Russian auction house Litfund failed to sell the pristine Soviet-made car used by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who rode in the car at a Moscow parade upon his return from his historic mission to become the first man in space.
The ZIL-111V convertible is one of a handful of such models, most of them built by the Soviet Union for official functions. The 2.6-ton mammoth features a six-liter engine capable of a top speed of 170 kilometers per hour.
The car bears a close resemblance to one of the era’s American cars, the Packard Caribbean, but instead of two doors it has four.
Gagarin only used the car once, covering the 30 kilometers (18 miles) between Vnukovo Airport and the Kremlin when he was welcomed as a hero in the Russian capital. The turquoise ZIL-111V was adorned with garlands of flowers and two Soviet flags for Gagarin’s star-studded reception.
Gagarin made the entire journey standing in the car along with his wife, Valentina, and then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
Gagarin’s convertible was manufactured in 1960 and four years later, was sent to Yerevan, the capital at the time of the Socialist Republic of Armenia, for the official visit of Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. It was still in Armenia when its current owner bought it in 2005.
Although it was in perfect condition, with all-original parts and even the original tires, nobody coughed up the asking price of $2.9 million.
Title image: Yuri Gagarin arrives to Moscow in April 1961 after his capsule Vostok 1 completed one orbit of Earth on April 12, 1961.