русский
Українська

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

Alina MilsentLife
Soviet cars on the road.

Soviet people could boast about the development of the automotive industry and the emergence of new technologies for one simple reason: they simply had no way to compare. Most models of popular cars turned out to be a crude and not always high-quality plagiarism of Western models.

Therefore, stories about the reliability of Soviet cars in most cases turn out to be myths. By the way, the USSR did not recognize all the world's patents, so it believed that it had the right to copy this or that equipment, changing some details insignificantly. In fact, the USSR's economy had always been run on military rails, so it was easier to steal and adapt car designs than to invent something from scratch. Read about the top 10 cars originating from the USSR that were plagiarized.

Ford Model A and GAZ-A

The Ford Model A was launched by the Ford Motor Company from 1927 to 1931, mostly in black, which was Henry Ford's favorite color. The car was powered by a 3.28-liter four-cylinder engine that developed 40 horsepower, which was quite good for those times.

Let's compare the Ford Model A with the Soviet GAZ of 1932. By the way, this is a rare case of at least some respect for copyright on the part of the USSR: the technical documentation of the GAZ-A was officially purchased from Ford, meaning that the car was actually produced under license. But this is only a single exception to the Soviet plagiarism tradition.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

Opel Kadett and Moskvich-400

"The Moskvich-400 was assembled at the Small Car Plant in Moscow. It was equipped with German equipment and tools taken from the plant in Rüsselheim as reparations after World War II. The USSR even decided to slightly change the design of the car and made a sedan version.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

Opel Olympia Rekord and Moskvich-402

In fact, the cases of the Ford Model A and Opel Kadett are simply the production of similar cars under different names. With licenses and reparations, one could still believe that Moskvich and GAZ were not blatant plagiarism. But when the plant in Rüsselheim resumed operations two years after the war in West Germany, a little later, in 1953, a new Opel model was introduced - the Opel Olympie Rekord. In total, about 58,000 of them were produced.

And the well-known Moskvich-402 turned out to be suspiciously similar to the Opel Rekord - except that the shape of the side wings and the radiator grille was changed. A four-door sedan was introduced to the Soviet car market instead of a coupe. The plagiarism was incredible: even the chrome trim on the rear wing was left intact.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

Ford Mainline and Volga GAZ-21

The Ford Mainline (1952-1956) was launched as a four-door sedan and coupe. It was an affordable model for the middle class, which was replaced by the Ford Custom in the late 50s.

The GAZ-21, popularly known as the "twenty-first Volga" (1956-1970), was a copy of the Ford. The borrowings were too obvious, especially in the front end: the grille and bumper of the Volga were almost identical to the Ford. Even the "swift deer" on the hood is a plagiarized Ford decorative element.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

Packard Patrician and Seagull

The Seagull, a Soviet car for the upper class, was plagiarized from the Packard Patrician. Both cars were produced in the era of space development, so they have a corresponding futuristic style: the rear wings resemble some rocket parts, and the whole car looks very much like futuristic cars from science fiction books of the mid-1950s. The seagull was a symbol of the party elite in the USSR, but Soviet car designers couldn't come up with anything new - they even copied the font used to write the model name.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

Fiat-125 and VAZ 2103

The Fiat 125 of the late 60s had a stepped silhouette that was trendy at the time, which looked quite unusual in comparison to streamlined cars. The VAZ-2103 Zhiguli was said to have been developed jointly with the Italians, but the car's "stuffing" was so badly overcut and of poor quality that VAZ had nothing to offer besides an unusual design, and road safety was out of the question.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

Chrysler Simca 1307 and Moskvich-2141

The Chrysler Simca 1307 was produced from 1975 to 1986, and it was when the era of the Chrysler Simca 1307 was over that the USSR decided to "revive" the legend by copying the design. Soviet people were unpretentious, most of them did not even know about Chryslers, so the novelty was popular. The Moskvich-2141 hatchback (which was produced until 2002) closely resembled the design of the Chrysler 1307.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

UAZ Bukhanka and Jeep Forward Control

The popularly known "Bukhanka", also known as the 1958 UAZ, despite its typically Soviet design, was actually a plagiarized Jeep Forward Control model. Jeep appeared two years earlier.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

ZAZ-965 and Fiat 600

Only the Zaporozhets looked more Soviet than the Bukhanka. The design of the legendary humpbacked Zaporozhets was clearly inspired by the Fiat 600, which, by the way, was also produced in socialist Yugoslavia under the Zastava brand. It is worth noting that the design of ZAZ was somewhat different.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

ZAZ-968 and NSU Prinz

Even the ZAZ-968 had its own prototype - you won't believe it: German. We are talking about the NSU Prinz of 1961. The similarities between the two models are immediately obvious, but if you dig deeper, the NSU also copied the design from the Chevrolet Crovair. The Prinz was also a rear-engine car, but with a two-cylinder engine.

Stolen everything, even the Zaporozhets: top 10 cars from the USSR that were plagiarized

Other News

On the first try! The 'New Bubka' set a world record in the pole vault. Video

On the first try! The "New Bubka" set a world record in the pole vault. Video

The famous athlete set a phenomenal achievement
How to check soil temperature before planting vegetables: easy ways

How to check soil temperature before planting vegetables: easy ways

The average soil temperature required for normal biological activity is around 10-24°C