When it comes to the production of cars, Russia has created a variety of memorable cars. During the days of the Soviet Union, car production expanded in order to compete with other superpowers like America. There have been a lot of unusual concept cars to come out of the USSR and we’ve found five of the most bizarre.
1934 GAZ-A Aero
The GAZ-A Aero was designed by Alexey Nikitin, who had a fascination with aerodynamics. While studying for a degree at the Military Academy of Mechanisation and Automation, Nikitin decided to design a prototype vehicle with a streamlined body. The result was a futuristic looking car that earned Nikitin his diploma. Nikitin was commissioned to carry out further research with the GAZ-A Aero, but he only ever built one car.
Designed by Valentine Rostkov, the ZIS-112 was inspired by the 1951 GM LeSabre. It had a removable hard top and an experimental 186 horsepower V8 engine with four carburettors. It had a sleek, attractive appearance that put it into the sports car category. Although it looked impressive, the ZIS-112 was said to have poor manoeuvrability, making it an unsuitable racing vehicle.
1954 GAZ TR Arrow
This unusual vehicle had a tear-shaped aerodynamic body that made it look like a cross between a plane and a car. It featured a jet engine and a four wheel chassis that had independent suspension. USSR racing champion, M.A Metelev was chosen as the test pilot and the vehicle needed to reach 500 km/h to meet the standards of its creators. However, it was reported the Arrow didn’t exceed 300 km/h.
1955 NAMI 050
Yuri Dolmatovsky, brother of the Russian poet Yevgeny Dolmatovsky, decided to experiment with wagon-style cars in the 1940s. It led to the development of the first Russian passenger multi-purpose vehicle. The Nami 050 had a compact, practical shape, but Dolmatovsky was unable to gain enough support to produce a model for the public. As a result, only one prototype was made.
1956 Moskvitch G2
Designed by I.A Gladilin and I.I Okunev, the Moskvitch G2 had an aerodynamic shape. It came with a 1074 cc inline 4-cylinder flathead engine that meant the car could reach a top speed of 139 mph. This allowed the Moskvitch G2 to break several speed records in the USSR. It competed in the 1959 USSR Championship, winning in the under 2500 cc class. Only two were built and they were dismantled in 1963.