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Iconic cars of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union

June 08, 17:17 UTC+3

On June 8, 1909, the first Russian serial car 'Russo-Balt' was assembled at the Russian-Baltic plant

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The Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory was founded in 1874 in Riga, then a major industrial centre of Russian Empire. Photo: Russo-Balt С-24/40 car, 1913
The Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory was founded in 1874 in Riga, then a major industrial centre of Russian Empire. Photo: Russo-Balt С-24/40 car, 1913
The Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory was founded in 1874 in Riga, then a major industrial centre of Russian Empire. Photo: Russo-Balt С-24/40 car, 1913
© Public domain
Russo-Balt C24-30 from the garage of Tsar Nicholas II
Russo-Balt C24-30 from the garage of Tsar Nicholas II
Russo-Balt C24-30 from the garage of Tsar Nicholas II
© Public domain
In the years preceding the 1917 October Revolution, Russia produced a growing number of Russo-Balt and other vehicles and even held its first motor show in 190. Photo: Russo-Balt C24/58 car at the start of the Grand Prix of Russia in 1913
In the years preceding the 1917 October Revolution, Russia produced a growing number of Russo-Balt and other vehicles and even held its first motor show in 190. Photo: Russo-Balt C24/58 car at the start of the Grand Prix of Russia in 1913
In the years preceding the 1917 October Revolution, Russia produced a growing number of Russo-Balt and other vehicles and even held its first motor show in 190. Photo: Russo-Balt C24/58 car at the start of the Grand Prix of Russia in 1913
© Public domain
In 1916, the Moscow Automotive Society (AMO), more commonly called ZIL, was founded. Photo: A ZIS-100 car undergoes waterproof tests
In 1916, the Moscow Automotive Society (AMO), more commonly called ZIL, was founded. Photo: A ZIS-100 car undergoes waterproof tests
In 1916, the Moscow Automotive Society (AMO), more commonly called ZIL, was founded. Photo: A ZIS-100 car undergoes waterproof tests
© Vladimir Savostyanov/TASS
In 1931 the factory was re-equipped and changed its name to Automotive Factory No. 2 Zavod Imeni Stalina (ZIS). Photo: Ivan Likhachov (ZIS director), Grigory Ordjenikidze, Josef Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov standing next to the first ZIS car, model 101, 1936
In 1931 the factory was re-equipped and changed its name to Automotive Factory No. 2 Zavod Imeni Stalina (ZIS). Photo: Ivan Likhachov (ZIS director), Grigory Ordjenikidze, Josef Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov standing next to the first ZIS car, model 101, 1936
In 1931 the factory was re-equipped and changed its name to Automotive Factory No. 2 Zavod Imeni Stalina (ZIS). Photo: Ivan Likhachov (ZIS director), Grigory Ordjenikidze, Josef Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov standing next to the first ZIS car, model 101, 1936
© Public domain
ZIL has also produced armored cars for most Soviet leaders, as well as buses and armoured fighting vehicles. Photo: Soviet limousine ZIL-115, 1982
ZIL has also produced armored cars for most Soviet leaders, as well as buses and armoured fighting vehicles. Photo: Soviet limousine ZIL-115, 1982
ZIL has also produced armored cars for most Soviet leaders, as well as buses and armoured fighting vehicles. Photo: Soviet limousine ZIL-115, 1982
© Valentin Sobolev/TASS
In 1932, due to a rapidly growing demand for automobiles, the Gorky Automobile Plant, or GAZ was established in the USSR. Photo: One of the first cars GAZ-20 Pobeda,  Moscow, 1947
In 1932, due to a rapidly growing demand for automobiles, the Gorky Automobile Plant, or GAZ was established in the USSR. Photo: One of the first cars GAZ-20 Pobeda,  Moscow, 1947
In 1932, due to a rapidly growing demand for automobiles, the Gorky Automobile Plant, or GAZ was established in the USSR. Photo: One of the first cars GAZ-20 Pobeda, Moscow, 1947
© TASS
GAZ-14 Chaika, production of Gorky Automobile Plant, 1978
GAZ-14 Chaika, production of Gorky Automobile Plant, 1978
GAZ-14 Chaika, production of Gorky Automobile Plant, 1978
© V. Voitenko/TASS
GAZ-13 Chaika, 1963
GAZ-13 Chaika, 1963
GAZ-13 Chaika, 1963
© TASS
Volga was an automobile brand that originated in the Soviet Union to replace the venerated GAZ Pobeda in 1956
Volga was an automobile brand that originated in the Soviet Union to replace the venerated GAZ Pobeda in 1956
Volga was an automobile brand that originated in the Soviet Union to replace the venerated GAZ Pobeda in 1956
© TASS
Another major Soviet car maker was founded in 1930 and earned nationwide fame under the name Moskvitch. Photo: Moskvich 408 car moving in central Moscow, 1970
