In 1939, the Bureau of the pilot plant was developed by VMS it’s own Soviet sports car the ZIS-101A-Sport, which was not only examined, but also approved the country’s leadership – IV Stalin! But, first things first (see picture below).

In 1938, Soviet motor racing despite all the efforts and zeal was in its infancy. Some experimentation  has been done in the production of light aluminum body parts, and special tires capable of speeds of 150 km / h, as well as spark plugs and carburetors other than that mass production didn’t exist.  The production of sports cars were limited to the masters of DIY and sports clubs. The GAZ-GL1 that Eugene Agitova designed at the factory, wasn’t even close to approaching the world class level.

In the same year at the KB pilot plant plant named after Stalin a group of  three young men – Vladimir Kremenetskiy Nicholas Pulmanov and Anatoly Puhalin worked together. The latter was just finishing his diploma work on the Moscow road and wrote a dissertation  on “sports cars”. It was by his invitation that the Young Communists set about trying to create a sports car.


After trying to choose the right gear it was decided to use the latest modification of the modern car – ZIS-101, which had been produced since 1936. This vehicle more than anything else was  a limousine! It was huge – the length of almost 6 meters in length – about 2 meters wide, weighing 2.5 tons! Making a roadster out of this car was just plain crazy. Or otherwise just a youthful idea.

Puhalin created the basic layout, redesigned the suspension on the ZIS-101: In particular it received anti-roll bars, also included was a vacuüm brake booster. The rear axle was fitted with hyoid gears (incidentally, the first in the USSR) was designed by Kremenetskiy, Pulmanov took up the design of the motor . He boosted the engine significantly by 101 percent, increasing speed, compression ratio, and changing the valve timing. They used a Straight inline eight cylinder Engine with  5766 cc. the volume was increased to 6060 cc., the Head block, pistons, connecting rods,  were aluminum, and other crankshaft, camshaft, intake manifold, two carburetors MKZ-A2 without an air filter. The capacity increased by half – from 90 to 141 hp at 3300 rev/min. In the revised gearbox synchronizers appeared conical and overdrive.  The gearbox – standard from the ZIS-101A.

The approach of the car design was fundamentally different from what it had been before. It made a single streamlined body on the chassis of the ZIS-101. It was too easy! Valentine Sprout was hired to paint the automobile.  He was a good designer,  moreover, it was perfectly painted with the right colors. So during a work session sketches of the car were produced , from which he selected the best.

Because the power plant was very long and very hard to improve the balance of the axles and drive-train moved the double cockpit was moved to the far back. In addition the ZIS-101A-Sport had a removable canopy, the air intake was on the bonnet along with the headlights, these were set into the front fairing wings. The base car was a huge la coupe – 3750 mm, length – 5750mm.

It wasn’t just on paper, but it embodied an idea that of the time wasn’t yet possible. Making the foundry models, accessories diagrams dies, tooling, wooden dummy for the body could only be achieved by enthusiastic people, which created a challenge to make it feasible. The authorities were contacted.

They reacted to the request for assistance for the most part unexcited. The quality of the ZIS-101, which it’s increased demands, left much to be desired. The state commission headed by EA Chudakov, visited the then head of the Automotive Department  VAMM Red Army, where he worked for the notorious Nikitin SA, he identified a number of shortcomings (in particular – it was necessary to reduce the weight of the  ZIS-101 a minimum of 600-700 kg), given the necessary recommendations. It was advised the primary thing to do.


It helped, as has often happened in the Soviet era, with the response of another loud anniversary – two decades of wishful thinking. In the long list of gifts from the Mother Motherland plant, along with the above-planned cars, and through the efforts of Kremenets, entered and ZIS-101A-Sport. October 17, 1938, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” published an article “Athletic limo” with a sketch of the sprout. Country of the gift found out about the present talk, it was too late to retreat. How, after all, is perverse fate! Only yesterday, for work on sports cars guys would have been shot as pests, but today – would be shot if the car was not ready in time. Had nowhere to retreat, and December 11, 1938 issued an order Lihechev N11, which was painted in detail the who, what and when should make for a sporty sedan.

