This incredible 1980s sports car was made out of scrap parts in a shed!

Igor Mihalev/Sputnik
The ‘samavto’ (short for ‘self-made auto’) movement, which blew up in the Soviet Union during the 1960s-1980s, allowed talented engineering and car-building enthusiasts to breathe life into their most ambitious ideas. One such idea was the car dubbed ‘Laura’, created by Dmitry Perfyonov and Gennady Khainov.

The two classmates spent their time designing futuristic cars during class and, finally, decided to realize one particular project in the 1980s. It took them three years of hard work to construct their very own sports car – and they did it all in an ordinary shed, using whatever scrap materials they could get their hands on. The body was made out of water pipes, “dressed” in styrofoam and fiberglass panels, soaked in epoxy, further covered in putty and, finally, sanded. For what ended up under the hood, the two enthusiasts pulled from every possible source: the transmission was taken from a ‘Zaporozhets’, the engine – from the ‘VAZ-2105’, while the disc brakes – from a ‘Moskvich-2140’. The front suspension, however, they made themselves. The salon was fitted with sports seats and an ultra-modern dashboard and, finally, the absolutely unique ‘Laura’ was complete! 

The sports car took part in numerous shows, including the Expo in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. One of the exhibitions saw it receive praise from famed auto designer Nuccio Bertone, who couldn’t believe it was created by two ordinary enthusiasts working out of a shed. Parfyonov and Khainov went on to create several iterations of their ‘Laura’, each better than the last. 

The pair appeared on the radar of some industry hot shots and a laboratory was built especially for them by the ‘NAMI’ scientific center in Leningrad (present-day St. Petersburg), with the aim of creating a futuristic Soviet car by the year 2000. The two ended up creating a seven-seater minivan – the ‘Okhta’ – instead and, later, parted ways to pursue their own interests. Gennady Khainov became an SUV designer and his work included the ‘LuAZa’ and ‘Jump!’ prototypes, as well as the ‘Astero’. Dmitry Parfyonov, meanwhile, is the man behind the armored ‘Kombat’ – considered one of the fastest SUVs in the world. 

Dear readers,

Our website and social media accounts are under threat of being restricted or banned, due to the current circumstances. So, to keep up with our latest content, simply do the following:

  • Subscribe to our Telegram channel
  • Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter
  • Enable push notifications on our website
  • Install a VPN service on your computer and/or phone to have access to our website, even if it is blocked in your country

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

Read more

This website uses cookies. Click here to find out more.

Accept cookies