A Young Pioneer camp with vintage cars

The woods near Moscow have a huge number of abandoned structures in store. Some of the buildingds have alredy turned into ruins, and some have remained almost unharmed by time.

Most commonly, you can come across old military sites, scientific institutions and Young Pioneer camps.

Seeing something unusual in one of the latter is highly unlikely, but we got lucky. We found a small vintage cars graveyard on the premises of one of the children’s summer camps.

The first car we saw was an old GAZ-M parked near the derelict buildings of the camp.

01. This car was manufactured in the years from 1936 to 1943 and was a copy of the American Ford Model B 40A Fordor Sedan

02. It is worth noting that most of the similarities between the American Ford and the Soviet GAZ-M were related to the exterior.

As to the inside, the engineers have made a lot of changes in order to adapt the car to the Soviet roads.

03. Near the main building a ZIL-157 cabin is lying on the ground. This truck was manufactured for 36 long years (1958-1994).

04. Chevrolet c60x was manufactured by the Canadian subdivision of General Motors and Ford during the years of WWII.

350000 trucks of different versions were made during this period and many of them were exported to the USSR.

05. This truck was probably made for a WWII themed film set and is most likely an attempt to recreate a Mercedes-Benz Type 4500A.

06. A GAZ-51 with an additional booth-cabin. This was the most mainstream truck in the 1950s and up to 1970s.

07. It was manufactured from 1946 to 1975. It was also exported to the countries of the communist block, and also made under a Soviet license in China (Yuejin NJ130), North Korea (Sungri-58) and Poland (Lublin-51).


09. A ZIL-131 army truck.

10. Apart from intact vehicles, there were also various parts lying around here and there: radiator grilles, doors, splashers and so on.

11. A motorcycle sidecar.

12. A howtizer without a barrel.

13. Having taken a look at the machines, we went to the nearest buildings of the Pioneer camp, and little did we know that this was not the end of surprising discoveries.

14. The rooms are in a terrible condition.

15. But in some places the paintings on the walls are quite well preserved.

16. The buildings are very typical. There are hundreds of camps like this one on the territory of this country.

17. The only differences are the wall decorations and sometimes the facades.

18. This building is all about bugs and insects.

19. In the next building a magic city was waiting for us.


21. The state of the rooms is basically the same as in the first building.

22. And in the third building, a surprise was waiting for us. Instead of ruins and wall paintings, there were vintage cars in the hall.



25. Most of these dusty cars were GAZ-21 Volga of the First and the Second Series.

26. This First Series Volga was made some time between 1956 and 1958. It is easy to distinguish from the others because of the five-point star.

It appeared after the car was first shown to Marshal Georgy Zhukov in the Kremlin.

He didn’t like the front part of the first version, and it was decided to decorate it with a star to make it appealing to the Marshal, and it did work actually work out.

When later Zhukov upset the Party and fell from grace, the star was no longer installed on the manufactured cars.

27. A beige GAZ-21 of the First Series.

28. A 400-401 Moskvitch is hiding under the stairs.

29. This Moskvitch was an exact copy of the  Opel Kadett


31. Near the window, a GAZ-69 offroader was sitting in the sun. It was manufactured in the years 1951-1972 and was designed by Soviet engineers “from scratch”.

32. GAZ-69  was supplied to 56 countries during the time it was made.


34. There is another Moskvitch hiding in the corner.


36. Some of the cars are almost completely taken apart.

37. Many have had their engines taken off.


39. The interior of this GAZ-21 is considerably ravaged by time, but I think it can still be restored.

40. A Volga taxi.

41. By this time it has started to get dark, so we decided to get out of the building and head back to Moscow.

Images by saoirse_2010, reproduced with permission

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