Old Russian Car That Could Swim

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One guy has told about a car that stays in his parking. It history goes back to Soviet times, the communist sixties.

It was a car that was designed and built by special Soviet car company, it had many advanced features at that time. It had some features never being implemented in Russian cars before: the clearance could be adjusted from with dashboard buttons, like on some modern SUVs, it had a button to start an engine, instead of a key, the dashboard indicated the current gear selected etc, it had heating of rear and front windows, and the main thing – it could run float on water as well as on regular roads.

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28 thoughts on “Old Russian Car That Could Swim”

  1. It may have been made from aircraft parts such as an auxillary fuel tank similar to the 1949 SO-CAL belly tank lakester. http://www.so-calspeedshop.com/history/bellytank.html

  2. I don’t see how that engine compartment stays dry, the seals are completely missing. And how did it get air to keep running?

    An interesting little car nonetheless.

    • What if the engine compartment is made like a livewell? That would simplify many issues of hull penetration. For the most rough water it appears built to take, it could stay afloat that way.

      Referring to photo #7,

      http://englishrussia.com/images/strange_russian_car/7.jpg

      I don’t think that black box, nearest to the intake horn of the carburetor, is where it inhales. See the tube coming out from under the opposite side of that black box, going up at about a 45º angle, under the gray box on the bulkhead? I suspect this is how it can breathe.

      That car has seen some hard use, but it’s still too cute to have been authorized. I hope there is more info on it! Best regards.

      • OOPS! I may have missed a detail or 3, in Photo #5.

        http://englishrussia.com/images/strange_russian_car/5.jpg

        The black box looks a bit deeper in that one. The carb’s air horn goes TO it, not under it. Then the end of that black box, partly hidden by the aluminum bracket, seems to have a black rubber bellows between it and that galvanized patch on the Port bulkhead. We can’t see what’s between that bulkhead and the outer hull. But, looking at Photo #17,

        http://englishrussia.com/images/strange_russian_car/17.jpg

        you can see there is a lot of room there. I would expect to see something like a vacuum-cleaner hose in that void-space, leading forward and upward to some air intake where it won’t take a gulp of water.

        The more I look at this vehicle, the more certain I am it was made by people who gave it a lot of thought. It’s still a scooter-car that can play at boating in mild weather, but as such beasts go (not fast), this looks like a sweet one. I like it a lot. Best regards.

  3. All kidding aside, the concept is sound. Lightweight streamlined chassis, small (hopefully fuel efficient) engine. It would do well an electric power system as well.

  4. It looks very much like a cockpit of a small aircraft.

  5. Is that a Czech Jawa/CZ motorbike engine in there? And what’s with the horizontal slide carb? Allows it to work at all angles perhaps?

  6. That is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Not only the concept of it, but the styling is – there is only one word for it – fab, and it appears to be powered by an IZH bike engine with forced cooling fan bolted on. I want one. I really, really want one.

  7. That’s cute. I hope it’s being preserved (or better yet, still being enjoyed). Does anybody here know if there was a production of these? Maybe an updated model could be sold to Al Gore’s congregation in the U.S.A. Best regards.

  8. Looking at Picture #5, the part of the carb that seems laid on its side: isn’t that a ‘banjo’ fitting and an offset float-bowl? On a port-timed 2 stroke with the ports down at the bottom of the cylinder, maybe the carb had to be made that way to fit up close.

    If the engine & transmission are in a livewell, a runner to connect a more conventional motorbike carb to the jug might not stay warm enough for the engine to run right. Best regards.

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