Russo-Balt was one of the first Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n companies that produced cars between 1909 and 1923.

Russo-Baltic Wagon Corp.

The Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory was founded in 1874 in Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

, then a major industrial centre of Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. Originally the new company was a subsidiary of the Van der Zypen & Charlier company in Cologne-Deutz
Cologne-Deutz, often just Deutz, is an inner city part of Cologne, Germany and a formerly independent town.Lufthansa's headquarters are in Deutz.-History:...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. In 1894 the majority of its shares were sold to investors in Riga and St. Petersburg, among them local Baltic German
Baltic German
The Baltic Germans were mostly ethnically German inhabitants of the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, which today form the countries of Estonia and Latvia. The Baltic German population never made up more than 10% of the total. They formed the social, commercial, political and cultural élite in...

 merchants F. Meyer, K. Amelung, and Chr. Schroeder, as well as Schaje Berlin, a relative of Isaiah Berlin
Isaiah Berlin
Sir Isaiah Berlin OM, FBA was a British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas of Russian-Jewish origin, regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century and a dominant liberal scholar of his generation...

. The company eventually grew to 3,800 employees.

Automobile manufacturing

Between 1909 and 1915 the cars were built at the railway car factory RBVZ. After the 1917 revolution a second factory was opened in St. Petersburg, where they built armoured cars on chassis produced in Riga. In 1922, the production was moved from St. Petersburg to BTAZ in Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

. Russo-Balt produced trucks, buses and cars, often more or less copies of cars from the German Rex-Simplex or Belgian Fondu Trucks.
Only two original cars have survived to the present day. One is a Russo-Balt fire engine built on truck chassis Type D in year 1912. Car is on display at the Riga Motor Museum
Riga Motor Museum
Riga Motor Museum is the biggest antique vehicle museum in the Baltic countries. The museum is a state agency operating under the Transport Ministry...

 in Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

. Another one is Russo-Balt K12/20 from 1911, is shown at the Polytechnical Museum
Polytechnical Museum
Polytechnical Museum is a science museum in Moscow that emphasizes the progress of Russian and Soviet technology and science, as well as modern inventions and developments. It was founded in 1872 after the first All-Russian Technical Exhibition on the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of Peter...

 in Moscow, Russia.

Today in Riga, Latvia, there is a company named Russo-Balt that manufactures trailers
Trailer (vehicle)
A trailer is generally an unpowered vehicle pulled by a powered vehicle. Commonly, the term trailer refers to such vehicles used for transport of goods and materials....

. There are no connection to pre-war Russo-Balt except company name.


  • 24-30 (1909)
  • Type C (1909)
    • C24-30 (1909)
      • C24-30 Faeton (≥ 1909)
      • Landole C24-30 (1909)
    • C24-40 (1913)
    • C24-50 (1909/'10/'1/'2)
    • C24-58 (1909/'10/'1/'2/'3)
  • Type K (1909)
    • K12-20 (1909)
  • Type E (1914)
  • Impression (2006)

Military vehicles

  • Type C (1912) (based on normal model)
  • Blinded versions of different models (1914)


  • Type D (1912)
  • Type M (1913)
  • Type T (1913)

Airplane manufacturing

In early 1912 company director M. V. Shidlovsky hired 22-year-old Igor Sikorsky
Igor Sikorsky
Igor Sikorsky , born Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky was a Russian American pioneer of aviation in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft...

 as the chief engineer for RBVZ's new aircraft division in St. Petersburg. Sikorsky's airplane had recently won a military aircraft competition in Moscow. He brought several engineers with him to RBVZ, and agreed that the company would own his designs for the next five years.

This group quickly produced a series of airplanes. Among these were the S-7, S-9, S-10
Sikorsky S-10
-S-10 Argus:...

 (1913), S-11, S-12, S-16 (1915), S-20 (1916), Russky Vityaz (The Grand)
Sikorsky Russky Vityaz
-See also:...

 (1913), a series named Il'ya Muromets starting in 1913, and the Alexander Nevsky (1916).

Relatedly, in 1914, Shidlovsky was appointed commander of the newly formed EVK ("Eskadra vozdushnykh korablei"), or Squadron of Flying Ships. This squadron flew Il'ya Muromets bombers during World War One.

The Bolshevik Revolution brought an end to the aircraft business. Sikorsky left for France in 1918. Shidlovsky and his son were arrested in 1919, while attempting to go to Finland, and were murdered.

Concept car

The brand "Руссо-Балт" was resurrected in 2006 by a group of German and Russian investors to propose a luxury concept car, the Russo-Baltique Impression, billed as a coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

 with strong hints of European styling of the early 1930s. The car uses mechanical parts of Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG...

 origin (Mercedes CL63 AMG), was first introduced at the 2006 Concours d'Elegance
Concours d'Elegance
A Concours d'Elegance dates back to 17th Century French aristocracy, who paraded horse-drawn carriages in the parks of Paris during Summer weekends and holidays...


The car will be produced by the German company Gerg GmbH (or perhaps Russo-Baltique Engineering GmbH). Total production of 10 to 15 cars maximum is expected, with a production rate of 2 to 3 cars a year. The selling price would be around 50,000,000 rubles or 1,800,000 US dollars.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.