‘One of a kind’ Soviet sports car reborn in Russia

| 31 Oct 2012

A recreation of the 1939 ZIS 101 Sport that was built by factory workers after hours was the highlight of last month’s Oldtimer Gallery show in Moscow.

The most powerful car to emerge from the communist country before the outbreak of WW2, the Sport was based on the same chassis as the ZIS 101 limousine.

Part of a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Komsomol (the youth division of the Communist Party), the project was signed off by Joseph Stalin.

An unofficial run clocked the car at over 100mph before it was displayed at the party conference, but latterly it disappeared.

Also on display was an example of the ZIS-110B – a government limousine that was built from 1949-’57. Cars of its type replaced horses in parades from ’55 and would be used to meet world leaders that included Fidel Castro and Jawaharlal Nehru.

The GAZ-61-73 was Russia’s answer to the Willys Jeep. It could wade through almost 30in of water and climb stairs or 38° hills. Many were delivered to high-ranking generals in the Red Army including this one, which was Marshal Ivan Konev’s personal car.

The show also paid homage to public transport, including a glassfibre ‘Start’ minibus that was designed and built in 1963. Only 130 are thought to have been made before the project was shelved due to costs. One of four left in existence, the bus was displayed at the show (pre-restoration) in 2010.

An MTB-82D trolley-bus and the 1947 ZIS-154 (above) – the country’s first diesel-electric bus – were also on display.

The show also offered a comprehensive range of contemporary memorabilia and literature.

To visit the event’s website, click here.