Working out the design a sports car for the first time in Soviet history was controlled almost at the highest level. After all, the ZIS-101A-sport depended very much, and it all perfectly understood. The car has no body to run in the plant, eliminated the deficiencies, “childhood diseases” design. Finally, the first exit on the fully assembled, painted, polished car. Behind the wheel sat Pulmanov near – Puhalin. Kremenets watched their creation looks the part. Young Komsomol did not know that they were not only the first but the last car …

And so, the presentation of the car to senior management of the country. Piece of the wall of the Union House, where the show was scheduled for the night was dismantled at the hands have a two-ton car lobby, and before dawn led facade in order. Able to work when you need! The operation led personally VMS Director Ivan Likhachev. In the morning, none of the delegates and guests of the Moscow Party Conference is not passed by the car, not paying attention to him. But the main thing: Stalin himself, but for him and other members of the Politburo, not only visited, but also approved an unusual car.

But the young designers in the first place troubled sea trials. So far managed to develop only 168 km / h, but in test mode and not in the official competition, so the result was not counted. In 1940, the ZIS-101A-Sports at the 43rd kilometer of the Minsk highway dispersed to 162.4 km / h in the same 1940 Open VMS-102 score of 153 km / h. However, the design of 180 km / h were very real.

Prospects for the car were huge, but in 1939 Likhachev appointed People’s Commissar of Medium Machine Building (although in 1940, Stalin was removed from his post and once again became director of the plant, but the Great Patriotic War), and the new director of ZIS-101A-Sport is not needed. Constructors and enthusiastic life, too, parted: Kremenets stayed at the factory, but was engaged in rigging for machining Pulmanov went to graduate school Automotive Institute and Puhalin – in the missile industry. Only shoots continued to work with cars: long labored ZISe (later ZIL), then in U.S., participated in the creation of many postwar already ZISov and ZIL, including sports.

The experience gained in creating the most serious domestic pre-war sports car, able to compete with road “Bentley” and “Mercedes” of those times, the country is almost useful. Only a portion of the post-war ZIS-101A installed aluminum cylinder heads, raising power to 110 hp. with. Design finds V. sprout is also not useful – ZIS-110 was ordered to copy the American model.

The fate of the VMS-101A-Sport is not known. According to some sources he is rotten at the back of the factory, but other … others maintain that the dark-green roadster someone somewhere saw in the 1960s. However, the first statement is more real – this was the fate of most domestic counterparts.

Vintage Russian Sports Car – ZIS-101A-Sport In 1939, the Bureau of the pilot plant was developed by VMS it’s own Soviet sports car the ZIS-101A-Sport, which was not only examined, but also approved the country’s leadership - IV Stalin!
Russian Legend – Slovo, the Tale – Part One

Slovo, the Tale The Story of Igor is a long Russian ballad from the 12th century, therefore I’ve decided to break it into parts.

Russian Legend – Slovo, the Tale – Part One

Slovo, the Tale The Story of Igor is a long Russian ballad from the 12th century, therefore I’ve decided to break it into parts.

Quotes by Famous Russians – Leo Tolstoy

The chief difference between words and deeds is that words are always intended for men for their approbation, …

Quotes by Famous Russians – Leo Tolstoy

The chief difference between words and deeds is that words are always intended for men for their approbation, …

Quotes by Famous Russians – Leo Tolstoy

Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have…

Quotes by Famous Russians – Leo Tolstoy

Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have…

How Sanctions Are Affecting Us

How Sanctions Are Affecting Us


Here’s another Expat living in the motherland. He like some of the other expat here are beginning to feel the sanctions. It’s life and we are all learning to live with it. This post show how resilient people are when it comes to things like this. Sanctions don’t work.

