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Forgotten stars of the Soviet automobile industry

Soviet sports cars, auto rarities of USSR




"Last September morning in 1937 in Kiev dawned warm and windless. Red flag on a flagpole for the wooden platform, built on the eve of the side of the Zhytomyr highway at night and cleaned vigorous slogans and fir branches, hanging lifelessly.

- ... The Soviet avtomotosport should be massive! Everyone should be able to operate a motorcycle and a car at the right moment to be able to use is an indispensable weapon of war and defeat the enemy on his own territory!

The first Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel General Anatoly Liapidevskii triumphantly raises his right hand. Thunderheart "cheers" sweeps over the rows lined up in front of the podium participants of Motorsport championship of the USSR, a few spectators, and a powerful chords of "The Internationale" just a bright blue sky on two parachutes down and bouquets of flowers to welcome the pennant ... "

Needless to say - just a couple of years ago was considered a bourgeois avtomotosport plague, but today, March 3, 1937, the pilot Lyapidovsky just decorated as a Hero of the Soviet Union to save the Chelyuskin, encourages young people to drive a car or motorcycle, clearly implying that it - the shortest way of training future engineers and military tank drivers. Avtomotosportom in no time "ill" the whole country. Like mushrooms after the rain there were car clubs not only in cities, villages and even!


Serial GAS-A-Sport design, AI Girelya. 1937

Meanwhile, the Soviet motorsports was in poor condition. Of course, there was no factory sports car (Daimler-Benz since the 1920s, mass-produced sports coupe, not lagging behind in this matter and the Americans - Chrysler and Cadillac). And besides, the whole experience of building cars with high dynamic performance was limited to the GAZ-A-Aero Engineer SA Nikitin, and even chased the car most of the scientific objectives.


All production sports cars was reduced to single samples amateur athletes gathered in makeshift conditions, literally on the knee. All work on the preparation of vehicles for the competition was to manufacture the streamlined body without the wings on the base of the GAZ-A or GAZ-M1, moderate forcing the engine, sometimes - to set the short exhaust pipes and a few carbs.

In this way, and went to 57-year-old driver of the Leningrad Soviet Leningrad Anton Girel. As a donor, he chose a "people's" car of those years - GAS-A commercially produced from 1932 to 1936. He lengthened the base car's 300 mm and produced a streamlined body with no protruding parts (fenders, headlights, etc.), reducing the car's weight to 950 kg. At the tail of the car wearing the keel, similar to what was to record "Blue Bird" by Malcolm Campbell, almost daily of new speed records.

Engine GAZ-A, as hopelessly outdated and do not have almost no prospects for increasing the power, and A. Girel dismissed immediately by setting his car on-line four-cylinder powerplant GAZ-M1, the former, by the way, the copy engine Ford-BB, is also not the first freshness . Leaving the engine size the same (3282 cc.) Constructor has increased the compression ratio up to 5.5 units, installed two carburetors and direct flow exhaust system - four short exhaust pipes, raising engine output to 55 hp at 2800 rev / min. Digital ridiculous when you consider that Europe has long existed vehicles rated at more than 100 hp But for handicraft assembled motor - an excellent result! True, it becomes bitter when we remember that the same power engine had a Russo-Balt S24/55, the winning rally in Monaco in 1912.

On sea trials in July 1937, the GAZ-A-Sport with a three-stage gearbox and a smaller gear ratio showed the rate of 127.6 km / h. Let me remind you that the last speed record in Tsarist Russia was about 142.5 km / h.

And so, on the 30th September 1937 at the Zhytomyr highway near Kiev agreed four (!) Domestic supercar: GAS-A Girelya, GAZ-TSAKS Tsypulina, GAS-A Zharov, and GAZ-A Kleshchev. Speeches heroic pilots, "cheers" and so on, and here - started the race, as a result of which, incidentally, was born in the USSR race record kilometer run. GAS-A-Sport Girelya showed speed at 129 km / h, did not reach the record 24 years ago more than 10 km / h. But the old records at the time were not considered. Another country - the other sports, and for AI Girelem-Union was officially registered with record speed.

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