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Holy moly Soviet cars
July 7, 2014 11:26 PM   Subscribe

Soviet concept vehicles. "GAZ-A-Aero, designed by Alexei Nikitin Osipovich, 1934" is the first in the line-up, but I like the "Cyclops-like ZIS-112 with a single headlamp and an experimental 6005 cc engine, that could run the car with 126 mph (204 kmh) in 1951," and the Moskvitch G2, which once reached the speed of 139 mph and looks like it will bite whatever's in front of it.

With extra ekranoplan.
posted by goofyfoot (27 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

There are some interesting ideas in there; the taxi big enough to accommodate a stroller would be useful.

Some of those cars would make great Golden Age Batmobiles, with just a little tinkering and a lot of black paint.
posted by bryon at 11:48 PM on July 7

This is fantastic. Thanks!

Here's the Lun Ekranoplan in "flight."

Inside of it.
posted by basicchannel at 12:07 AM on July 8 [3 favorites]

I'm amused by the MAZ-2000 "Perestroika." It's unusual steering system is a little too apt for its name. The driver's cabin stays pointed straight ahead while underneath, unseen, the undercarriage is swiveling in a different direction.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:29 AM on July 8 [11 favorites]

What's the point in that truck with swivelling undercarriage? What problem with regular trucks does that solve?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:20 AM on July 8

Parallel parking, maybe?
posted by Leon at 2:28 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

I like the taxi quite a bit, but I am worried by the vehicle just below that appears to be a similar design with a jet engine attached....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:53 AM on July 8

The Lun is still around, though it's just a static display and may be scrapped soon. The VNIITE, the design institute where a number of these were created, closed (was actually reorganized out of existence) only last year.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 3:05 AM on July 8

the ZiS 112 is so bizarre. Why is the trunk so long? the body proportions seriously make no sense. i thought it was rear engined like a tatra or a corvair at first but no, just weird.

similarly, yea, that truck. I thought it was clever that the front pivoted like that because i was assuming the back wheels did too, and i was going "wow, that's actually pretty smart for poorly designed old ass loading docks and stuff, which i bet they have a ton of over there" but then... nope... just highwayman level silliness.
posted by emptythought at 3:08 AM on July 8

They're a bit more like Soviet high-concept vehicles, as if they were the results of "OK, what if we make a movie about a car that" + is shaped like a torpedo/has skis/is built especially for mothers pushing big-ass baby carriages/looks like Wile E. Coyote's jet car + "?!"
posted by pracowity at 3:19 AM on July 8

the ZiS 112 is so bizarre. Why is the trunk so long?

It's a hardtop convertible with space for both the top and a functioning trunk.
Looking at the photo, it appears the lid covering the space to store the top functioned like a bi-fold door, while the trunk lid operated in the usual fashion.

I'm looking for examples of American vehicles from the period that influenced its styling, especially the grille, but no luck so far.
posted by Pudhoho at 3:42 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

The ZIS-112 looks like a straight lift from Harley Earl's Buick LeSabre concept of 1951
posted by srednivashtar at 4:02 AM on July 8

Oddly enough, the taxi concept is something that would make a ton of sense in most cities - easy to load and unload, lots of space for passengers and parcels, small enough to slip pretty much anywhere, sips fuel. It's like a miniature bus for four or five. Something like this would be ideal for a self-driving cab infrastructure.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:05 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

The GAZ-A-Aero looks a little like Ace and Gary's crime fighting vehicle.
posted by otto42 at 5:53 AM on July 8

All of these need to be filmed in Supermarionation.
posted by arcticseal at 6:04 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]

The Soviet aesthetic always fell apart when you got to the cars.

You had the super alien prickly green space vehicles, the wild alien architecture, the crazy poster art, and then...grim fleets of sad old second-hand Fiat and Renault designs blumping around in road-grimed misery to the sound of an infinite number of sad trombones tunelessly playing the sad theme from the Lt. Kije Suite.
posted by sonascope at 6:44 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Some of these would look right at home in the Capital Wasteland, circa 2277.
posted by General Tonic at 7:06 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]

The GAZ M-20 "Pobeda-Sport" is the best looking vehicle ever and I want one now.
posted by kiltedtaco at 7:17 AM on July 8

Ekranoplan! Surely on its way back by remote control to Professor Frink now.
posted by colie at 7:26 AM on July 8

Such zaniness! Anyone with the slightest sense of aesthetics probably defected, was shot, or exiled to Siberia (then shot).
posted by Renoroc at 7:27 AM on July 8

Concept car designers really seem to hate rear-view mirrors.
posted by malocchio at 7:28 AM on July 8

I'm not certain what the mini-wings add to the GAS-TR Strela, but I know that I refuse to accept that car without them.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:26 AM on July 8

Also, that Perestroika design could be useful on busses, right? Making for easier turning while not separating the driver from the passengers?
posted by Navelgazer at 8:30 AM on July 8

the sad theme from the Lt. Kije Suite
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:36 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

The Tatra was an actual production car.
posted by boilermonster at 9:46 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

> that Perestroika design could be useful on busses, right? Making for easier turning while not separating the driver from the passengers?

Presenting the Victory Liner (more) a trailer bus with a connected cab. Not enough information has been dug up to determine whether the driver is cut in half during sharp turns.
posted by morganw at 10:49 AM on July 8

What's the point in that truck with swivelling undercarriage? What problem with regular trucks does that solve?

It gave more cargo space. Still got to be weird to have your wheels move out from underneath you like that.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:07 PM on July 8

Yep, CynicalKnight, from about 17:49 in that recording, punctuated by percussion of backfiring and clangs of parts falling off.
posted by sonascope at 1:47 PM on July 8

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