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Thursday, December 2, 2021

When Soviet Union made a Porsche-like sports car

~Weird One~ When the world was still in the Cold War era, where in the global political arena there were two dominating poles, namely the western and eastern blocks. Well, at that time, each party showed off their superiority in all lines, including automotive. But uniquely they forbid the use of the products of their opponents. Even though some of the people, especially those in the eastern block, also want goods from the west, including cars.
1963 KD Sport 900 is designed by a group of designers working for the NAMI (National Automobile Institute) in Moscow. (Picture from: Classic and Recreation Sportscars)
And around the end of the 1950s to the early 1960s, when Porsche succeeded in dominating the circuits and roads in Europe and even the world, apparently it also attracted interest from industry players in the eastern block to make similar cars that were intended to have Porsche-like performance to be used as rivals.
Only 6 of these fibreglass bodied Zaporozhets/Zaz 965-based KD Sport 900 cars were made in the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and 1960s. (Picture from: QuirkyRides)
The Soviet Union made sports cars, which is said to be similar to Porsche looked very stylish on the Moscow' busy streets at the time. (Picture from: EnglishRussia)
As qouted of Autoevolution, in Russia (when it was still the Soviet Union) there was a group of designers working for the NAMI (National Automobile Institute) in Moscow to design a sports car, which was envisioned as a Soviet Porsche. But it wasn't state commissioned in any way, which meant there was no official backing. Of course this would have been troublesome and could have even ended the project early.
1963 KD Sport 900 is built on the basis of the ZAZ-965  as a small 2+2 sports coupe. (Picture from: EnglishRussia)
If not for Kuzma Durnov, who at that time that time served as Director of ZAZ (Zaporozhsky Avtomobilny Zavod), a Sovyet Union state's automaker based in Ukraine who was supported the development of the sportscar.
1963 KD Sport 900 had two seats ahead and two small ones in the back with the front console was turned to the driver like we could see later in many more contemporary cars. (Picture from: EnglishRussia)
This Soviet-style sports car, which is said to be similar to Porsche, was built on the basis of the ZAZ Zaporozhets 965, as it is known that the first prototype was built in 1963 as a small 2+2 coupe called KD Sport 900. And the initials KD in the name refer to the name of Kuzma Durnov, who was the driving force behind the project.
One of the KD Sport 900 is planned to be restored. (Picture from: EnglishRussia)
For your info, the ZAZ manufacturer is known to have started producing cars in 1958, having previously produced combine harvester. Its first passenger car was the ZAZ Zaporozhets 965, which was basically the eastern version for the Fiat 600.
And this is one more car stays abandoned and maybe someday it would be restored too. (Picture from: EnglishRussia)
The car looked very stylish on Soviet streets at the time. It had two seats ahead and two small ones in the back with the front console was turned to the driver like we could see later in many more contemporary cars (it was sort of the Soviet designers findings). The KD Sport 900 built upon a tubular steel chassis with an aerodynamic 2+2 fibreglass coupe bodywork. At glance, it have looked swift, but it's not.
A modern interpretation of KD Sport 900 in digital rendered image made by Artem Popkov. (Picture from: AutoEvolution)
Why is that? Due to the car utilizes the mechanical components of a ZAZ-965 with a rear mounted, air-cooled OHV V4 887cc engine with a 4-speed manual transmission. The car's engine only capable spewed a small power of 30 hp and a top speed of just below 75 mph. It's clearly the car is not an equal rival to Porsche, even if the car tipped the scales at only just over 500 kg.
Here's the Russian-made car is depicted in what is seen as partly a muscle car, and a swoopy European coupe. (Picture from: AutoEvolution)
The car project running in between 1963 to 1969 with initial plans were considered for small-scale production. But as late as 1969 before the project got shelved, less than ten vehicles had been produced (only five more KD’s were built) all with detail differences.
The modern KD imagined is one of the most stunning digital creations we've seen so far. (Picture from: AutoEvolution)
In present day, as published on Autoevolution there's an independent automotive designer named Artem Popkov made a series of modern interpretation images of this KD 900 Sport car, and it's clear that the modern KD imagined is one of the most stunning digital creations we've seen so far.
Here's the Russian-made car is depicted in what is seen as partly a muscle car, part a swoopy European coupe. Its simplicity, the strange but true to the original proportions, and the overall quality of the execution all come together to make this something you instantly fall in love with. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | AUTOEVOLUTION | CLASSICANDRECREATIONSPORTSCARS | DRIVENTOWRITE | HOTCARS | ENGLISHRUSSIA | QUIRKYRIDES | MOTORJUNKIE ]
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