There I was googling away on the interweb when I discover most serendipitously that there was a Russian Landrover built in the 1970’s. Development of this car was occurring at around the same time that the Range Rover was being developed in the UK. Under the Soviet system, car companies produced types of vehicles and were allocated resources to meet the projected production quotas. The Volga car company of the Soviet Union produced a rugged car called the Gaz-24,which was a little more luxurious than your average Wartburg or Lada. In Soviet terms it was positively luxurious and was built in Gorkovsky car factory from the late 60’s until 1985. They were not quite as luxurious as the ZIL, more of a Ford Fairmont than a Ford LTD.
The car was built in sedan and wagon form, and used widely as a taxi and by police. One version of the car had a 5.5 litre V8 and was used as a police interceptor and by the KGB. Variants to the standard sedan and wagon included convertibles for military parades, ambulances and utility pickups.
In 1973-74 a Gaz-24 variant was fitted with all-wheel drive. Its transmission was derived from the UAZ-469 military vehicle (like a Russian jeep), raised suspension and chassis strengthening, turning it into the Russian landrover. Only 5 were built, with one used by Brezhnev.