Formerly used by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
Premier of the USSR from 1958 through 1964, Khrushchev had two of these cars built to order, one of which he gave as to the Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to travel in space. Upon Gagarin’s death in 1968, both cars were given to Hungarian President Janos Kadar and remained in Hungary until the collapse of communism in 1989, after which they were exported to the United States. Its name meaning “Seagull”, the Chaika was built in the former Soviet Union by GAZ, a firm originally established to manufacture Ford vehicles. Though Chaikas bear a strong resemblance to the 1955 and 1956 Packard and were powered by large, American style V-8 engines, they were produced with no involvement from any American firm.