All-terrain vehicles on low-pressure tires are a fairly popular means of transportation in the conditions of our severe off-road conditions. Such an idea was born back in Soviet times. A lot of enthusiastic craftsmen assembled machines for personal use, even exhibitions of such vehicles were held. Alterations were made to factory models of motorcycles and cars.
In the end, a unique product came out that opened up unlimited possibilities in cross-country ability.
The history of all-terrain vehicles on low pressure tires
For a relatively short historical period, technological progress in the field of vehicles conquered all the elements - earth, water, air, as well as the outer space. But here's the paradox: when ocean liners at full speed stuck in icebergs, when airplanes ceased to be exotic, and cars strengthened both as luxury and as a means of transportation, only snowy plains remained unconquered. The task of minimizing the specific load of the wheels (skis) of the motor unit per square centimeter of snow seemed impossible.
Ernest Shackleton was chosen to be the leader of the British Imperial Antarctic Expedition that left for Antarctica in 1907 aboard the ship Nimrod.
The car was a modified Arrol-Johnston with 15 horsepower air cooled engine. It was donated for free and used as an advertisement. Unfortunately however the petrol engine had not been tested in extreme cold and a suitable system for providing traction in snow had not been devised and the car couldn't moved an inch
Eventually the car was used in few occasion because it could only run on hard smooth surfaces which are not so common in Antarctica.
Usually it was used as far as possible until the wheels became stuck in snow, finally this car only came within 150 kilometers of the pole, somestimes manhauling the sledge. Ironically suffering from overheating of the engine, so the men had to wait in the cold for it to cool down again before it could run.
The second attempt to conquer the snow plains was made thanks to the advent of the aircraft attaching to the sleigh an its engine, by the Russian engineer Kuzin in 1912. The idea for those times turned out to be so revolutionary that already during the Civil War, an entire commission was created to organize the construction of snowmobiles. Snowmobiles actively worked "in the north" as postman and, of course, for the war. However, the obvious drawbacks of this snowmobile: the ability to move only in open and level terrain and the inability to overcome a climb , stopped the development of this kind of vehicles.
In the post-war years, a wide variety of techniques were used: tracked, ski-tracked, etc. However, the most promising were the development of models of wheeled all-terrain vehicles on pneumatics.
Pneumatics are wheels of large radius and ultra-low pressure (from 0.15 to 0.5 atmospheres), allowing the machine not to fall through on loose snow, confidently move on the mud and even swim.
The idea was growing up by the popular thought. Back in the early 70s, the habitants of the north the country, who spent all their free time ice-fishing on the seaside for long winters, trimmed the cameras from the truck to the motorcycle, and they got the so-called karakat - a machine that can easily move through the fluffy snow, not drowning in it and quite nimble (speed reached 25 km / h). And so that the camera after inflation did not inflate to the size of a giant donut, it was tied by belts around the entire circumference. These belts, by the way, did an excellent job because the wheels did not slip in the snow.
Without reinventing the wheel, Arktiktrans replaced the motorcycle with an useless motorbike and the snow-and-swamp vehicle “Nara” turned out, a floating all-terrain vehicle on low-pressure tires. The base for it was the rather light motorized stroller SMZ S-3D.
The word "snow and swamp truck" was born during the certification of the product: there were snowmobiles, swamps too, but the world had never seen such a thing. Small all-terrain vehicles "Nara", made on the basis of a motorbike were bought by geologists and residents of the northern regions.
The "Artic" model was an already quite industrial development made by ecommissioned combat aircrafts. So “karakat” found a cabin-body made of a MiG-23 fuel tank, sawn in half.
The most important thing with this kind of vehicles was their fantastic cross-country ability. Due to the low pressure, the pneumatics seem to flatten out on the surface, forming a large contact spot. And without that, the mass of the all-terrain vehicle, distributed over several of these same spots, creates a specific pressure on the soil several times lower than it will put pressure on the same soil of the wheelprint.
Moreover, a large contact surface allows you to implement significant traction to drag a trailer with a considerable load.
But that is not all. Pneumatics allow the these cars to easily swim without even touching the bottom of the water surface. In this case, they act both as a mover and as a displacement volume. Float pneumatics plunge into the water somewhere up to half their diameter and work like the wheels of a steamer
Other Russian manufacturers of all-terrain vehicles have taken the path of creating prototype cars, that is, automobiles that are recognized as Niv and UAZ bodies. Either the native body or the Niva’s cab is placed on the frame from the UAZ, and the bridges are raised so that the wheels are nicely sized - just gigantic - 1300 mm in diameter, 600 mm wide.
These monsters are super-effective on the snow. These cars weigh almost 2.5 tons and there are not very comfortable in the cabin. A huge spare wheel takes up the entire rear compartment of the cab.
Below, we show you a series of vehicles of this kind. Regardless of the year of construction or if they are homemade cars or not
Next week, we will see biggest compilation of this unusual kind of vehicles, with more than 20 modern Tire Low Pressure SUV manufacturers in Russia.
