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• Unique English text discussing Czarist industry and vehicle production
• Well researched documentation of Russian motor cars in Czarist times
• Details of virtually unknown products in the west
• A variety of specification tables detailing documentation previously unpublished outside of Russia
• Overview of motor vehicles – cars, trucks, buses and military vehicles
• Includes racing & sporting types
• 21 full colour plates showing models
• Dates and production runs from various manufacturers
• Over 60 rare photographs and line drawings • Comprehensive bibliography of Russian & English text
This work covers the motor vehicle industry in Russia prior to World War I and provides data on steam vehicles, electric vehicles, motor cars, trucks, motor cycles and military vehicles. The writer spent time in the former USSR researching the book, and to his knowledge it is the most comprehensive account of the subject ever produced. The archives of the Polytechnical Museum in Moscow were consulted in depth, and a large number of Russian books in the author’s possession have also been examined to achieve a reliable report.
Whilst many books have appeared concerning Russian aircraft, railway locomotives and naval craft, there has been nothing published outside of Russia concerning the activities of its motor industry. Bearing in mind that by 1937 the Soviets had become the largest producers of motor vehicles in Europe, albeit with the help of Henry Ford, it may appear strange that nobody has attempted to document this enterprise in any shape or form in the west. The writer decided to concentrate on the work of the pioneers in Czarist Russia, for their efforts were more diverse than those of their counterparts in the Soviet era. However, one Soviet motor car which was an indigenous product, and which was manufactured in a factory in Moscow previously occupied by the coach builder P Ilyin, has been included to illustrate how the industry might have evolved if Henry Ford had not been approached. The writer spent time in Russia in the 1970s, and with the help of the Polytechnical Museum of the USSR and the former trade organization V/O Autoexport, he managed to build up a comprehensive overview of all facets of vehicle production from the early days to the final demise of the Soviet Union. All the manufacturers of motor vehicles, certain accessories, military machines, and even aero engines are recorded in this unique book.
"Former military engineer Kelly has done an expert job, as his impressive bibliography of Russian books confirms. Alexandr Zakarov's colourful artwork draws you into marque histories, such as Russo-Baltic racer, Dux vee-twin cyclecars and Mercedes-inspired Lessner Edwardian tourers." – Classic & Sports Car
"Has to rank as the most comprehensive account of the subject yet attempted. A lovely book on a little-known subject." – Old Glory
"This work covers the motor vehicle industry in Russia prior to World War I and provides data on steam vehicles, electric vehicles, motor cars, trucks, motor cycles and military vehicles. This is the most comprehensive account of the subject ever produced." – Startline
"Ground-breaking books about motoring are rare these days, but this is one of them: a detailed study of the cars, lorries and military vehicles that existed in the Pre-Revolutionary Russia. – Octane
"This book covers largely untrodden ground ... The book will open eyes as to the talent and ingenuity of Russian engineers and craftsmen and their contributions to the international stage." – The Flying Lady
"The wide variety of contraptions is genuinely interesting; you get military stuff, trucks and buses, cars, and even weird, ultra-luxurious king-carriages on skis and tracks! The writer actually spent plenty of time in Russia researching this tome, which means it's unrivalled in details, and extends even to aero engines." – Wheels, Australia
Period covered: 1784 to c.1915/17