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Soviet Formula 1


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#1 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 17:38

This is from Darren Galpin's site http://home.wanadoo....t/sovietf1.html
and is written by TNF member Alexey Rogachev (:wave: F2 -81 coming soon!):

"The third one was the only real attempt in the USSR to break through to the World Championship with its own car - the 1.5-litre Moskvich-GD1 which was being researched at MZMA factory in Moscow in 1963-65. The main stress was laid on the engine which was finished in 1965. However, it was tested only once and produced 162 hp at 6000 rpm (its rated capacity was near 200 hp at 10000 rpm). The introduction of new rules of Formula 1 in 1966 stopped all work on the GD1 - it seemed to be useless to continue working on the 1.5-litre car."

Really interesting, do you have more about the Russian effort, Alexey?

Was this known in the bigger motorsport countries, Britain, France, Italy, the US etc? Doug Nye, did you know about this?

As a kid at this time, 1964-65 I read a Swedish novel about how the Soviets "killed" motor racing with a techically perfect F1-car with a robot driving the car absolutely perfectly. Those were the times in the cold war time - anything russian was scaring for us in Sweden! And probably elsewhere too.

Stefan

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#2 FEV

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 17:54

Originally posted by Stefan Ornerdal
[B] As a kid at this time, 1964-65 I read a Swedish novel about how the Soviets "killed" motor racing with a techically perfect F1-car with a robot driving the car absolutely perfectly.

Well, I guess the goals were not the same, but some other 'reds' did just that in F1 these last years :)
You wouldn't by any chance remember either the title or the author of this novel Stefan ? I have a project on robots in Sci-Fi and I try to gather as much books as possible related to it. Thanks.
Frank

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 17:57

Stefan - I really don't recall encountering anything of what might be described as 'real substance' from as late as this - 1965-66 - but I once took a couple of Russian visitors for a guided tour of the Donington Collection...perhaps around 1973-74.

One of them was Prof. Afanasiev - I think that's right - who was the Soviet representative to the CSI, and with him was a flat-nose who was apparently a veteran technical man.

He told us through the Embassy interpreter - an extremely sleek, smooth, well-suited young man who spoke perfect English with a rather sinister American accent but still distinctive Russian 'y' sounds - and Afanasiev, that he had been on the technical commission which was sent into Auto Union at Chemnitz and Zwickau in 1945.

It was he who first told me of the cars being "packed onto railway trucks like sardines in a tin" for the trip into the USSR.

He told us there were more than ten cars taken, probably fewer than 20.

Afanasiev told us about developments in Soviet motor sport but from what I recall he spent more time nattering about the 1950s projects - like the Kharkov - and about track racing in Moscow, than anything else.

We pursued him at that time about Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz leads and he declared the opinion that whatever had once been in the USSR had long since been "used up"...

He was wrong, was he not... Hard info upon the Riga car emerged long after this meeting - as did the Karassik cars... and of course our famous AU-derived 'Sokol'...

DCN

#4 Holger Merten

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 18:13

Interesting Doug that you heard in the early seventies about the cars from Zwickau. Until that time some of the cars may have survived. ( Sure the Riga Wagen.) Do you may know from that article in the german oldtimer magazine "Markt", they published an article in the october issue about the future of the cars after 1945. Very intersting how the russians destroyed the "quick silver".

But my question is:
Did you hear anything about survivers of the silverarrows in the 70ies?

And for Stefan: have a look in this thread.

#5 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 18:56

You wouldn't by any chance remember either the title or the author of this novel Stefan ? I have a project on robots in Sci-Fi and I try to gather as much books as possible related to it. Thanks.



No. I am pretty sure it was in a swedish racing magazine, a feulleton (is this the right english word?) and I have lost those old magazine's. It was called Fart (hey - don't laugh - fart is the word for 'speed' in swedish). I have tried to find copies of this short-lived magazine without succes. Strange, as all printed material since many hundred years in Sweden has to be found at the Royal Library in Stockholm.

Stefan

#6 Holger Merten

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 19:40

I have to complete:Have a look on this thread too.

May here "starts and ends" Russian motorsport.

#7 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 21:00

Originally posted by Holger Merten
...my question is: ...Did you hear anything about survivers of the silverarrows in the 70ies?


By the early-1970s we certainly knew of the survival of the Mercedes-Benz W154/39s in Rumania, of at least one Auto Union - very imprecise, rumoured, fabled, but sure - 'somewhere in Russia' with a technical institute in Moscow the favoured site, and there was also talk of a 'silver car' in Poland, either Warsaw or Cracow as far as I can recall. I canot remmber when we first had the Riga car confrimed by Margus Kuuse - early '80s I would have thought? Somebody will doubtless correct my memory on this...

The silly thing is that at that time - say pre-1975 - the notion of unearthing 'a real' Auto Union was akin to finidng the Holy Grail. Then the Colin Crabbe car was brought out via Martin Schroder and the American whose name I cannot now recall...Kerry somebody? I wrote it up with Phil Hill in 'Road & Track' at the time.

Today the darned things seem to be two a penny - common - replicated - devalued.

Sad really. I think I preferred it when they were absolutely exotic things of immense magic and mystery, do they exist, do they not? Rather like the unicorn...or Big Foot...

DCN

#8 Holger Merten

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 21:28

Originally posted by Doug Nye

Sad really. I think I preferred it when they were absolutely exotic things of immense magic and mystery, do they exist, do they not? Rather like the unicorn...or Big Foot...

