11 Unusual Soviet Cars

Unusual Soviet Cars

Posted on November 21, 2011 by


Russians love their cars and if they knew what potential Soviet engineers had, they’d love them even more!

This is a list of Soviet vehicles you’ll never see on the street. Let’s start with prototypes:

The GAZ-62, Russian response to Americans, 1952.

This vehicle with a six-cylinder 76 HP engine is the prototype of the American Dodge 3/4. Overal dimentions: mm 5000х2100х1800; wheelbase: 2850 mm; twelve-seater; maximum speed: 85 kmh.

The vehicle had several innovations, such as hermetic brake gears, a heated windscreen and a variable-rate spring which made the car more comfortable. The GAZ 62-A was a cargo modification of the vehicle with an enlarged body and an extra wheel fixed horizontally.

The GAZ-62 passed all necessary tests but was never put into mass production.

The ZIS-E134 model #1.

In 1954, they set a task before Soviet engineers to create a new tetraaxial cross-country vehicle with a carrying capacity of 5-6 tons in the short term.

The ZIS-E134 model #1 was the first prototype car they made.

‘When its front wheels got over the obstacle, the ZIS-E134 model#1 tended to sway.

The vehicle proved its efficency and was comparable to a track-type tractor. Besides, it was faster and cheaper to service. So, both the customer and the designer decided that they wanted to see a vehicle with even better performace.

The ZIS-134E model #2, unlike its predecessor, had a displacement hull, a water jet and no elastic suspension. The vehicle had the same transmission and engine as the ZIS-134 model #1.

The MAZ-505 (1962) is a prototype of an AWD truck which was to be used by the army. However, it was never put into mass production because, apparently, it was inferior to another novelty of that time, the GAZ-66.

The ZIL-132R, a supertruck for agriculture.

It had a 165 hp engine; the clutch and transmission were situated beween the first and the second axes. The double-disk clutch had a hydraulic drive; the manual five-speed gearbox had a distance control. Its back and front wheels could turn. It had a clearance of 480-590 mm, a centralized tire pressure controlling system, ventilated disk brakes. This vehicle was not only comparable to the caterpillar tractor, but in some cases it surpassed it. At that time, it was the best and had no match.

The ZIL-E167 (1963) is a snowmobile with a cross-country capacity. Maximum speed on the asphalt: 75 kmh; in the snow – 10 kmh.

It had two engines (118 hp each), which were located in the rear of the vehicle. Air inlets were situated on the sides of the body for better ventilation. The ZIL had 21.00-28 tires; their diameter was 1790 mm. The vehicle had unique fiberglass reinforced plastic discs with metal parts which were thrice as light as metal discs of the same size! Its clearance was 852 mm; the bottom was protected with metal sheets which also improved the vehicle’s sliding characteristics in the snow.

The driver’s cabin, as well as the passengers’ one, was also made of fiberglass reinforced plastic. The cabin was heated by independent heaters. The drum brakes were equipped with a hydro-pneumatic system.

They never put it into mass production because, due to the transmission complexity, it was inferior to the track-type tractor GT-1.

The ZIL 49061 is a triaxial floating vehicle with a manual transmission, independent suspension, and two screw propellers. All its wheels turn; disk brakes are situated in the body of the vehicle.

It was put into mass production and some of them still serve in military space forces. In 2002, two ZILs were transported to Germany to evacuate citizens from flooded areas after a very strong flood.

The ZIL-2906, a snow/swampmobile.

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11 Responses to “Unusual Soviet Cars”

  1. Matlok says:

    I want one of those GAZ 62’s. definitely similar to the U.S. M-37 Dodge 3/4 ton, but with the combat wheels from the WW-2 Dodges. Looks pretty cool!

  2. hau says:

    “What is the conclusion of what has been said? Russians do know how to make good cars!” ROFL

  3. Iggy says:

    Russian offroad trucks are the best and there is no match for them, no doubt about it!

  4. Bob says:

    Most of these “cars” look like something Homer Simpson designed…

  5. Uncledoh says:

    some of those cars will make jealous the guys from mad max

  6. leotec says:

    those images are nice, yeah, really nice

  7. EngrishBob says:

    Ferrous or not I’d imagine those screws are unsuitable for any roads.

  8. Archy Bunka says:

    I like the fact that the “concept car” of 1987 “even had cruise control”. My 1969 Buick Riviera has cruise control. Looking at the internet it states that the first car with “modern” cruise control was the 1958 Chrysler Imperial, so, it only took 30 years to catch up.

  9. Tobbe says:

    Wasn’t the yellow car in an episode of Knight Rider?

  10. Alexander Lopez says:

    I remember reading about the “Katran” in a “Sputnik” magazine. The article said the vehicle had an elaborate (and home-made) cruise control that kept the speed constant even on downhills!

  11. West-Europe says:

    I still have the red version of that pedal-car.

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