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"RussoB alt", car: brand history and lineup. Russo-B alt cars: specifications, owner reviews

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"RussoB alt", car: brand history and lineup. Russo-B alt cars: specifications, owner reviews
"RussoB alt", car: brand history and lineup. Russo-B alt cars: specifications, owner reviews

Do you know what was the first Russian car? Many don't even realize. Today we will get acquainted with the automobile brand "RussoB alt", which can truly be called the pioneer of the Russian automobile industry.

Russob alt car
Russob alt car


For the first time a car with an internal combustion engine came to the territory of the Russian Empire back in 1891. It was a car of the French company Panard-Levassor. It belonged to Vasily Navrotsky, editor of Odesskiy Listok.

In St. Petersburg, the first car appeared in 1895, and in Moscow in 1899.

The first production car produced on the territory of the Russian Empire was the Frese and Yakovlev model, presented to the public in 1896. But this car did not arouse interest in official circles.

The motor and transmission were made at the Yakovlev factory, and the chassis and wheels were made at the Frese factory. Both externally and structurally, the model was very similar to the Benz car. Nevertheless, the car had prospects. It is currently unknown how manysuch cars were produced, but their history was very short. This is due to the fact that in 1898 Yevgeny Yakovlev died. At first, his companion Pyotr Frese bought engines abroad, but then he decided to sell his power to the Russian-B altic Carriage Works. At this enterprise, not only cars were made, but also rural equipment, as well as airplanes on kerosene engines. The plant was very large and had its branches in different cities: Riga, Tver, St. Petersburg, and later also in Taganrog and Moscow.

Car Russo-B alt: photo
Car Russo-B alt: photo

First models

The automobile department of the plant was formed by 1908 in Riga. And already in May of the following year, the first RussoB alt car appeared. The car was created based on the prototype of the Belgian Fondue model, unknown to the general public. The Belgian designer Jalien Potter participated in the creation of the Russian version. Domestic experts, namely Ivan Fryazinovsky and Dmitry Bondarev, also made a significant contribution to the creation of the car. The well-coordinated work of the three designers led to the release of a series of machines. It included cars - K-12, S-24 and E-15 - and trucks - T-40, M-24, D-24 - cars. The most popular model was the C-24. It accounted for 55% of the issue.

The Russo-B alt car: recognition

Models produced at the Carriage Works were distinguished by their strength and reliability. They have repeatedly taken part in various international competitions: rallies and runs. In Monte Carlo and San Sebastian, they were among the best. Speaking about the reliability of cars, they always remember how one copyS-24, produced in 1910, was able to drive 80 thousand kilometers without serious breakdowns. At that time, this was an incredible achievement for the entire automotive industry and the RussoB alt brand.

The car was recognized at the highest level - the imperial garage in 1913 got hold of two RBVZ cars. The first of these was the sensational model S-24, and the second - K-12. 64% of the plant's products were purchased by the Russian army. The machines were in demand mainly among staff workers and doctors. By the way, there were models on the chassis of which an armored body was installed.

Russo-B alt car: owner reviews
Russo-B alt car: owner reviews

Production Features

The car "Russo-B alt", photos of which evoke a sense of pride, had a simple but very solid design. The main parts, namely the crankcase, cylinders and transmission, were cast from aluminum. Rotating parts: wheels and gears - were planted on ball bearings. The casting of cylinders together with the block was a curiosity and was used only in the S-24 and K-12 models - the flagship models of RussoB alt.

The car was produced in large quantities. It is noteworthy that the parts in the car of one batch were completely interchangeable. And between batches of the same model there could be significant differences: the number of gears, engine power, wheelbase, the design of individual parts. The geometric parameters of the parts were measured in the metric system. Almost all parts of the cars were made directly at the wagon plant. I had to buy ball bearings, oil pressure gauges and tires on the side.

Crew departments were both in St. Petersburg and in Riga. Each of them produced bodies for certain models. The body of the Russo-B alt had many modifications: closed limousines, open chaises, popular among Europeans, landau, cigar-shaped torpedoes and others. At the exhibition of 1910, held in St. Petersburg, the wagon plant presented five models at once. A year later, there were already six.

The country of the Soviets, apparently, did not need cars. Therefore, their release was gradually reduced, and in 1926 it completely stopped. And the factory capacities in their entirety were reconfigured for the defense industry.

Let's analyze in more detail what the cars produced by Russo-B alt were. Specifications will help us with this.

