The Soviet auto industry has a huge number of pages in its history: there are famous ones, and there are those that almost no one knows about. And among them you can find some more that will tell about the machines put into production, but produced in too small volumes. Therefore, we have seen such models almost once in our lives, but it is no longer possible to forget such original solutions. We bring to your attention 8 rare Soviet cars, which most people would like to drive even today.
1. Concept car NAMI-013
This brainchild of the Scientific Research Automotive Institute (abbr. NAMI) is considered one of the most famous concept cars of the Soviet Union. Created in 1950 by car designer Yuri Dolmatovsky, engineer Konstantin Zeyvang and designer Vladimir Aryamov, NAMI-013 was a car of a wagon lineup, and in appearance was often compared to a futuristic spaceship.
The silhouette of the model was quite elongated, so its length was about 5 meters. The cockpit was positioned above the front axle, and the engine was given a place in the back. The "heart" for the prototype was borrowed from the Pobeda M20, its power was 63 hp. But the gearbox can be called unique - it was an automatic hydromechanical, and before that, this was not installed on Soviet cars.
The history of this concept is interesting. In fact, only one prototype was a full-fledged car. Several models and layouts were also created, including life-size ones. However, even this did not prevent the car, as they say, "to go out to the people."
It turns out that in the period from 1951 to 1952, NAMI-013 periodically went on test runs across the territory of the USSR, so that few Soviet citizens had the opportunity to see firsthand the unique concept. Unfortunately, the car of the carriage layout did not go further than the running prototype: in 1954, the project was closed, and the prototype was written off and disassembled.
2. Electric car NAMI-750/751
It is hard to imagine that today's popular electric cars first cut through the Soviet expanses just a few years after the end of the Great Patriotic War. The project began in 1947, and already on July 1, 1948, an experimental series of a new model was completed, consisting of two prototypes, which eventually received the NAMI-750 and NAMI-751 indices, respectively.
Both prototypes were compact wagon-type vans. The body and hinged doors were installed on a wooden frame, sheathed with plywood inside. To increase the service life, all wooden elements of the car were treated with linseed oil and varnished. The abandonment of metal in this case was forced: the thing is that after the war, literally all industries experienced a serious shortage of iron.
In fact, the history of this electric car began with a shortage, and it also ended for the same reason. But this time there was not enough lead: during that period the Cold War was gaining momentum, the world entered the nuclear era, and this metal began to be used there on a huge scale, and there was simply not enough lead for batteries for cars.
In addition, potential consumers were deterred by their high cost. That is why the production of electric vehicles in the USSR was completely stopped, in contrast to Western automakers, which over time increasingly began to bring such concepts to life.
3. Motorcycle car S-1L
The two-seater three-wheeled motorized car was the brainchild of the Serpukhov Motorcycle Plant. It was produced in the period from 1952 to 1958. It is amazing that this unusual model owes its appearance to … the Great Patriotic War. After many years of hostilities, a huge number of disabled people remained in the country - it was for them that the S-1L was created.
A hybrid of a motorcycle and a bicycle "K-1B" nicknamed "Kievlyanin", which was assembled back in 1946 by the Kiev Motorcycle Plant, was chosen as a prototype for the future motorized stroller. From it, by the efforts of specialists from the Central Design Bureau of Motorcycle Building, the first prototype of the SMZ-S1L tricycle was created in 1951, and then production was launched on the basis of the Serpukhov Motorcycle Plant.
Interesting fact: due to the fact that the S-1L had only one headlight, the people jokingly called it "Cyclops".
In fairness, it is worth clarifying that this model can hardly be called mass: after all, it was released not one or two, but more than 19 thousand. However, in the realities of a huge state, in which at that time there were more than 179 million people, not everyone really managed to meet a motorized carriage for people with disabilities. In addition, the famous "Invalidka" from ZAZ replaced it rather quickly, so the three-wheeled funny car was quickly forgotten.
4. Moskvich 408 Tourist
Few convertible cars can be associated with the Soviet Union. However, the domestic auto industry can still boast of it. One of the little-known models of this design is the Moskvich 408 Tourist. And according to one version, it appeared thanks to … a gift to Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev. During a visit to France, the Soviet secretary general was presented with a blue Renault Caravella car - it was he who inspired auto designers to create a similar car in the USSR.
The second version of the appearance of the Moskvich 408 Tourist seems more plausible: the European company Scaldia-Volga, which exported Soviet cars abroad, made an offer to AZLK specialists to design a small convertible model that could be implemented in Belgium. The plant seized on this idea - and this is how the Soviet Moskvich cabriolet appeared.
