Polish Project: 1960 GAZ-51A

061016 Barn Finds - 1960 GAZ 51A - 1

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Вам понравится этот грузовик, товарищ! (You will enjoy this truck, Comrade!) This Polish project is a 1960 GAZ-51A and it can be found in Kobylnica, Poland, exactly halfway in-between those two wacky cities of Warsaw, Poland and Berlin, Germany. It’s listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $500. I can’t imagine what the shipping costs would be to sneak this across the border into the US. Ha, sneak across the border, just kidding (is anyone listening, what’s that clicking sound on the phone?).. Thanks to Barn Finds friend, Charles H., for sending in this tip!

061016 Barn Finds - 1960 GAZ 51A - 4

There aren’t any overall photos other than the first one shown above, but this one is my favorite. My wife did some graduate work in St. Petersburg, Russia (she collects master’s degrees like I collect dust) and I flew over to meet here there once in the early-2000s. It was quite an experience, to say the least. Anything even remotely Soviet or Russian or Polish or “East German”, etc. is so fascinating to me. I would buy this truck for this stamped panel alone, if the shipping costs wouldn’t be as much as we paid in bribes to the Moscow police for “passport violations” during our visit there (“You don’t have stamp from airport.” “I know, we came by train.” “You still need stamp.. $200 fine.”, etc.)..

061016 Barn Finds - 1960 GAZ 51A - 2

The GAZ was made from 1946, just after WWII, until 1975. I don’t imagine that they were updated all that much, sort of like the Trabant wasn’t. They were licensed and manufactured in Poland as the “Lublin-51”, so I’m guessing that’s actually what this one is, not a GAZ. Although, I guess that’s sort of like saying that your pickup is a GMC, not a Chevy. They were also made in other fun-loving places like North Korea and China. The seller says that everything is here for when you do the nut-and-bolt concours restoration that you’re dying to do on this truck! I wonder if there’s a Polish Pebble Beach?.. This is a 4-speed manual truck, you didn’t expect an automatic here, I hope! There are all sorts of things in the back but I’m not sure if they go with this truck or not.

061016 Barn Finds - 1960 GAZ 51A - 3

This is a 70 hp 3.5L inline-six cylinder, or it was.. I’m guessing that you’ll pull this one and rebuild it. You should be able to find parts in a few different sources, hopefully. If not, you can always toss an SBC in there. Again, I’m kidding, I know that you’ll want to do a back-to-original-spec restoration here. This is a super cool vehicle, rare on the shores of the US for sure. Do these unusual, non-American trucks turn you on or do you stick with products from the American Motherland?


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  1. Tirefriar

    Unless that engine compartment side cover was bolted on from a Soviet Union made truck, this mat very well be a real GAZ.

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  2. redwagon

    comrade i feel nothing for the mother truck.

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  3. HoA Howard AMember

    No question who wrote this up. The GAZ ( Gorkofsky Avtomobilny Zavod) is an odd looking truck. Kind of a cross between a Dodge or REO. With an empty weight of about 6,000 lbs. ( and a payload of almost as much) and 70 hp, it would be a long ride to Warsaw. Aside from the novelty of having the only one, I don’t see any real advantage to this, over say an American truck. I can only imagine the jokes would be endless.

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  4. Jesper

    That thing can’t cost much over 500$
    What a job, to bring that back on the road. Alone get it running, so it can drive is a gigant projekt.
    I live in Dresden east Germany, and if i had to fix it, must max price be 1000 euro.
    I can se it could be a cool truck, but anyway, a better projekt id easy to find.

    Old USSR trucks a not so rare here, so better start with a better projekt, for maybe dobb. Price.

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  5. Van

    The iron curtain must have been holding back lots of water.
    I think the Geneva Convention says something about feeding rust, or using rust as a weapon, or, anybody remember.

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  6. Pete Powers

    That is some brake they have in the back of the room.

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    • Alan Brase

      Yeah, looks to be about 2 meters wide and heavy gauge. 12 gauge maybe. But of course it is metric, so they’d measure thickness capacity in MM.
      The truck: possibly a near copy of something else from 1941. Dodge, maybe with side valves? Reo had overhead by late 40’s. All but Chevy had side valves in the 30’s I think.
      Shipping might be a lot easier if it rolled. Hell, you could probably get somebody in Poland to restore it for a fraction of the US cost!
      There you go. Get some pen pals in Poland.
      Alliteration on BarnFinds.

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  7. Napalm

    Guys, this truck is more american than you think ;)) Here are my suggestions:
    1-st – GAZ plant was build under supervision of Henry Ford
    2-nd – first GAZ models produced were licenced fords – A AA etc.
    3-rd This truck’s engine is licenced Chrysler flathead converted into metric.
    4-rd – during design of this truck Studebaker us6 cabin was used at least at prototypes ;)
    Let’s drink Vodka, Komrade!

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  8. Dustin

    Reminds me of a Dodge Power Wagon. Very cool though.

    Like 0

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