Originally posted on ships are for sailing:

Overall, the sanctions seem to be a little commical. Life is going on as…

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Ignorance is not bliss - Part Two

Ignorance is not bliss – Part Two

The man behind the blog

The man behind the blog

Personal views

The views expressed in my ‘Thailand Diaries’ are entirely my own, other than quoted sources, gained from personal observation, experiences, talking to others, living life in different parts of Thailand and spending time elsewhere. I recount true incidents, with a little poetic license, use interesting information both factual and opinionated from reliable…

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Severe Weather hitting Far East of Russia

Hurricane hits Sakhalin Region June 14, 2014 - RUSSIA - As Friday the 13th’s (bad) luck would have it, a devastating hurricane hit the Sakhalin Region in Russia’s Far East, ripping off roofs, knocking down trees and power lines, cutting electricity for nearly 20,000 residents.

Calcutta is me

When you long to travel, but don’t have the time remember that others have been there and can share thoughts, feelings, and love for these locations.

Ignorance is not bliss - Part One

Ignorance is not bliss – Part One


Sometimes when you find a new blog the content and writing just stand out over the crowd. Actually James found me first, then like usual I go exploring to see what the rest of the world is up to. Jamorokiis a great website about Thailand. He writes very candidly about his travels, his home, and paints a picture with words that is quite intriguing. You will find a bit of humor in his…

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Top Ten most Dangerous Animals of Russia

Top Ten most Dangerous Animals of Russia


10. The dreaded  MosquitoNo but really in spite of their size, these buggers are really quite dangerous. In Russian territory there’s no need to worry about malaria or yellow fever, except perhaps along our southern border. Even so, these little buzzing pests are absolutely going to “suck your blood” in the direct and the figurative sense. However, wood-bane and crosses won’t work but modern…

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Quotes by Famous Russians – Leo Tolstoy

Счастлив тот, кто счастлив у себя́ дома. Happy is he who is happy at home.

Quotes by Famous Russians – Leo Tolstoy

Счастлив тот, кто счастлив у себя́ дома. Happy is he who is happy at home.

Quotes by Famous Russians – Mikhail Lermontov

Я был готов люби́ть весь мир, меня́ никто́ не по́нял: и я вы́учился ненави́деть. I was ready to love the world,

Quotes by famous Russians – Alexander Puskin

Чем мéньше же́нщину мы любим, тем легче нра́вимся мы ей. The less we love a woman, the easier we please her.

Quotes by famous Russians – Alexander Puskin

Чем мéньше же́нщину мы любим, тем легче нра́вимся мы ей. The less we love a woman, the easier we please her.

Left: Barge on Aquaduct crossing the Barrow – Top right: Crow Bridge (no longer exists) – Bottom right: Lord Edward’s Own
Monasterevin Re-inactment Group -Below: Civil War
Monasterevin Re-enactment Group – Images courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage & © Ed Mooney Photography

20 BOM web

The Battle of Monasterevin

The arrival of the Moore’s/ Earls of Drogheda marked another important turning point in the history of the town. It was during the Moore’s occupancy that the town started to take shape and grow. The First Earl had laid out the streets at the center of Dublin, Drogheda ( O’Connell) Street Moore Street, Henry Street and Mary Street. His descendants continued this tradition of town planning by laying out the grid-pattern of the town with the parallel Main Street and Drogheda Street. As I mentioned earlier, Monasterevin has an unusual number of Bridges for a town of its size, hence the nick-name ‘Venice of Ireland’. The arrival of the Grand Canal in 1786 only enhances the claim to this name. Originally the spur connecting the main line the Barrow in Athy was carried down the bank by locks in to Barrow and up the other side. The arrival of the Grand Canal gave rise to a local distillery and allowed it to flourish. The big players in this industry were the Cassidy family who’s whiskey and St. Patrick Cross Pale Ale was world famous. They remains of these two industrial premises can still be seen today on the Dublin Road. It is said that the canal was used to transport thousands of barrels of both Whiskey and Ale each year. The wealth acquired by the Cassidy’s Brewing industry gave them a lot of influence in the area. In 1798, one of the Cassidy’s was the local magistrate.In 1798 insurgents from the local clans marched on the town in an attempt to capture it. This became known as the ‘Battle of Monasterevin’ which took place in the Main Street outside St. Johns church. The Churchyard had however been fortified by local Yeoman and a group of Militia. Following a charge by the Yeoman the rebels were sent packing.