Russo-B alt K-12

Car Russo-B alt
Car Russo-B alt

Cars K-12/20 of the V series, released in 1911, had a maximum power of 20 horsepower, which is indicated in the title. In 1913, the next series appeared - XI, its power was already 24 liters. With. The car was called accordingly - K-12/24. Among the features of this model are:

- cylinders cast in a common block;

- one-way valve arrangement;

- thermosiphon cooling system.

The gearbox was installed separately from the engine, and the torque was transmitted to the rear wheels using a cardan shaft. The car weighed about 1200 kg, so the rear springs were ¾-elliptical, not semi-elliptical. The early series had a wheelbase of 2655millimeters, and in the later ones - 2855 mm.

The K-12 model was most often purchased for personal use, because it was the cheapest among the cars of the wagon plant. Nevertheless, we althy people often chose her. Among the owners of the K-12 in the back of a landole, several prominent personalities can be noted: Prince Konstantin Konstantinovich, Prince Boris Golitsyn, Count Sergei Witte, industrialist Eduard Nobel.

In total, the plant produced 141 copies of the K-12 car. They were presented in five series. Here is a description of the V series of 1911:

- engine - in-line, 4-cylinder, 2.2-liter, with lower valves;

- power - 12 horsepower at 1500 rpm;

- Gearbox - mechanical, three steps;

- frame - spar;

- brakes - drum, rear;

- suspension - leaf spring, dependent;

- top speed - 50 km/h;

- body - open, 4-seater.

Russo-B alt S-24

The most expensive RBVZ passenger car was the S-24, which was produced until 1918. A car with a 6-seater body has found wide application among staff members of the Russian army. Other bodies were also installed on its chassis: two-seater racing, luxury landole and limousines. There was even a half-track winter version - a snowmobile. The main feature of this car is the engine. Its cylinders were cast in two blocks, and the valves (lower) were located on both sides of the cylinders. Water was circulated through the cooling system using a centrifugal pump. Behind, between the springs, there was a gas tank,fuel from which was supplied to the engine compartment through the pressure of the exhaust gases. To make riding on cobblestones and dirt more comfortable, the rear suspension included three interconnected semi-elliptical springs: two longitudinal and one transverse. Depending on the type of body, the weight of the car was 1540-1950 kg.

Russo-B alt car: overview of models
Russo-B alt car: overview of models

The model was produced in nine series, each of which was better than the previous one. In 1912, the plant abandoned its carburetor and began to install the French Zenith carburetor on the S-24. This, together with a change in the profile of the cylinder cams, made it possible to raise the rated power from 30 to 35 horsepower. In the same year, the wheelbase was lengthened from 3160 to 3165 mm. In 1913, the power of the car was again increased by introducing a 4-speed gearbox.

In nine years, 347 C-24 models were produced. 285 of them had an open torpedo body. The rest were distributed approximately equally among limousines, landole and double-phaetons. This was the flagship "Russo-B alt" - a car, the reviews of the owners of which noted mainly its reliability and ease of maintenance.

Impression concept

Russo-B alt car: history
Russo-B alt car: history

Cars of the carriage plant were not forgotten, and quite recently there was an attempt to revive Russo-B alt. The car, whose history is even shorter than the legend about it, is associated with the original Russian car industry, so there are people who want to return it. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the brand has been owned by A:Level. In 2002 it was renamed Russo-B altigue. In 2006, the Impression concept was presented, in the development of which the German atelier German Gerg GmbH took part. It was planned to produce only 15 cars a year and sell them to collectors. However, the unusual concept could not interest almost anyone, and production was curtailed.

Model for tuple

Russo-B alt car 2013
Russo-B alt car 2013

After an attempted revival in 2006, the Russo-B alt brand was talked about again. In 2013, it was proposed to launch the production of special models for the presidential cortege. This would allow paying tribute to the great Russo-B alt brand. The 2013 car was supposed to be assembled on the Rolls-Royce-Phantom platform. Unfortunately, to this day this project has not been implemented.


So we learned what Russo-B alt (car) is. An overview of models, specifications and expert opinion helped us to give the most complete assessment of the first Russian auto brand. It’s a pity that it’s really difficult to call this car Russian. After all, it was built on the prototype of the Belgian model. Nevertheless, without the work of domestic designers, perhaps the world would not have known about the RussoB alt brand. The car definitely deserves attention, and it is quite possible that it will remind you of itself.

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