It’s not widely known, but for a very brief period in the early 1950s, the Cold War was being fought with massive, bulbous slabs of cyclopean automotive futurism: the first concept cars. Before the Space Race got started, America and the Soviet Union squared off behind panoramic windshields and huge steering wheels. …
Just imagine you lived in a world where you were still you — a gearhead, devastatingly sexy, lover of cars, charming — but there were no interesting cars for you to buy, at all. What would you do? C0mplain? Punch a wall? If you were like this group of Soviet gearheads in the 1960s, you’d build your own damn car.
You’ve probably been wondering what it is. The Best Thing On The Internet. It’s a valid question. I’m delighted to let you know your quest is over, because here it is, the best thing on the internet. And, yes, it has a child driving the shit out of a Soviet minivan. And over other Soviet minivans.
When you think of Soviet vehicles, what word comes to mind? Probably “shoddy.” Or “terrible.” Or “unreliable.” Maybe “garbage.”
Saying “world’s best” anything is a risky proposition, especially when it comes to something as holy as the station wagon. But, I think based on my somewhat idiosyncratic criteria, I have found the world’s best station wagons, and the one man with the vision to dream them, build them, and use them.
I’m sure many of you think the Soviets simply copied the Fiat 124 to create the Lada 1200 and all its numerous siblings, but now that we bought one, it’s time to show you how far that is from what happened.
Getting a car in the Soviet Union of the 1970s was very similar to not getting a car in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Most of the time was spent not having a car. Waiting lists could be a decade long, and most people just waited it out. But not Boris Karavkin, an artist from Minsk. He just built his own damn car.
If you thought Vector was responsible for the most ridiculous press shots in human history, just look at this British art piece depicting just your average day with the Lada 1200 4-door Saloon.
Look, this little ZAZ is getting up this concrete banking, dammit.
You're looking at a GAZ M20 'Pobeda,' one of the more iconic early Soviet cars. I don't really know if it's making a cool car comeback in Russia, but I don't really know what Russian gearheads are buying at all.
Think you've seen it all?
The first crews to clean up Chernobyl were called 'liquidators' and they received many, many benefits for their incomprehensibly dangerous work. Here is a very cruel, very Soviet description of one of those benefits explained by a liquidator at the site in 1986.
Here's the LuAZ 1302, an updated version of the older LuAZ 969. It is a sturdy, lovable little trucklet and I want one.
Normally, when we think of Soviet cars, we think of boxy, utilitarian cars that people waited years to get. We don't usually think of fun, despite the somewhat ironic way many of us covet these cars now. But that almost all changed, with a little known side effect of Perestroika that included fun cars. Cars like the…
Lenin may have equated Communism with the union of Soviet power and the electrification of the entire country, but surely he didn’t literally mean hooking everything up to the grid. His overeager disciples thought otherwise. Going through 60-year-old trade journals, nuclear physicist Miklós Tallián unearthed a bizarre…
Electric tractor from the Orlovsk Factory (click EXPAND for details)
At barely over 2,000 pounds, the Moskvitch 407 is definitely not the choice for connoisseurs of intimidating patrols. Other than that, it’s cute as a button.
It’s rather underpowered and lacking in racing cred, but you’ve got to love the Art Deco tank looks of this GAZ GL–1 sports car—from 1938, of all years.
In the U.S.S.R. the winters are cold and the cars are strange. Here's your best choices for the ten most awesome and strange cars the collective ever produced.
If you don’t mind the atrocious handling, the office gray paintjob and the association with mankind’s greatest mass murderer, you can party like a mustached Georgian with nukes and an evil empire to command.