The GAZ-GL-1 is a pre-war Russian GAZ racing car designed by Evgenie Agitov. The GL-1 was built in Gaza in 1938 and was based on components from a GAZ M-1. The GAZ M-1, which was produced between 1936 and 1942 based on the 1933 Ford V8-40. The body of the car was built on top of a stock M1 frame. A GAZ M-1 engine that was boosted to 65 hp instead of 50 hp powered the car. The engine was hopped up by increasing the compression ratio and by installing experimental cylinder heads and larger valves. Once completed, the GL-1 debuted in Kiev in October 1938. Driven by GAZ test technician Arkady Nikolaev, the car was able to reach a top speed of 148 kph with the modified GAZ M-1 engine.
In 1940 a stock GAZ-11-73 with its new straight 6 engine was able to reach a top speed of 140 kph. Under Agitov's leadership, a decision was made to upgrade the GL-1 so the car received a new 6 cylinder 100 hp engine from a GAZ-11-73. This version of the car was also redesigned in order to improve the aerodynamics and in order to prevent the engine from overheating which had been a problem with the first version. A new grille was made for the car and a bubble was mounted over the driver's compartment. These improvements increased the weight of the car from 1000 kg to 1100kg. September 22, 1940, the second version of the GL-1 became the quickest car of the Soviet Union when it sat an All-Union speed record of 161.9 kph.
The GL-1 was destroyed under mysterious circumstances. One story claims that it was cut up into pieces at the factory, while another claims that it was destroyed during a bombing of the GAZ factory.
February 26, 2010, a recreation of the second version of the GAZ GL-1 was displayed at the Moscow Museum. The recreation was built by Boushuev Coachbuild and took 3 years to build. The recreation was built from drawings made by the famous artist Alexander Zakharov that were based on surviving photographs.
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