Home » This Is One Of The Weirdest Soviet Cars I’ve Seen And That’s Saying Something: Cold Start

This Is One Of The Weirdest Soviet Cars I’ve Seen And That’s Saying Something: Cold Start

Cs Kurunkov1
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The car selection in the former Soviet Union wasn’t exactly fantastic. You could choose from some Moskovitches or Volgas or Ladas or Zaporozets, but you’d have to wait for who knows how long to get one, and it’s not like you had a vast selection. But gearheads know no borders, they operate above political systems and ideologies, so there were always people who wanted something new or different or just more to their tastes. So, periodically, you’d hear about determined Soviet gearheads simply making the cars they couldn’t get, with whatever they could find. I think this Moscow-area mechanic, V.Kurunkov, was such a gearhead, because he built that astounding thing you see up there. And, from what I can tell, his goal was to incorporate as many weird-ass ideas as possible into one vehicle. I think he succeeded.

Cs Kurunkov2

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I’ve only seen that one picture of this thing online, and all the information I could get comes from that scrap of newspaper you see there. The thing seems to have been driven by that huge propeller at the rear, which I suspect came from some sort of small aircraft? What’s amazing is that this thing is, allegedly, amphibious, able to float on water, and can go on snow, as you may have had a hint about thanks to those deployable skis at the sides.

Propeller-driven ground vehicles are interesting; they greatly simplify the drivetrain, requiring no gearbox or any connection to the wheels at all, and for something like this, designed for land, snow, and water, it’s kind of ideal, as the propulsion is independent of whatever the connection of vehicle-to-surface is. The problem is that propellers aren’t terribly efficient ways to move stuff on the ground. I know, because I drove one once:

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So I’m a little skeptical when Kurunkov says this thing will hit 75 mph on land. Also there’s the mulching people around you issue, which is, I think, nontrivial.

Still, I think this is incredible, and I love the creativity and determination it took to make this thing exist in the first place. I’d also love to know more about it, so on the off chance anyone out there has ever heard something else about the Kurunkov Tri-phibian, hit me up!

 

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Old Hippie
Old Hippie
9 months ago

Kurunkov is Russian for Bond. Vladimir Bond.

Clear_prop
Clear_prop
9 months ago

The only way that car is amphibious is if it was loaded on a canoe.

As it sits, the air propeller would hit the water in amphibious mode. Maybe there is a hidden water propeller that takes over in amphibious mode, but I see no evidence of such.

The speed claims are ridiculous. 30mph on water is really fast. I’d be surprised if this thing could hit 3mph on water with all the drag on it.

3WiperB
3WiperB
9 months ago

Feels like a good time for Reagan to tell a good joke about buying a car in the Soviet Union. It’s the first one in this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN3z3eSVG7A

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago
Reply to  3WiperB

I’m not positive, but I think that joke might have originated in the Soviet Union – Soviets and Eastern Europeans used to love telling derogatory Soviet jokes, and Reagan used to love collecting jokes on that topic that people would send in to him or that he’d pick up on travels. Similar to what would happen if Soviet communism were exported to Saudi Arabia? For the first five years, nothing, then a severe shortage of oil.

Steve P
Steve P
9 months ago

“Ship it to the front, Ivan!”

AlterId
AlterId
9 months ago

I’m not so trusting regarding some of those performance claims. This was date-stamped 1966, so it was the era when Soviet schools claimed that everything that wasn’t invented by Soviets under socialism was invented by Russians before socialism, and a news item out of the USSR like this one was almost placed there by the Soviet embassy or a PR firm they hired.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago
Reply to  AlterId

Maybe, but I don’t think we can afford to take that chance and wind up with an amphibious 3 wheeled propeller car gap, we should give General Motors a $100 billion research grant immediately to make sure we don’t fall behind

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
9 months ago

It appears to be powered by Soviet-era Shop Vac. Or maybe that’s an R-Twosky D-Twosky.

Last edited 9 months ago by Canopysaurus
Hoonicus
Hoonicus
9 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

 R-Twosky D-Twosky forced up-vote.

Toecutter
Toecutter
9 months ago

I love weird custom builds like this! Please post more. It’s interesting to see what DIY vehicle builders come up with.

DIY builders are a contrast to the stale overly-conservative mainstream auto industry that just copies each other ad-infinitum under the guise if “meeting consumer demand”, when in actuality, they’ve steered and manipulated consumer demand through dishonest techniques like price discrimination, advertising, PR/propaganda campaigns, and bribing government officials to pass laws favoring their cause to reshape the vehicle landscape and kill off competition.

In a way, the modern vehicle landscape has some similarities to the Soviet era. You can have any car you want, as long as it’s another unrepairable, bloated, over-weight, over-sized, over-priced, greyscale crossover/SUV/truck that is mediocre in every way. Making these things electric won’t be of much benefit and is a misuse of the technology, but within our lifetimes, that may be the only option available…

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
9 months ago

Suspect he had a parafoil to deploy when authorities approached. Didn’t find any more info, but Color(ized) Photo ! Warning ! you may not return from “more like this”
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/kurunkov-autoaeromobil–107382772354916507/

Last edited 9 months ago by Hoonicus
A. Barth
A. Barth
9 months ago

Nifty!

Look at the last sentence in the clipping: “The designer reportedly is working on a new air-cushioned model”. I thought at first it meant he was building a hovercraft which – when combined with the propeller – would make life interesting in traffic.

But what if he intended to keep the wheels and use a hovercraft-like mechanism to support some of the weight of the car? For purposes of discussion, let’s say the original weighs 1000lb. What if he had an air cushion that would support 800-900lb? That would take most of the weight off the wheels and may improve ride quality. The handling shouldn’t change too much since the wheels would still be in contact with the road.

Basically he complexified and added lightness. (Sorry, Colin)

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
9 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

COTD

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

The wheels would still be in contact with the road, but reduce weight by 80% and you’re going to understeer like crazy! You need weight to gain traction, so that sounds terrifying, but also pretty entertaining haha

Data
Data
9 months ago

This should have been a Bond car. Now listen 007, when you approach Scaramanga’s island…

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
9 months ago

“What country built this car?”
“It no longer exists.”

Technically true since the USSR broke up.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago

Yes, that’s what they wanted you to think, muahahaha!

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
9 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Yet another case of The Simpsons accurately predicting the future.

Sklooner
Sklooner
9 months ago

Or repeating the past

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
9 months ago

Why didn’t this example of cutting edge transportation ever catch on?
I don’t understand? /s

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
9 months ago

…and David has four weeks to get it running and drive it to Moab!

That guy
That guy
9 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

without a donor car.

JDE
JDE
9 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

Does flying it count? I think a set of high lift biplane wings could be attached some how

ES
ES
9 months ago
Reply to  JDE

a gas bag

Droid
Droid
9 months ago
Reply to  JDE

flying version goes into production in five years

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  JDE

Parafoil.

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
9 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

A flying car with only four weeks to Moab. Finally, a Mercedes-David wrench-athon I’ve wanted to read.

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