The design of this concept was not without difficulties: after all, it would not have been possible to simply cut off the roof of the car. Therefore, we had to go for transformations, and the model received a shortened body and only two doors. And they also coped with the problem of the folding roof, because it was impossible to leave the car without it at all - Belgium, where these cars were supposed to be sold, is dominated by wet weather.
However, the wings of the promising project were clipped by Soviet party officials. The thing is that in order to establish mass production, it was required either to reformat the existing conveyors, or to open new capacities altogether. And the leadership decided not to make such sacrifices for the sake of foreigners, especially considering the fact that the standard models of the USSR automobile industry had a good demand abroad. So, by the forces of the apparatchiks, the promising concept was forgotten.
5. Pickup GAZ-24A-948 Volga
The GAZ-24 was a fairly well-known model among Soviet motorists. However, few have seen one modification of this machine. We are talking about a GAZ-24A-948 pickup truck. This model was produced in limited quantities on the basis of the Voronezh auto repair plant, and they were not assembled from scratch. but converted using emergency taxi cars.
Despite the unusual appearance, the GAZ-24A-948 was equipped with the same thing as the other models. So, for example, the traditional for the Volga with a volume of 2.4 liters, with a capacity of 95 or 100 hp, was chosen as the engine. The pickup was capable of accelerating to 100 kilometers per hour in about 20 seconds. The maximum speed was 145 kilometers per hour.
Unfortunately, the unusual concept of a utilitarian Soviet pickup truck never got the opportunity to be produced on its own assembly line from scratch, and not on the basis of broken and then repaired cars, therefore, in those days that today, the GAZ-24A-948 is a real rarity. and to see one on the road is a great success. It was the limitedness of its series in the past that determined its popularity now - the pickup is in great demand among collectors.
6. GAZ M-Pobeda-Sport
Several sports cars turned out to be in the history of the Soviet Union. Some of them were quite famous, but little information remained about one of the very first sports cars of the USSR. In addition, their number can be counted on the fingers of one hand. We are talking about the GAZ M-Pobeda-Sport car, which is rightfully one of the rarest models of the Soviet automobile industry.
This model was developed specifically for their participation in the rally along the Moscow-Minsk-Moscow highway, which was very popular at that time. The design and production of the models began in 1949. Moreover, each of the four units was assembled by hand, and then a fifth car appeared. It was on it that two Soviet racers Vyacheslav Mosolov and Alexander Efremychev became the silver medalists of the USSR road racing championship.
7. Pickup ZAZ-968MP
Among the several million legendary Soviet "Zaporozhtsev" there are only two and a half thousand, which few people know and even fewer have seen. This is one of the most extraordinary modifications of ZAZ cars under the 968MP index. Interestingly, in-plant trucks, which were made for the needs of the company's employees, became the prototype for such an unusual concept.
The technical characteristics for the new car were completely copied from the standard ZAZ models: a four-cylinder V-shaped air-cooled gasoline engine with a volume of 1.2 liters (45 hp), a four-speed gearbox and a recognizable rear-wheel drive. True, the latter turned out to be more of a disadvantage than an advantage, because due to the location of the engine in the rear overhang, it was not possible to expand the dimensions of the cargo compartment.
Despite the fact that the production of ZAZ-968MP was small-scale, the period of its production was long: if the first models for internal use began to be assembled back in the sixties, then serial production continued until 1994, when the Zaporozhtsev ousted the Tavria.
8. Double-decker bus YATB-3
Amazingly, it turns out that shortly before the Great Patriotic War, real double-decker buses were driving around Moscow, just like in the British capital. At the same time, they were not brought directly from London, but were produced on the basis of the Yaroslavl domestic automobile plant, although they were assembled by analogy with the English prototypes.
The development of a unique concept began in 1937, and in the period from 1938 to 1938, ten units of the Soviet double-decker bus were produced. However, everything turned out to be not easy with them: in particular, due to inconvenience, the height of the floors had to be reduced. In addition, they were constantly overloaded, and this became the reason for the crush inside the transport.
Therefore, they did not develop the concept of two-story cars in the vastness of the Soviet Union. Yes, and the fate of the existing prototypes was not so long: in Moscow, where all ten units were operated, the last YATB-3, including the one that survived the war, worked until 1948, and finally they were written off five years later, in 1953.
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