As we’ve mentioned here, here, here, here and here, Communist state-run vehicle manufacturers were almost universally crap. Thankfully they’ve almost universally been consigned to history too, but there are two notable exceptions.
The first is Lada, who – despite their notoriety for being crap – do probably have a bright future ahead of them. No longer controlled by the Russian state they’re now half owned by the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and that means they’ll start making quite good cars quite soon (yes really! We’ve been right before…).
The second exception is the maker of the grey beast pictured here, KamAZ. Founded in 1976 by the Soviet Government (as was everything in the Soviet Union at the time), KamAZ have gone on to become an unlikely success story. To date KamAZ have built well over 2million heavy duty trucks, with 43,000 rolling off their production lines each year.
Unlike other examples of ‘successful’ Soviet vehicles (where the vast numbers sold were because consumers had no other choice), KamAZ trucks are successful in the competitive open market, are world renowned for their toughness, and have won the legendary Dakar Rally a record thirteen times – winning every single stage of the event last year.
Still half owned by the Russian state (whose military rely on their products), KamAZ are now part owned by Daimler AG – better known as Mercedes-Benz – and turn over $3billion a year. Some of that success is down to this, the ultra heavy duty (but rubbishly named) KamAZ 63501 8×8 truck.
This stellar Lego example of the 63501 is the work of VovaRychkov, and he’s recreated the Russian titan beautifully. There’s lots more to see at Vova’s photostream – click the link above to take a closer look.