Top left: Market square with Fr. Prendergast Monument – Top right: Main Street – Right middle: Old Railway Masters House – Bottom: Train Station – Images courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage

The Great Potato Famine

Later that year, local Priest, Fr. Edward Prendergast was arrested for administering to the wounded rebels at their camp and sentenced to death. He was hanged in the garden of Monasterevin House. Before he could be buried, a group of daring rebels snuck into the town by boat and retrieved the priest corpse, to return it to his hometown of Harristown. There was a Celtic-style cross monument erected in the town square in memory of Father Prendergast. The 19th century marked further improvements including the construction of a new town bridge in 1832 and the arrival of the railway. With the mass scale evictions of tenant farmers during this period and the Holocaust which was called the great famine in the 1840’s, Monasterevin was mostly unaffected and continued to prosper. Designed in 1846 by William Deane Butler, but never completed, St. Peter & St. Paul’s Church began construction. The interiors were completed by William Hague around 1880. The original intention was for twin spires to adorn the main front. Behind the facade, the church is quite simple with a continuous nave and choir and lean-to aisles. One regular visitor to the town was the famous poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. Our housing estate, Hopkins Haven, was named after him.

Left: Early Cassidy Label – Middle: Cassidy Sign showing how the town looked on Dublin Street – Right: Bottle of Cassidy Whiskey – Images courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage

28 coin1-horz

Cassidy Coin
(These were issued to workers brining goods to the distillery and could be used in the local pubs and shops in exchange for goods.)
Image courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage

Ireland’s armed struggle for freedom

By the turn of the 20th century Irish Nationalism was on the rise. In 1900 the a fore mentioned monument to Fr. Prendergast was erected at the top end of Main Street. In 1903 the Gordon Bennet Motor Race took place with Monasterevin hosting one of the stages of this high speed race. Then the arrival of the Great War (World War 1) saw many young men from the town join the British Army, fighting in famous groups such as the Leinster Regiment and the Connaught Rangers. I always saw this as a strange move considering that Germany was a big supporter of Ireland’s armed struggle for freedom. Perhaps many of these young Irish men, many whom perished on the western front, actually believed that by supporting Britain in the war effort, they would somehow gain a free Ireland. During the War of Independence the town suffered the unwanted attention of the Black and Tans, (a force of temporary constables recruited to assist the Royal Irish Constabulary and were notorious for their attacks on civilians and civilian property). Perhaps it was for this reason that the railway lines around the town became prime targets for the IRA.

Left: Monasterevin Emergency Force 1944 Moore Abbey – Top right: Count John McCormack – Bottom right: Baronial Hall, Moore Abbey
Images courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage
Left below: Monasterevin House – Once the home of the Cassidy family, now home to the Presentation Sisters. Right below: The Hulk -
Built in 1734 the Hulk was originally a “Charter School” set up to educate orphaned Protestant children
Images: © Ed Mooney Photography

“The Emergency”

In 1925 the world famous tenor Count John McCormack took up residency at Moore Abbey. It was here that he entertained many famous guests as well as recording his albums in the Baronial Hall, with one of the scenes from his film Song of My Heart being filmed in the grounds. I was lucky enough to shoot a private concert in the gorgeous baronial hall as part of the Venice of Ireland festival a couple of years ago with another famous Irish singer, Luka Bloom providing the entertainment for the evening. With World War 2, which became known as ‘The Emergency’ in Ireland, due to our neutrality status, 45 Monasterevinians prepared to defend itself against any aggressor by raising its own Local Defence Force, preparing its famous bridges for demolition, and building a pillbox to defend the town. The engineering works on the Dublin Road of Samuel E. Holmes produced grenades for the army.

