This Soviet Dump Truck Has A Bavarian Secret Under The Hood

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I love Soviet things. I love surprises. This truck? This truck is both. It’s a ZIL-130 truck with the 600 horsepower drivetrain of a BMW X5M underneath. And it’s more than surprising for anyone who pulls away next to it from a traffic light.

The ZIL-130 was introduced in 1967 and quickly became an important cog in the Soviet industrial and agricultural machine. It also had a military version, the ZIL-131, which usually came in 6x6 format but otherwise shared most other equipment with its civilian sibling.


Despite its 1960s styling, the ZIL-130 is still not terribly uncommon in the Eastern Bloc, having only gone out of production in 2012.

The guys who built this have a series of videos documenting its creation, from the selection of the truck and the donor X5 through the challenges of fitting the new drivetrain underneath, which required fabricating a new frame with bracing to keep the truck stiff when faced with all that new power under the hood.


With the truck finished, the guys who built it put it through the wringer, racing it against a couple of Mustangs and a Porsche Cayman and taking it off-road as well.

This wild machine is the product of the AcademeG, same people who brought you the Bentley Continental GT on tank treads we showed you earlier this year. If these two projects are anything to go off of, we ought to keep an eye on them. Who knows what could be next.