If you don’t mind the atrocious handling, the office gray paintjob and the association with mankind’s greatest mass murderer, you can party like a mustached Georgian with nukes and an evil empire to command.
It’s called the ZIS 110 and even the name is a fantastic reflection of post-World War II times. ZIS stands for Zavod imeni Stalina, which offers a brutally simple translation: factory named after Stalin!
For gourmets of Americana, the shape will be strikingly familiar. Expanding on the wartime collaboration between the US and the Soviet Union, the 110 is nothing but a sovietified 1942 Super Eight, originally made by the factory named after the brothers Packard.
This was Stalin’s parade car for the last three of the vicious years between the end of World War II and his death in 1953. Mileage is then rather low: a scant 793 miles. But imagine spending 793 miles sticking out of a car, waving to your terrorized subjects, moving along on scarred postwar roads, and it suddenly sounds a rather heroic achievement, at least for the dictatorial deltoid, trapezius and brachioradialis muscles involved.
Inside, you’ll find wood, carpets, a lazy—think 140-hp—6-liter
straight eight, and legroom which is fairly surreal when you consider that Stalin was not exactly NBA material at 5'6".
The car is located, of all places, in the town of Kannus in Western Finland. Anyone considering a trip to pick the car up would be advised to only drive it on Finnish soil towards the nearest border to avoid running into dudes who look like Olympic biathletes but are not.