Project Volga - Part I

Sorry everyone for taking so long to follow up on the car posts, its been a hard month. We have devoted almost all our free time to working on this project: the conversion of a Soviet era Volga 24 into a drop top lowrider! This is the first post documenting the progress we have made.

First of all, since you probably don’t know what a Volga is, lets explain:

The Volga is a car produced by the Soviet company GAZ; starting from early models of the 21 (the 24’s predecessor), they have built what was essentially regarded as the S-class Mercedes of the time. It was exclusive to officials, celebrities and the odd ballers that required style and comfort (it was also sometimes used as a taxi). You can see from this vintage ad that it’s a car meant to be enjoyed by the privileged bunch.

Our model is the very last of the 24, the 2410 to be exact. Let’s go over some of the differences: a slightly better engine (in its youth, this 4 cylinder beast pumped out 95hp) but still consumed as much petrol as its American v8 brothers from another mother. There are also reworked door handles, made flush with the body in order to reduce damage to pedestrians (the people who try to jump into this beauty). The body is less rigid, using less metal (making it the Superleggera version) and the front grill became plastic (cheaper than chrome). The interior is also completely different, and the same as the interior found on the next iteration of the Volga. Overall, continuing with the Lamborghini theme, this model is the very greatest of the 24 line, and in the hands of the Italian supercar manufacturer it would be named the Volga 24 SV(Sport Veloce) and soon to become the Spyder version. Now you can get a feel for how intense of a car this is.


Anyways, now that you know the basics of the model, here’s the story behind ours. We were walking one day in Baku, Azerbaijan and noticing how many small shitty Ladas were driving around, we joked about how fun it would be to have one and just “chop the roof off”; the conversation lasted quite a long time and went into so many details that it almost seemed do-able.

Returning home, we quickly checked how much these cars cost and upon finding out they were ridiculously cheap we gave some thought into turning it into a reality. Then one day, a friend suggested that we look at Volgas instead of Ladas, and he was right! The Volga had pretty much the styling of American lowriders from the same time and the profile was 100 times better for converting it into a, well convertible…

We went through countless ads online, visited one sketch guy who tried to sell us a car without the documents, then finally we found a nice guy who owned two of these and had all the papers in order. Two days later, the car was sitting in front of our house.

This is when the fun started. Our plans were to turn this old thing into something like the American lowriders seen in a lot of rap music videos. That meant: making it a convertible, giving it a killer paintjob, upgrading the interior to host the ladies in the utmost comfort, dropping the car’s suspension and last but not least putting in a thumping sound system. Some tasks were easy, others were time consuming and expensive. Nevertheless, we were confident we would achieve our goal.

We started by inspecting the car, making sure everything was in working order. In all, it ran fine, but we later discovered the cooling system needed major reworking (especially since this would be summer driven).

We cleaned out all the different parts, exterior, interior and threw out the junk in the trunk!

Next we focused on some easy interior parts, we bought regular home carpet and started to carpet the bare floors. This included the center console which was a hideous black.


We also did some work with the exterior; we painted whitewalls on the tires, and fixed up some small things all around. 

Next will come one of the most game-changing additions, or should I say reductions: the cutting of the roof! I hope you get a good idea and vibe about this car and the task we assigned ourselves, be sure to check back to see how we have progressed!!

(we are actually further down the road now, but are saving up the good stuff and building it up for later)