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.