There is very little information about it, but not all classic cars you saw are really old. Some of them are more modern than your own car, sorry.
Being a continuation series, the new cars will receive a unique code and will be listed in the official brand registry. They will perfectly replicate both aesthetically and mechanically but are upgraded to contemporary standards, with HTP FIA-approval
Theses cars are acceptable for the FIA Historic Technical Passport (HTP) regulations that is a document that sets out the technical specification of the car for the homologation period requested and making them eligible for historic racing.
Prices are varied, they usually oscillate between € 100,000 and € 550,000 approximately
1. Authorized manufacturers
It is the most common case, there are a number of authorized manufacturers, especially for the manufacture of Shelby cobras and GT40s.
For example, for the GT40 you can find brands like Superformance, Gelscoe motorsport and Holman. If you are looking for a Shelby FIA Continuation Series you will find automakers like Shelby (Original one), All Pro Cars, Kirkham Motorsports and Superformance
2. Using a Damage Chassis
Spray-Tec directly uses a totally damaged chassis and rebuilds the car on it, so the matching numbers remain the original. It can be considered as a recreation or as an amazing restoration work. They also recreate, under the same pretext, the Aston Martin DB4
Bob Norwood is offering a California Spyder rebody at a fraction of the original one's price, about 600k$. The chassis is shortened from the 2+2 configuration to SWB Ferrari length and, using three-dimensional digital scanning technology, is rebodied in alloy to the same dimensions as the original Ferrari California GT 250 Spyder. Each of the cars in this limited production retains the original 330 serial number and is a real Ferrari, not a replica.
Here you can see the full list of Ferrari replica automakers
3. Original Automakers
Many original brands are building again classic cars under the original specifications according the requirements to be to be eligible as a FIA Continuation Series
Yes, you can call Bentley today to buy this car like any other current model
The same thing happens with Jaguar
Jaguar Classic is re-starting production of the iconic D‑type race car in Coventry, 62 years after the last example was built in 1956. Just 25 new examples of the D‑type will be meticulously hand-built at Jaguar. In 1955 Jaguar planned to build 100 D-types. With only 75 completed, Jaguar Classic is now fulfilling the company’s original ambition by creating 25 all-new, period-correct sports cars.
Jaguar also recreate six units of the Jaguar E-Type Lightweight.
Here you can see a full list of Jaguar replica manufacturers
Other car brands like Lola, Crosslé, Chevron, Scarab and Lister keep manufacturing FIA Continuation Series in very limited series
For the reborn of Chaparral brand to revive their iconic 2E, Chaparral uses original body molds,original engineering drawings and they even employ some of the people from the original team
Having original plans it's very important to creates high added value cars, and much more important for the FIA Continuation Series. For example, Gelscoe Motorsport have the GT40 original drawings. Unseen for over 25 years and thought to have been destroyed when FAV closed it’s doors for the final time. The wooden drawing cabinet you see in this picture is the original FAV chest containing the only original and complete set of GT40 drawings in existence.
AC Cars Ltd (Malta)
The AC Ace 221 is based on the original body style that was developed for the Rudd Speed version of the Ace in 1960 in combination with chassis, suspension and body modifications that were developed by the AC engineering team for the installation of the then new 221 cu in. Ford V-8 engine including slight flaring of the fenders in order to accommodate wider wheels and tires on all four corners.
The Ace Bristol is a continuation of the famous 1954 AC Ace that dominated racing in the US and abroad throughout the late 1950’s. Today AC provides mounting configuration for both the Ford EcoBoost 2 L 4 cylinder and 2.7 L 6 cylinder engines. The shape of the original Ace Bristol is maintained however the dimensions of the passenger compartment are slightly increased to accommodate the 95% of typical drivers and passengers in today’s marketplace. The Ace has four wheel independent wishbone suspension, coil over shocks, modern disc brakes, differential, electronics and interior amenities.
AC was incorporated in Malta in 2002 until 2007. The AC MKIII went into series production in July 2012 after two years of intense prototyping and development but this car is not in current production.
Similar cases happen with some reborn or revival series. They are not intended to get the FIA HTP because they are not destined for racing series, but the essence it's the same. These following cars are documented in the official registers of their respective brands
Alvis cars were produced by the manufacturer Alvis Car and Engineering Company Ltd of Coventry, United Kingdom from 1919 to 1967. Nowadays, Alvis, is resuming production of the most emblematic Alvis models from the original works drawings and using remanufactured parts
In 1936 Atalanta’s innovative approach to sports car design produced arguably the most technically advanced British sports car of the era, but only 21 original cars were produced
The Atalanta ‘Revival’ car embraces the elegance and style of the 1930’s original, remaining true to the original Atalanta design principles, and where appropriate employs the use of modern materials and technology to ensure reliability, performance and safety.
Other revival series cars