RAZ (Ростов-на-Дону автозавод, clarification: Rostov-na-Donu AvtoZavod) is a car factory in the city of Rostov-na-Donu, which was founded in 1930 to initially manufacture trucks and 4x4 cars for the military. In 1970, due to low sales, RAZ focused on passenger cars. To prevent the RAZ from becoming a competitor to Lada, the cars were initially 3-cylinder and rear-engined, for the RAZ to remain in the passenger car market. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, RAZ went bankrupt because former Soviet people no longer needed RAZ cars after Western cars also hit the eastern bloc.
RAZ нести (Bear)
RAZ нести (Bear), was a 4x4 car made by RAZ. The army wanted a lightweight but powerful engine to be fitted with 4x4 cars. The RAZ 1200 engine was born, which was also used in civilian cars.
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RAZ 1200 ArmyVan
The RAZ 1200 ArmyVan was a Soviet Army car, but it is also intended for use by police in the Eastern Bloc.
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RAZ 1200 Moscow
When the calendar turned to 1970, the army no longer wanted army cars from RAZ . RAZ turned to civilian cars and developed the RAZ 1200 Moscow. In order to not become a competitor to Lada, the RAZ was ordered to make 3-cylinder and rear-engined cars, if RAZ was going to stay in the civilian car market.
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RAZ 1700 Sport
RAZ also tried their luck in car racing. Drawings were made and a wooden prototype was built. To make it through the car race, the engine was increased to 1.7 liters and finally the engine developed 95 horsepower. In the races, the car’s number is 17, which comes from the engine volume.
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While most of the cars here are very utilitarian, the 1700 Sport is out of character for the brand, to say the least. But its 1.8-litre three-cylinder engine, no matter how powerful it is, is so uncouth that it literally sends shivers down occupants’ spines.