Rus Articles Journal

Whether right-hand drive cars were issued in the USSR?

Visitors of automobile department of Polytechnical Museum (Moscow) sometimes perplexedly stop before Russo Is the Balt car and with astonishment ask the guide: “In Russia the movement on the left side of the road was applied?“ On the negative answer puzzly show on the wheel located on the right.

Really, is to what to be surprised. The model exposed for a review in the museum, - only remained in the world. Perhaps restorers incidentally (restoring the ancient car) not from that party established a wheel? It quite could be as in a number of the countries of the West to this day a car with the right wheel. But at attentive acquaintance with history of traffic it becomes clear that else in 1752 the order of the queen Elizabeth Petrovna once and for all established the movement on the right side of the road.

Then for what reason at the Russo Is the Balt car a wheel not with left, and on the right side? It appears, a secret here that Russia long enough was guided by traditions of the West. Was considered that at left-hand traffic the right wheel increases safety of the driver. It does not go out of the car on the carriageway but only towards a roadside or the sidewalk. Means, the risk to be hit the oncoming car, is excluded completely. Besides, being in the car on the right side, the driver well sees pedestrians. And as this part of citizens strives to steal a march sometimes before the going car, he better sees intentions, can manage to slow down.

“Russo is the Balt“ in due time it was restored by the staff of us institute. They restored for the museum and some other rare cars. Let`s tell, “us - 1“. It is the first Soviet minicar which was issued Spartak plant from 1927 to 1930 - y. 403 machines were manufactured by staff of plant. Up to now remained in more - less good shape only one copy - the car with factory serial number 107 which was in operation up to 1970! As you already guessed, “us - 1“ had the right wheel too. The unique car can also be seen in the museum which is already mentioned above.

One more right-hand drive car of the Soviet production - the well-known truck “AMO - F15“. From 1924 to 1930 over six thousand cars of this brand were released. For the country which endured bloody civil war, ruin it was some kind of record. The remained copy “AMO - F15“ is in the museum of ZIL plant (the former AMO) now.

Cars with the right wheel were issued in the USSR till 1932. Then the country leaders considered what will be enough “to copy“ the West if since imperial times left-hand traffic works. So, the wheel has to be on the left side that the driver better saw a middle part of a roadbed. At the same time forgot to analyse statistics of accidents and accidents. And on them leaves to this day that at collision of cars drivers as the main blow is the share of the left part of the car most often perish. In 1937 there was Ezhov`s order (the people`s commissar of internal affairs) forbidding operation of right-hand drive cars.

In the West, certainly, only laughed at special “way“ of the USSR in automotive industry and did not begin to refuse the right wheel in favor of left. Though in some countries of Europe such experiment became, but it came to a standstill: left-hand drive cars were not in demand. The USSR faced the same problem, trying to adjust sale of the Soviet cars in the West. Very few people know that all known “Volga“, “Zhiguli“, “Muscovites“ in export option had the right wheel. Here small list of such models: “Gas - 21P“, “GAS - 21PE“, “VAZ - 21098“, “LADA“, “LADA Riva“, “the Muscovite - 412P“.

Right-hand drive “Volga“ and now it is possible to see on roads of Africa. For example, in Sudan they are used as taxi. In India the cars “VAZ - 21098“ “run“. And even in England not a rarity “Zhiguli“ with the right wheel.

How to understand all this? Well, say, Africa always on cheap stuff received transport from the USSR. But here Great Britain with special “biases“ towards America how began to support automotive industry of the USSR financially?

Everything is banal: quality of the cars going for export was much above those that were on sale in the Soviet Union. “Zhiguli“ with the right wheel was inferior nothing in finishing and a complete set to the best models of cars of the West. Moreover, Soviet export “Zhiguli“ got off with vinyl which the West in automotive industry began to use significantly later.