I saw this wonder car for the first time on Kashirskoye Highway in Moscow in 2005 near an auto parts shop. A silver Izh (car made by Izhevsk autoplant) was placed on an individual stand, had irregular nose fins and was attracting attention by its distinctive exterior and small amount of doors. Its body frame and stickers assured that the car was in good running conditions and that it was taking part in drag racing competitions. Marvelled by this unusual design, I went on with my errands and forgot about this car till my next visit to that place. By 2007 the car had undergone a few changes and was repainted into bright red colour. I have never seen this car in the streets again but I managed to find a lot of information about this project.
Sergey Bunin was carried away by drag racing in 2004. A standard IZh “Kombi” does not go well with this discipline but the author of the project decided to create a car made in Russia using as many home-produced auto accessories as possible. The first step was to change the front part of the car in order to improve its aerodynamics. Next step was to shorten it and move its centre of gravity closer to the rear axle. For this purpose he had to cut out almost half a metre of the car’s interior.
The original 1.5-litre engine produced at Ufa Motor Engine Factory was replaced by an IZh “Oda” 2.0-litre engine of the same manufacturer and was later upgraded up to 2.3-litre displacement. For better cylinder charging the feed system was initially fitted with a second carburettor and NO2 (nitrogen oxide) delivery system, which was also produced in Russia and supplied by a medical cylinder. Later the carburettors were replaced by a four throttle injection. The last modification stage included reconstruction of the wheelbase length aiming to increase the car’s stability and to allocate all units in the engine compartment in a more optimized manner.
Its appearance turned out to be unusual and even controversial but one could clearly see the donor car in it. Such IZh modification was performing quite successfully in 2004–2007 during Moscow Drag Racing Championships and in rally-sprint series bringing its creator and pilot not only to the podium but also securing him first places.
By the end of 2000’s IZh had become a frequent guest of various events as a show-car demonstrating different tricks like pushing bulldozers and jeeps or burning rubber. In 2009 during one of such shows performed in front of a TV programme shooting team the flywheel of IZh busted breaking everything in the engine compartment. The car was damaged beyond repair and the project was closed.
Brand/Model: IZh “Kombi” (21251)
Engine: 2.3-litre produced at UMEF (Ufa Motor Engine Factory), ~ 200 hp
¼ mile time: 14 seconds
Speed when crossing ¼ mile finish line: ~200 km/h