During my latest road trip in Estonia, I had a chance to visit a very unusual and little-known place – Vintage Vehicle Shelter in Järva-Jaani. Having grown up in Soviet times (Estonia gained independence when I was 6), I still remember Soviet time attributes such as public transport, cars, and trucks. They disappeared from the streets long ago, so visiting this shelter gives a great opportunity to travel back in time and remember how it once was.
I recommend visiting this place by car. While you can come here by public transport (local train to Tamsalu and then bus to Järva-Jaani), arriving by car is both faster and more convenient. There is no entrance fee as such – all you need to do is donate in the box located at the entrance. At least that’s how it worked in July 2021, when we visited.
The area is quite large with lots of vehicles on display – from old school motorcycles to agricultural machines. Here are the best ones I found.
GAZ-24 Volga the Monstertruck
Of course, this one is a self-made car. However, Volgas have been extremely popular. Originally made as executive cars to drive the high-class citizens. This model was produced in 1970-1985 and made its appearance in numerous soviet movies of that time. This model had huge success and remained a dream car for many soviet people. However, due to its high price, it was mostly used by key executives, bureaucrats, and taxis/police/ambulances.
Ikarus 280 bus
Ikarus is a Hungarian bus manufacturer, their buses were widely used in former Soviet block countries. The 280 model is the bus from my childhood! We had lots of those riding around Tallinn back in the 80s and 90s.
Tatra T4SU tram
Famous tram produced by ČKD (Českomoravská Kolben-Daněk) in former Czechoslovakia and today’s Czech Republic. The tram presented in the exhibition was in service for 27 years (03.05.1978 – 13.05.2005).
Škoda 9Tr model was once one of the most famous and widespread trolleybus models in the world, produced in the Škoda factory in Ostrov nad Ohřís in Czechoslovakia. 1958.–1981. a total number of 7372 pieces were produced. In addition to the Baltic states and other Soviet countries, these trolleybuses were also sold to Norway, Afghanistan, and India.
AZLK Moskvitch 2140
The hugely popular soviet family car was produced from 1976 to 1988.
About the visit
As we were running short on time, I couldn’t take photos of each and every exhibited vehicle. The amount of them is huge, you can check out the official website (sadly only in Estonian), they have a gallery with all the vehicles. The place is definitely worth visiting!