Top left: The Siege of Monasterevin – Top right: Monasterevin under siege – Top right middle: Being questioned by the police – Bottom: Eddie Gallagher Arrested – Image courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage

“Siege at Monasterevin”

By 1975 Monasterevin came into the International News, when on the morning of the 21st of October Gardai surrounded a house in St. Evin’s Park. Of Inside were the kidnappers of Dr. Tiede Herrema the “Siege at Monasterevin” lasted seventeen days ending on the 7th of November with the surrender of the kidnappers and the freedom of Dr. Herrema. And so we reach the end of our journey through the history of the town that was bypassed by the M7 motorway in 2004 and became my family home in 2007. Volumes of books could be written going into details about all that has occurred here over the centuries. It was never my intention for this to be a definitive article on the history of Monasterevin. I wrote this piece in the hope that it gives a broad general view of the history that shaped the town and its people over the years.


“Venice of Ireland’ comes to “Life in Russia” – Part II Left: Barge on Aquaduct crossing the Barrow - Top right: Crow Bridge (no longer exists) - Bottom right: Lord Edward’s Own…

Life in Russia has a very special guest blogger today. He is the Ruin Hunter of Ireland, “Edward Mooney” aka Eddie. I’ve followed his blog Ed Mooney Photography almost as long as I’ve blogged. He is a gifted photographer who not only has a great eye but shares the history behind his photos. He combines this history with Old Ruins, Folklore & Mythology that will intrigue all those who love the mystery and romance of the old castles and ruins of Ireland. He claims that he was a late starter in his photography work but something tells me this talent was always there. Eddie lives in Monasterevin with his wife and three little assistant ruin hunters. His website is here. You can also follow him on Facebook, flickr, and twitter.

1 Monasterevin

Image courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage

“Build a bridge, and get over it”

My Father-in-law is notorious for using a certain phrase when dealing with the various problems that pop up in life and it goes a little something like this, ‘Build a bridge, and get over it’. Well for thousands of years the human race, have done just that. Especially in my hometown of Monasterevin (Mhainistir Eimhín). So much so that Monasterevin has also become known as ‘The Venice of Ireland’ due to the excessive amount of bridges for a town of its size. Back in prehistory the landscape of the area was shaped by glacial activity. The melt water from the retreating ice-sheet formed out-wash plains of gravel to the east and west which became the Curragh in Kildare and the Great Heath in Laois respectively. The land in between the two plains on which Monasterevin is situated consists mostly of limestone which provided a perfect path for the formation of the river Barrow (Baru) and its tributaries the Black and the Figile. Traces of Neolithic man in the area put the first settlements here between 4000-2500BC. The deforestation by these farmers caused the peat bogs to form. A Dolmen which was the only one left in Kildare, (sadly now collapsed), once marked the burial of an important tribal figure in the area. Literally hundreds of stone axe heads were discovered on the riverbed at the three major crossing points within the town.

Images courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage

The spirit of the Barrow

These finds show just how important Monasterevin was as a fording point. It is believed that the Neolithic travelers would have sacrificed these valuable axe heads to the spirit of the Barrow. For many years Monasterevin was just the sleepy rural town that you passed through on the main road from Dublin to Limerick, until in 2004 the town was bypassed with the construction of the M& motorway, which took large volumes of traffic and passing trade out of the town. What many don’t realize is that the town has a rich and eventful history that spans from the Neolithic right up to modern day. With tales of Neolithic crossroads, Bronze Age antiquities, Early Christian Settlements, Rebellion and industrial innovation, Monasterevin is a far cry from the sleepy rural town many think it to be. Evidence of several earthwork enclosures dating from the Bronze Age (2500–500 BC) suggests that there were a number of small farmers in the area during this period. One such earthwork which still exists at the top of the town where the river Figile meets the Barrow is known as the Aquafort.