DCN


Thanks Doug, yes I know of that 70ies situation. But may there will be a chance to find something more in Russia.

#9 O Volante

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 08:10

... perhaps the Alfa Romeo 8C-2900 or the 6C-2500 which travelled with the Auto Unions???

#10 Brun

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 10:14

Today the darned things seem to be two a penny - common - replicated - devalued.

Sad really. I think I preferred it when they were absolutely exotic things of immense magic and mystery, do they exist, do they not? Rather like the unicorn...or Big Foot...


Really? I still think they're exotic... after all, there are only 5 real AU's in this world. And even though we today know much more than 20 years ago, the history that precedes this knowledge is thrilling.

By the way, do you know that story about an Auto Union V12 engine, which has survived until today... buried in a basement of a Leipzig highrise building?

I've been searching desperately which building that is, so I can take pictures...

#11 Holger Merten

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 10:31

Ah Brun, you heard it too?!, But wasn't it Dresden? :confused:

#12 Brun

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 11:08

My sources claim Leipzig...

#13 Holger Merten

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 12:21

A 3l V12? supercharged. Leipzig?

#14 dmj

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 13:13

Wasn't that the engine transfered across the border for Karassiks in back of a Renault 4? My memory also says Leipzig. Or we didn't think about the same engine?

#15 Holger Merten

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 14:21

No, R4 transport was in the seventies, Karassiks was in the 80ies. And the (R4)-engine was later on implantated in that Auto Union D Type which came from Prague in the early seventies, where the car was over the war in an Auto Union Showroom without engine. The car is now owned by an asian businessman, I think its the CEO of Daweoo(?). I'm not sure. And that car is standing arround Frankfurt (Germany), cause it's not allowed to import that car in the CEO's country.

#16 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 14:54

The subject of motor racing behind the Iron Curtain is worth a whole thread of its own. What information is available on this subject?

#17 Brun

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 21:07

That's the one.

Somewhere in the 1970s, a Typ D emerged in Prague. It used to be a demo car that had an empty engine. In other words: a block and head, but no moving parts inside. The buyers went to Porsche to see if it could be rebuilt to a working machine. That was possible, of course, but it came with a price tag that left everyone white-faced.

In Leipzig, behind the iron curtain, someone offered a complete V12 engine though. Actually, it was the same mysterious guy who offered the Sokol to West-German collector Schröder. Anyway, buying this engine was impossible and illegal. Such deals were government-only in the GDR. And the secret police would hunt down anyone who would try to smuggle it out of East-Germany.

Luckily, someone came up with a brilliant idea: to tell the authorities that a complete engine was to be brought into the GDR, so that an expert could have a look at it and advise Western mechanics how to rebuild it. It was claimed that such knowledge was not available anymore in West-Germany.

A brilliant sceme it was, and it went like clockwork. After filling the empty engine with a Ferrari crankshaft and some other loose parts (to fool customs officers who would weigh it at the border), it was transported across the border to Leipzig in the back of a Renault 4.

There, they secretly swapped it with the original, complete V12. The R4 drove back, out of the GDR, with no problems at all because the police assumed it was the same engine (no difference in weight).

However, the guy in Leipzig who sold the original V12 got scared that the Stasi (secret police) might find out about the illegal swap. One night, he took the empty V12 (the one with the Ferrari crankshaft) to a building site somewhere in Leipzig and dumped/buried it into a pit. The next day, workers poured concrete in the pit to lay the basement of an apartment building. Up to today, somewhere in Leipzig, there is a building with an Auto Union V12 engine underneath it.

Now, I would just DIE to know where that building is. Would be great to go there and take a picture :-)

#18 VAR1016

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 21:37

Brun,

what a fabulous tale! I love this stuff!

Thanks very much

PdeRL

#19 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 21:50

This thread has became most interesting, about AU:s etc, thank you guys! - but what do we know about the original subject - Soviet F1 engine?

Stefan

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#20 pedro

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 22:04

I'm not usually bothered when TNF discussions go OT, but aren't there enough Auto Union threads going at the moment? Stefan's original question was about the Moskvich racing cars. I know nothing about the GD1, but this site
http://www.autogalle...ru/moskvich.htm
has info on some others.
G1 looks fantastic! Do I detect some Sokol influnence here?
G2 looks ... weird.
G3 has appeared in TNF before, and looks like a fairly conventional FJ-type design
G4 looks like a rear-engined development of G3. Could this be the basis of GD1?

#21 pedro

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Posted 12 October 2002 - 22:07

Or, rather, this one, the G5:
http://sovavto.vif2.ru/azlk/g5-e.htm

#22 Brun

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 11:21

Pedro,

You're right, I was thinking the same: seems that every thread sooner or later gets back to Auto Union. Which is of course understandable :lol: but let's do it backwards this time: I posted this link in the Auto Union 1.5 Litre thread a while back. It's a very interesting site on Russian racing cars.

#23 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 14 October 2002 - 11:23

Originally posted by Stefan Ornerdal
This is from Darren Galpin's site http://home.wanadoo....t/sovietf1.html
and is written by TNF member Alexey Rogachev (:wave: F2 -81 coming soon!):

Really interesting, do you have more about the Russian effort, Alexey?

Stefan


Stefan,

Thanks for F2-81 - i'll be waiting for its results :clap:

About Moskvich-GD1. There was an article regarding it published in 1993 in the Avtomotosport magazine. It was by Lev Shugurov, one of the constructors of this engine. I think I'll be able to remember the issue I need, so I'll translate it into English and send it you.