Gruzovoz Project

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Gruzovoz Project
Gruzovoz, the corporate newspaper of ROSTAR Research-and-Production Association, and the magazine Avtoprobeg are launching a unique joint project created to preserve old models of sport vehicles.

The first stage of the project is the restoration of the famous Moskvitch models which had won major races in the second half of the XX century. The work will start with the restoration of the automobile Moskvitch-2137 Versal. Next the restoration of Moskvitch-427 Elit from the year 1970 is planned, followed by the battle wagon of team Moskvitch-Avtoexport – followed by the Moskvitch-412 Rally, which participated in the London-Sidney marathon, and the more modern Moskovich-2137 Rally, the creation of which the famous racer Alexander Kormischikov had once not had the time to complete. Each one of these cars is a piece of the large and glorious history of our motor sports and is worthy of representing our country at different sporting events and of display in museum exhibitions.

To find out more about the project and its origins – who is behind it and why – read the December issue of Gruzovoz.

Andrey Chudakov, one of the organizers of the project, the head of the Nizhniy Novgorod PR department of the team KAMAZ-master, and the Deputy Executive Editor of the Avtoprobeg magazine provided the following comments.

- The true renaissance of domestic rally racing began in 1958, when the USSR began producing passenger cars of various classes in sufficient numbers and when many auto sports clubs were operating.

The year is 1958. It is the year of the first official rally racing Championship of the USSR and the first appearance in international competition. Four soviet teams, racing on Moskvitch-407, debuted in the international Rally of the Thousand Lakes (Finland) which counts towards the European Rally Championship. It was the first step of the soviet motor sport into its proud Moskvitch Time.

Then came the Monte Carlo, the Midnight Sun, the Rally of Poland, Vltava, the Acropolis, multiple Tour d'Europe, London-Sidney, London-Mexico – tens of victorious rallies by the soviet racers on the Moskvitch.

The Tour d'Europe 74 ended with a super sensation – the soviet team of S. Brundza and A. Karamishev outperformed everyone on the most difficult course of 15,000 km and became the winners of the marathon. The team Moskvich-Autoexport, in fierce competition overtook all the big-name competitors from 52 teams representing the best makes of automobiles and won the Golden Cup Team Prize, the Silver Cup Team Prize, first place in the national event, first place in the factory event, first place in the class A2, and finally, for the first time in the 18 year history of Tour d'Eourope, the soviet team took the first place in the main event and received a specialty Prize from the King of Jordan, Hussein.

- In fact, all gold and silver of Europe was claimed by the soviet team Moskvitch–Autoexport. Everyone in foreign motor sport was shocked!

- Researching the phenomenon of the Moskvitch vehicle, experts came to the conclusion that, judging by its popularity, commercial success, and the number and significance of its sporting victories, the Moskvitch-412 should have been included into the golden hundreds of the best cars of the XX century, and definitely – into the brilliant ten of the best rally automobiles of all times.

And for that reason, I want to clarify one more time, by undertaking the project of rebuilding and preservation of historical sport models of Moskvitch we are helping to restore not only the sport legacy of our own country. A group of enthusiasts began preparations for participation in the Silk Way Rally - the Dakar Series and other rallies of special press cars – authentic Moskvitch rally models which we will restore, the ones that were invincible on the tracks of large rallies of the late sixties – early seventies years of the XX century. The same cars can increase the number of our victories by competing in international old timer rallies (rallies of automobiles that are at least 30 years old). - In personal conversations, the legendary drivers of the team KAMAZ–master Vladimir Chagin and Firdaus Kabirov have said multiple times that it would be interesting for them to test their skills behind the wheel of the once invincible Moskvitch models while battling titled contenders competing on powerful Renault Gordini, Ford Escort Coswoth, Porsche Carrera, Saab-99, Citro?n DS

As we can see, the goal which the organizers of the project, including the newspaper Gruzovoz, have set before themselves is relevant and multifaceted. The progress on its realization will be reported on the pages of this newspaper. Broadcast television has also joined the effort of realizing the goals of the given project – VGTRK became the information sponsor and has already prepared and aired several episodes on the subject.