Left: Drawbridge 1977 – Top Right: Moore Abbey from across the Barrow – Bottom right: Market Square
Images courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage

8 Draw BridgeDrawbridge 2013
© Ed Mooney Photography

The Age of hero’s

During its use the water levels are believed to have been far higher than today, which would have made it far harder to attack. This was the beginning of the age of hero’s in Ireland, where many famous Kings, Warriors, Druids and Bards inhabited a magical land. By the arrival of the Iron age (500 BC – 400 AD) the bog land which surrounds the town had been fully formed and fortified settlement of the area continued. Although travelling through the area was difficult, the importance of a ford on the Barrow meant that this problem would be overcome. Eventually the equivalent of an ancient motorway was constructed through the bog land. Known as the ‘Danes Road’, and constructed by placing large planks of wood on top of a foundation of brushwood. The base layer of brushwood evenly spread out the weight of the large planks, thus providing a stable platform for crossing the bog lands. Not bad for an ancient race of people whom many would consider to be far inferior to ourselves with our modern science and technology. This way of building roads was in fact so good that it was used by chariots. St. Brigid is said to have ordered the construction of a similar road. Also during this period we have what became known as the Monasterevin Type Disc’s. Said to date from 1st or 2nd century A.D. These Bronze disc’s which were unique to Ireland. Out of the several discs in existence only two were found in the Monasterevin area. The reason they are referred to as Monasterevin Type is because there is no record of where the other five were found. Little is known about these discs and most documentation only accounts for how they were made.

Left: Bell Harbour & Crow Bridge – Right: Barge passing under the Drawbridge

Images courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage

Left: River Barrow – Right: Bell Harbour now

Images courtesy of © Ed Mooney Photography

“Tripartite life of St. Patrick”

With the arrival of Christianity in Ireland circa (300-400AD) many change occurred all across Ireland. The ancient ways were absorbed into the new religion and a new culture took over. St Evin, from which Monasterevin takes its name, established his monastery here in the 6th century, on the banks of the Barrow after serving some time at Rosglas. Evin was said to have a good political mind and was responsible for achieving special status for Monasterevin which placed the area outside common law, in effect making it a place of sanctuary. His famous bell was said to have been used for swearing oaths and was much in demand by tribes of the region for guaranteeing peace treaties. St. Evin is also said to have had a hand in the writing of the “Tripartite life of St. Patrick”. Other writing by Evin survives including the “Cain Emhin”. The monastery is said to have died out by the time the Vikings began their raids in Ireland, but the importance of the site continued. In 903 AD the battle of Ballaghmoon was fought for the ownership of the church of Evin. It would be almost 500 years later before another major religious establishment would occupy the site of Evins monastery. This time it was a Cistercian Abbey founded by Diarmuid O Dempsey. O’Dempsey was the head of the clan whom controlled much of the surrounding area during the 12th century. During this time the importance of Monasterevin as a crossing point on the Barrow came into play.

Left: The Marquis of Drogheda – Top right: Rent Book from 1837 – Bottom right: Entrance to Moore Abbey

Images courtesy of Monasterevin Heritage

16 Railway BridgeRailway Bridge

Image courtesy of © Ed Mooney Photography

Crossing the bridge one final time

With the O’Mores to the west and the Norman Earls of Kildare in the east, Monasterevin ended up in the middle of a power struggle between the two opposing sides. The Abbots at Monasterevin whom held a seat in Parliament had to play a dangerous game of politics, whilst assisting the native clans in their fight against the English crown. By 1541 the Abbey was handed over to Henry VIII during the suppression of the monasteries. As was the case with many similar sites Henry would lease them to his Nobles. During the Elizabethan period there were several occupants including Sir Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex after whom Essex Bridge is named. Also known as the Pass Bridge after he passed over it on his way to a failed campaign against the native Irish clans in Munster. Nobody can be certain if this was the last time he used the bridge but some believe that he crossed the bridge one final time on his way back to England for a date with the headsman’s block at the Tower of London. In 1613 Sir Adam Loftus whom later became Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1619, was granted the Abbey and Demesne at Monasterevin, which in turn passed on to the Earls of Drogheda after they married into the Loftus family. It was the fourth Earl whom sold their estates at Mellifont and moved the family seat to Monasterevin.

To be continued…………..

“Venice of Ireland” comes to “Life in Russia” Life in Russia has a very special guest blogger today. He is the Ruin Hunter of Ireland…