who knows why the owner thought a GAZ replica is a step up over a Mercedes, but the work done to the compact sports car, which was carried out in 2017, is quite impressive.
Most significantly, the entire exterior of the car has been transformed and outfitted with a bodykit designed to mimic the Soviet car. Consequently, the front fascia is dominated by an expansive chrome grille and a set of circular headlights. Custom wheels have also been fitted, as have new rear quarter panels and arches which cover part of the wheels.
Changes made to the tail are just as significant as those at the front. There’s bespoke taillights, chrome accents on the bumper and a custom trunk lid adorned with a special chrome and red badge. The only element of the vehicle’s exterior that gives away its true identity is the folding hardtop.
The cabin, meanwhile, is the same as the first-gen SLK but has ‘benefited’ from a host of custom touches, including new brown and cream-colored leather.
If, for some strange reason, this creation tickles your fancy, you’ll be pleased to know that it is currently for sale for the low-low sum of 3 million rubles – that’s $52.4k or €42.4k in today’s exchange rates.
Other than that, the only catch is that it is located in the Latvian capital of Riga, but the seller says “delivery is possible”, probably for a premium. So, what’s it gonna be, tovarich? Da or nyet?