Diecast Delights: ГАЗ-М20 "Pobeda" in 1:43 scale.


The current. somewhat Soviet-slanted series of Diecast Delights has been running for a little while now, and I thought I might save the worst ’til last. I know the photography used thus far has divided people, but in this particular case I genuinely do believe that blurry, badly lit, poorly composed images show this model to its best advantage.

It looks even better if you squint, so please screw your eyes up so tight you can’t really read what I’m typing, and I’ll tell you everything there is to know about satisfying your partner and giving them exactly what they want, when they want it.


It looks alright from the front, although the chrome is a little clownesque and the sidelamps should be made from some kind of clear glass-like material through which light may be emitted, rather than yet more chrome. The tyres look nice, though.

The Pobeda, which means Victory, was a big thing for the Soviet Union when it came on the scene in 1946, bringing their automotive industry into some kind of parallel with the rest of the world. Of course, there was an immense amount of borrowing and inspiration from the rest of the world, and particularly the Americans, from whom the Dodge D-5 inline four engine, and the rather Ford-like transmission and underbody layout was purloined.

It was also one of the rare breed of cars where a model with a convertible roof was actually sold for less than a fully metal-enclosed version, the reasoning being that you were paying for less steel, which in turn meant there was far more of the valuable material in reserve for building big, heavy military stuff and, of course, more Pobedas.


It was a handsome looking thing, the fastback bodywork being the handiwork of one Benjamin Samoiloff, and certainly not lacking any modernity. It came in many varieties; the sedan and convertible versions, of course, and a series-produced 4×4 version using the GAZ-69 mechanical package and designated M-72.

Even more extraordinarily, M-20 bodies were mounted on skis and used as propellor-thrusted sleds for crossing vast fields of snow and ice, with a bloody great radial aero engine mounted on the roof.

Alas, the model here depicts a mere taxi.


The paintwork on this DeAgostini model is patchy, with the brown colour on the lower body looking as if it were sprayed on with no masking over the rest of the car, but who knows, the original 1:1 scale prototype may have been painted in a similarly carefree way. The actual body is well proportioned, but the casting is a little less than crisp; with door shuts being somewhat rounded as if the car had bodywork made from inch-thick steel. It didn’t.

The rear lights are made from the same plastichrome as the front auxiliary lamps, albeit stained in red. The license plate is correctly mounted, though, and the dogdish wheel caps are correct.

And it’s not actually anywhere near as blurry in real life either. Get one, or don’t, on (for example) eBay, through inputting Pobeda Taxi Model or something, and then paying some random guy in Hungary an elastic quantity of dollars.

 [Horrible Close-Up Images: Copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Chris Haining]

Postscript: Turns out this won’t be the last in the series after all; I’ve acquired another two models. It’s definitely the worst, though, so I was right on that count.

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