The Vadim Zadorozhny Vehicle MuseumRussian: Muzey tekhniki Vadima Zadorozhnogo or Музей техники Вадима Задорожного is a private museum full of vintage cars, motor bikes and military vehicles – it is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. It is located close to Moscow and Arkhangelskoye PalaceRussian: usadba Arkhangelskoe or усадьба Архангельское, so you can combine visiting the museum with a trip to the palace, where you can also walk around a magnificent park dating back to the late 18th century. The museum displays cars which belonged to Soviet leaders such as Joseph Stalin, Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, and GDR leader Erich Honecker, as well as numerous antique cars dating back to the 1900s–1940s, a large collection of motor bikes, Soviet and foreign military vehicles, and even fighter aircrafts.
The size of the museum collection is impressive. An outdoor string of military vehicles stretches along the Ilyinskoe HighwayRussian: Ilinskoe shosse or Ильинское шоссе, a quiet highway leading to the museum. There is a steam locomotive which carries cannons of various calibres, numerous tanks, and multiple rocket launch systems (MRLS). Aircrafts are on display at the back of the outdoor area. The exhibits have been compiled by true enthusiasts, people who are truly passionate about what they do; the focus is on preserving the history of the world’s vehicles as scrupulously as possible. Importantly (and surprisingly), all vehicles in the museum are fully operational, which few vehicle museums can boast. A vehicle repair shop is also a part of the museum and visitors are able to watch the process of repairing these historical masterpieces.
Visitors usually start by exploring the outdoor area, particularly in the warmer months. While listening to military songs, you can examine both mass-produced and rare military vehicles and equipment such as cannons, MRLS, field kitchens, aircrafts and tanks used in World War II and local military conflicts (1960s–1980s). The collection features early amphibious tanks T-37A and T-38, used in the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol and Lake KhasanRussian: ozero Khasan or озеро Хасан, and light tanks T-60 and T-70, which defended Moscow in 1941. Other tanks such as American M4 Shermans and M3 Stuarts are also on display here. The exhibits take part in regular reconstructions of the 1941 October Revolutiona revolution in Russia led by the Bolsheviks with Vladimir Lenin as a leader that was instrumental in the larger Russian Revolution of 1917 Parade on the Red Square and are often used for other military and patriotic reconstructions.
The second part of the outdoor area is devoted to military aircrafts, while the centre is occupied by a small exhibition of vintage trucks and early Soviet tractors. Vadim Zadorozhny Vehicle Museum has been painstakingly compiled for the last 15 years by purchasing vehicles or accepting exhibits from closing state museums (e.g. Yakovlev Experimental Design Bureau MuseumRussian: Muzey OKB im. A.S. Yakovleva or Музей ОКБ им. А.С. Яковлева or Khodynka Field Air & Space MuseumRussian: Muzey aviatsii na Khodynskom pole or Музей авиации на Ходынском поле) for storage and restoration, and can be justifiably proud of its collection.
THE EXHIBITION COMPLEX
The outdoor exhibition area gives way to the indoor exhibition space, which displays vintage cars of Soviet, American, German, Italian and French origin. The most outstanding cars in the collection greet visitors at the entrance; on the left, you will see a Berliet 22 CV, the French automobile model launched in 1907, while the astoundingly beautiful cars dating back to the late 1930s are on your right. The gem of this collection is a sky-blue Delahaye 135 CC, which used to belong to the famous French race car driver René Dreyfus.
Four spectacular, antique Alfa Romeos stand in line behind the welcome exhibits. These cars are so captivating that it’s difficult to take your eyes off them! Pre-war German models are mounted in the centre, including BMW, Horch and Mercedes Benz. These have totally different shapes to the rest of the cars on display in the sense that they are sober and restrained. They are neighboured by American cars from the 1930s, including prestigious models such as Cadillac V16 Fleetwood, Buick 44 and Chrysler CM-6. A filling station dating back to those times can be seen deep in the hall.
The 1908 Holsman (US) probably won’t catch your eye right away, yet it deserves special attention – this car is illustrative of the very first steps in the automotive industry. This car is the so-called ‘horseless carriage’ with impressive high wooden wheels. A bell crank is installed instead of a regular steering wheel. This is the only car of this model in Russia. A 1913 Lozier phaeton stands next to it. And, of course, the museum collection includes an iconic Tin Lizzie, or Ford T, the first mass-produced car in the world.
You can take the stairs or the elevator to get to the first floor. Up here is a haven for motorbike lovers – Jawa, Harley-Davidson, BMW, Soviet Izha Russian automobile marque of the Izhevsk Machinebuilding Plant motorcycles, etc. A part of the hall is dedicated to military vehicles. Scenes of the life of German Reich’s armed forces are reconstructed here. There is a check point with dummy soldiers, Stoewer, Horch and Volkswagen military vehicles, BMW motorcycles with MG machine guns, and an authentic field kitchen. Behind the reconstruction, you will see Willys and ZISproduced by the Soviet car manufacturer Zavod Imeni Stalina cars which carried Soviet leaders. A curious miniature of a railroad and a collection of train models can also be found in the display cases on this floor.
THE SOVIET PERIOD
The third exhibition hall is situated in the basement of the museum. It is devoted exclusively to the Soviet automotive industry. The gem of the collection is ZIS-115, the first Soviet civilian armoured car designed for Joseph Stalin. In fact, this is an armoured capsule with windows, a complex feat of engineering that can withstand the impact of both bullets and their fragments. This is also where you can see buggies used during parades and ceremonial receptions, governmental ChaikasRussian: Чайка, Soviet motorbikes and iconic mass-produced cars: ZaporozhetsRussian: Запорожец, MoskvitchRussian: Москвич, PobedaRussian: Победа, and VolgaRussian: Волга models. Banners with photos of the historical events that involved the museum’s exhibits serve as a background for the exhibition.
The museum has three cafés (one located inside and two outside). Parking fees are applicable, but some free parking spots are available along the road leading to the museum.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com