These days, it is a common practice for automotive companies to sell the same car under many names. Take, for example, Volkswagen Golf. If you want a more premium version, you can buy Audi A3, and if you don’t have enough money to afford a Golf, the Skoda Octavia is the way to go.
From the outside, these cars are completely different but from the technical point of view, the three cars are almost identical. Globalization, as they call it, leads to the situation when bigger and more successful car companies get over the small ones, which in turn has its effect on production. Smaller companies get access to new technology, and the bigger ones increase their profits and market share.
However, it was completely different 85 years ago. To use someone’s successful products, you’d have to purchase their technology. And so it was for the USSR in 1929 when the Soviet government decided that it was time for the country to start mass production of its own cars. The government signed a contract with Ford Motor Company, and a factory was built near modern Nizhny Novgorod, called Gorky back then. The plant was named GAZ, short for Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (Russian for ‘plant’ or ‘factory’).
The car you see here is GAZ Model A, the first Soviet mass-produced passenger car. And yes, it does look like a clone of 1930-31 Ford Model A Standard Phaeton…because it is one.