There were a number of differences between the Soviet and American military in the Fifties, not the least of which were the criteria to which each country's military equipment were designed. While American GIs could be expected to be familiar with machinery, and even adept with it, the average Soviet conscript probably had never driven in a motor vehicle, much less worked on one. Soviet rolling stock had to be simple and rugged to an extent never considered by Western designers. The conditions, in which they operated, from metal-crystalizing cold through quicksand-like mud to desert heat, were similarly demanding. Like the Red Army's standard firearm the AK-47, its military vehicles were simple to operate, simple to fix and required little maintenance. Those standards are evident in this 1955 Gaz 69 utility vehicle. It was nut-and-bolt restored by a military vehicle specialist to like new condition including a highly detailed engine compartment and an impressive complement of equipment including a dummy machine gun on a pedestal on the right running board, rifles, helmets, grenades, antenna, first aid kit, side-mounted spare, spotlights, tow ropes, shovel, axes and even a manikin Soviet soldier in uniform. It is so fresh the new tires still having the molding runners on them. Its condition and presentation are sharp and fresh enough to meet the most demanding Master Sargeant's inspection and it is highly unusual in the U.S. where it will attract much attention at any show or display.
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