Museum of Soviet Vehicles in Järva-Jaani, Estonia
This isn’t your typical, shiny car museum. Though it may look like a junkyard where old vehicles go to rot, it’s actually a fascinating collection of Soviet-era machinery. The battered cars and trucks all seem to wear their rust stains with a sort of stoic pride.
And that’s exactly the point of the place. The open field exhibition is a site where discarded vehicles are collected in their unrestored state. The museum compiles all kinds of vehicles—passenger cars, buses, trucks, trams, tractors, motorbikes, fire trucks, you name it—that originated from parts of the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries.
The entire collection aims to preserve these metal pieces of the past, as its main goal is to preserve the cars that traveled the roads of Estonia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Wandering among the vehicles is a unique chance to imagine how the roads there would have looked during the Cold War. There are hundreds of cars and trucks on display, and you can even find Moskvitch, Lada, GAZ trucks, and Ikarus buses. The grounds still have space for more additions, too, so its possible other cars from the 1950s through 1980s will one day join the others at this unusual museum.