10 cars from the Baltic

Baltic cars can be divided into four groups. These are stamps that appeared when the Baltic states were part of the Russian Empire (for example, Russo-Balt or Leitner), and secondly, stamps that arose during the independence period (Ford-Vairogs), in the Soviet period (RAF, KAG) and in the post-Soviet period (Dartz).

RAF (Riga Bus Factory), Latvia. Everything is clear here: the well-known factory, founded in 1949 and starting with full-size buses RAF-651, subsequently became a supplier of minibuses for the entire Union. First, the RAF-977, then the RAF-2203 became iconic machines, but the factory could not withstand market competition, ruined in 1998. The picture shows a classic, RAF-977 “Latvia” (1959).

Dartz (Latvia). Riga-based manufacturer of ultra-expensive armored SUVs. Founded in 2008, most of the models produced by special order in a single copy. However, in addition to the Dartz Prombron 'civilian range, the company also has the Dartz Kombat line of military-police armored cars. In the picture - Dartz Prombron 'Monaco Red Diamond Edition (2013), at one time the former most expensive SUV in the world.

KAG (Kauno autobusų gamykla, Kaunas Bus Plant), Lithuania. It was founded in the late 1930s as a workshop for assembling bodies, after nationalization it received the name Kaunas Bus Plant and began to make full-fledged buses. The first post-war model, KAG-1, was based on the GAZ-51. In 1959, mass production was curtailed, but the plant produced special buses in small batches until 1979. The picture shows KAG-3 (1956).

Leitner (Latvia). Alexander Alexandrovich Leitner started in Riga in 1886 with the production of bicycles under the brand name "Russia", and from 1899 to 1906 he built cars. In 1915, the factory was evacuated to Kharkov, and in 1917 it finally closed. Pictured is a Leitner passenger car (1899).

Drive eO (Latvia). The company was founded in 2011 and specializes in electric vehicles and hybrids for special purposes, in particular - racing. The picture shows eO PP03 (2015), the first electric car in history to become the winner of the overall standings in the hill climb race in Pikes Peak.

"Riga, Latvia). The brand of mopeds manufactured at the Sarkana Zvayzzne factory from 1958 to 1998. The plant itself was founded in 1927 and produced bicycles, in 1940 it was nationalized. In the picture - a moped “Riga-24 ″ RMZ-2.124 (1986).

Rexer (Estonia). A company specializing in the production of light sports kit cars since 1991. Pictured here is the Rex R12 kit, an AC Cobra replica, the only model ever made.

ESTfield (Estonia). The manufacturer of kit cars based on Lotus 7. Based in Tartu, it offers cars of different capacities. The picture shows a forced version with a V8 engine.

Baltijas Džips (Latvia). The company existed from 1996 to 2002 and produced SUVs. True, in very small batches, since it was not very good with orders. The picture shows the only production model Baltijas Džips BD-1322 Tantor (1998), about 10 copies were made.

"Estonia" (Estonia). Legendary Soviet "formulas". Production arose thanks to engineer Ants Seiler on the basis of Tallinn Automobile Repair Plant No. 1, the first “Estonia-1” was released in 1958. Subsequently, production became serial, and Estonia became the main supplier of “formulas” for Soviet auto racing. After the collapse of the USSR, production was curtailed; in the 1990s, several more individual “Estonia” appeared. The picture shows “Estonia 21-10” for Formula 1600 (1987).

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