3 Eric Sabo and His Famous Car Projects

Eric Sabo and His Famous Car Projects

A Russian artist Eric Sabo deserves the title “classic of Soviet design” for the creation of the minibus “Youth”.

Actually, Mr.Sabo is the author of dozens of projects, many of which were translated into serial production. In 1957, Eric Sabo, a graduate of the Moscow School of Industrial Art (the famous “Stroganov”), was sent to the Likhachev plant. To check the “professional suitability”, the fellow had to update the appearance of the ZIS-110.


The new full-face of an outdated limousine was so transformed, that a young talent immediately got a serious job. Few people know that the exteriors of ZIL-130 and ZIL-131 were created by Erik Sabo’s pencil and brush.

For a couple of years before the first human spaceflight, Sabo “invented” the planetary rovers to study Venus! The full-size mock-up named “Alien Transport” starred in a famous film “Planet of Storms”.

A top class car project became a real creative success for a young designer. The unique “Youth” in 1967 won the top prize at the Competition of buses in Nice. But Sabo at that time separated from ZIL. The reason for the dismissal was the pressure from the management of the plant: the artist had to make a copy passenger ZIL-111G from the American prototype. The car turned out not too original but it reflects the spirit of the age.

His next place of work was the Special Art and Design Bureau. This organization was designed “to bring art into industry “, including an automotive one.
There Eric Sabo got acquainted with a talented artist Eduard Molchanov. This creative tandem proved to be extremely fruitful.

The orders followed one after another. The layout of the limousine amazed by its dynamism. Features of the Government car later appeared in the guise of ZIL-114. Catchy upgrade of ZIL-130, performed by Edward and Eric, was designed to refresh the image of a five-tonne car. Next and the longest stage of Sabo’s creative activity was connected to NAMI, where he headed the Industrial Design Sector. Design projects of front-wheel “Vasilek”, “two-volume” taxi cab or interior of BelAZ cab  outpaced possibilities of the industry, irritating the ministerial authorities. Renewal projects of LuAZ car and city buses were lucky a little more: years later they were brought it to life.

Prototype of SMZ-FDD and LuAZ


ZIL 130

Vasilek (“Cornflower”)


A Yerevan van and a heavy truck KrAZ-250 not only were on the conveyor, but also brought to its creator “The Certificate for industrial design.” Overall, Eric Sabo had ten copyright certificates on the exterior, interior and body elements of vehicles.

According to his design project, professionals from NAMI have created an experimental fiberglass minivan focused on production in Riga


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3 Responses to “Eric Sabo and His Famous Car Projects”

  1. Douglas says:

    I want to study at the Moscow School of Art….perfect place to prolong my childhood. Its the same worldwide.

  2. dukeb0y@hotmail.com says:


  3. Lipto says:

    A great deal of his work seems ‘derivative’ from other designs, but it is impossible to argue that there is not a grand spark of exceptionalism, creativity, practicality, functionality and, above all, creativity in his finished works.

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