This work covers the motor vehicle industry in Russia prior to World War I and provides data on steam vehicles, electric vehicles, motor cars, trucks, motor cycles and military vehicles. The writer spent time in the former USSR researching the book, and to his knowledge it is the most comprehensive account of the subject ever produced. The archives of the Polytechnical Museum in Moscow were consulted in depth, and a large number of Russian books in the author's possession have also been examined to achieve a reliable report.
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.
About the author
MAURICE KELLY had a public school education and subsequently matriculated before going into the armed forces, where he was staff on a troopship. He was initially employed in the aircraft industry as a development engineer, and was a member of a team involved in the making of the boundary layer system on the Blackburn Buccaneer NA-39 seaborne fighter; other projects included the manufacture of the first atomic bomb release mechanism that was made by hand, together with various items for the Blue Streak programme. In 1960 he went to sea as an engineering officer in the British Merchant Navy and the Royal Research Service as well as the Marina Mercante de Republica de Panama, remaining in this capacity until 1979. After leaving seafaring he worked as an ISO9000 quality consultant and as a technical author. He has five published works on engineering subjects, and specialised in historical road transport.