We are used to hear not very pleasant comments about the quality of Russian cars. But if we look into the past we can find a lot of interesting facts about Russian motorsport that will change the common opinion a bit.
Rally racing started in 1950 in the Sovie Union. Practically all the crews used stock cars at that time with no improvements.
Also ring racing was popular on asphalt and ground tracks. It was enough to have a modified road car to take part in the racing. The competition was quite spectacular since usually there were at least minor collisions between the cars.
Autocross was organized with ordinary cars and also with buggies – single-seater cars with external wheels and frame structure created for such racing.
A new epoch of Soviet autosport was opened in 1971 with the appearance of VAZ2101. Quick-moving cars quickly became winners in this race.
It is a common fact that usual road car is not enough for racing. You need special spare parts which were difficult to get these times. Some brought spare parts illegally from Germany and some craftsmen even made them themselves.
Racing Zhiguli VAZ 2101 was often built from a stock car. The upholstery as well as part of the wires were removed, some parts were taken away. As a result such racing car as on the photo above weighed about 800 – 850 kilos.
The engines were also substantially modified. As a result about a liter of volume gave 100 horsepower. 1300 cubic centimeter engine gave 130-135 hp, 1500 – 145-150 and 1600 – all the 160 hp.