The designing phase of the M21 model started in 1953, the year Stalin died. The design differed from that of Pobeda, had an American style to it. The first generation used the anachronistic side-valve engine of 60 HP, later the Gorky Car factory designed more up-to-date OHC engines GAZ 66 and UAZ 469. Volga had this engine, too.
At that Time, Volga M-21 counted as a modern car but the American car industry didn’t start changing the exterior of these models until the 60’s. The second model came out in 1962 and the designing of the third one lasted 8 years, between 62 and 70. There were several changes, eg. the ‘forward look’, very popular in the 50’s in the US. The design of Volga M21 remained faithful to its roots of the 50’s. When the 6-valve line of GAZ was ceased in 1959, Volga M21 became the biggest deluxe car officially sold in the Soviet Union, but given its high price, it remained a dream to most civilian people and was more of an officer’s car.
Altogether 639 478 models were built.