Even the most modest V6 diesel 2014 Range Rover Sport has 258 horsepower. The Moskvitch 410 on the other hand had 45 horses in 1958, after the previous 35 hp unit used in the 1957 model was declared outdated by the commies. They also made a wagon version.

The first SUVs were made in America in the late thirties, when the Marmon-Herrington Company started converting Ford trucks and cars to all-wheel drive. At the same time, the GAZ-61 came out of the Bolshevik's backyard. A decade later, the British came up with the Land Rover, but that was as far from being a SUV as an axe is from precision cutting.

The perfect compromise came from the Soviets after Stalin's long-waited death. The GAZ-M72 was a 4x4 chassis with the Pobeda's unitized body, used by the military for long-distance political prisoner transport. Three years later, the Moskvitch 410 was introduced. This modern and comfortable machine was used by the common man destined to get out there and repair Soviet machinery anywhere between Vladivostok and St. Petersburg Leningrad. What more could you want?

Photo credit: W.Grabar