Another major Soviet car maker was founded in 1930 and earned nationwide fame under the name Moskvitch. Photo: Moskvich 408 car moving in central Moscow, 1970
Another major Soviet car maker was founded in 1930 and earned nationwide fame under the name Moskvitch. Photo: Moskvich 408 car moving in central Moscow, 1970
© Valery Khristophorov/TASS
Moscow Small Car Factory (MZMA plant), a Soviet and Russian automobile manufacturer later named AZLK, maker of the Moskvitch brand, 1959
Moscow Small Car Factory (MZMA plant), a Soviet and Russian automobile manufacturer later named AZLK, maker of the Moskvitch brand, 1959
Moscow Small Car Factory (MZMA plant), a Soviet and Russian automobile manufacturer later named AZLK, maker of the Moskvitch brand, 1959
© TASS
ZAZ Zaporozhets was another famous Soviet car. Photo: Loading of vehicles at Zaporizhia automobile plant, 1975
ZAZ Zaporozhets was another famous Soviet car. Photo: Loading of vehicles at Zaporizhia automobile plant, 1975
ZAZ Zaporozhets was another famous Soviet car. Photo: Loading of vehicles at Zaporizhia automobile plant, 1975
© A.Krasovsky/TASS
The car was designed and built from 1958 at the ZAZ factory in Soviet Ukraine. Photo: Vintage car of the 1920s and Zaporozhets, 1975
The car was designed and built from 1958 at the ZAZ factory in Soviet Ukraine. Photo: Vintage car of the 1920s and Zaporozhets, 1975
The car was designed and built from 1958 at the ZAZ factory in Soviet Ukraine. Photo: Vintage car of the 1920s and Zaporozhets, 1975
© Boris Korzin/TASS
VAZ-2101, commonly nicknamed Zhiguli and Kopeyka, a compact sedan car, was produced by the Soviet manufacturer AvtoVAZ and introduced in 1970
VAZ-2101, commonly nicknamed Zhiguli and Kopeyka, a compact sedan car, was produced by the Soviet manufacturer AvtoVAZ and introduced in 1970
VAZ-2101, commonly nicknamed Zhiguli and Kopeyka, a compact sedan car, was produced by the Soviet manufacturer AvtoVAZ and introduced in 1970
© Lev Porter/TASS
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The Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory was founded in 1874 in Riga, then a major industrial centre of Russian Empire. Photo: Russo-Balt С-24/40 car, 1913
© Public domain
Russo-Balt C24-30 from the garage of Tsar Nicholas II
© Public domain
In the years preceding the 1917 October Revolution, Russia produced a growing number of Russo-Balt and other vehicles and even held its first motor show in 190. Photo: Russo-Balt C24/58 car at the start of the Grand Prix of Russia in 1913
© Public domain
In 1916, the Moscow Automotive Society (AMO), more commonly called ZIL, was founded. Photo: A ZIS-100 car undergoes waterproof tests
© Vladimir Savostyanov/TASS
In 1931 the factory was re-equipped and changed its name to Automotive Factory No. 2 Zavod Imeni Stalina (ZIS). Photo: Ivan Likhachov (ZIS director), Grigory Ordjenikidze, Josef Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov standing next to the first ZIS car, model 101, 1936
© Public domain
ZIL has also produced armored cars for most Soviet leaders, as well as buses and armoured fighting vehicles. Photo: Soviet limousine ZIL-115, 1982
© Valentin Sobolev/TASS
In 1932, due to a rapidly growing demand for automobiles, the Gorky Automobile Plant, or GAZ was established in the USSR. Photo: One of the first cars GAZ-20 Pobeda, Moscow, 1947
© TASS
GAZ-14 Chaika, production of Gorky Automobile Plant, 1978
© V. Voitenko/TASS
GAZ-13 Chaika, 1963
© TASS
Volga was an automobile brand that originated in the Soviet Union to replace the venerated GAZ Pobeda in 1956
© TASS
Another major Soviet car maker was founded in 1930 and earned nationwide fame under the name Moskvitch. Photo: Moskvich 408 car moving in central Moscow, 1970
© Valery Khristophorov/TASS
Moscow Small Car Factory (MZMA plant), a Soviet and Russian automobile manufacturer later named AZLK, maker of the Moskvitch brand, 1959
© TASS
ZAZ Zaporozhets was another famous Soviet car. Photo: Loading of vehicles at Zaporizhia automobile plant, 1975
© A.Krasovsky/TASS
The car was designed and built from 1958 at the ZAZ factory in Soviet Ukraine. Photo: Vintage car of the 1920s and Zaporozhets, 1975
© Boris Korzin/TASS
VAZ-2101, commonly nicknamed Zhiguli and Kopeyka, a compact sedan car, was produced by the Soviet manufacturer AvtoVAZ and introduced in 1970
© Lev Porter/TASS

Russo-Balt was one of the first Russian companies that produced cars between 1909 and 1923. On June 8, 1909, the first 2-seater, 24-horse-power car was assembled at the Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory. See the images of the most iconic cars produced in Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

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