Lenin’s Rolls-Royce

What would be an appropriate car for the working-class leader of the world’s first communist state, an exemplary proletarian? The answer is Rolls-Royce. At least it is so in the case of Vladimir Ilych Lenin.

Lenin, Krupskaya and Lenin’s Sister Maria in a Car After the Red Army Parade at Khodynka Field in Moscow. Photo by P.K.Novitsky or G.P.Goldstein (1 May 1918).

Lenin liked American cars and he had altogether three Rolls-Royces (some say nine). The first vehicles came into the hands of Bolsheviks after confiscating the property of the Romanov family. Along came forty vehicles, including luxury cars.

One of the first acts of Soviet Russia was the decree of 3 May 1918 that expropriated about 2,500 cars from the bourgeois members of society. These vehicles were then all passed on to prominent party leaders for service as well as for private use.

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Lenin’s Rolls-Royce

Lenin’s Roll’s-Royce was actually purchased on 11 July 1922 from London. It was the luxurious Silver Ghost model that cost him £1,850, acquired for 15 % discount as a side deal of a secret bomber planes engines deal that the young Russian Government had with Rolls-Royce.

Kégresse track

One of the unique Lenin’s cars was a Rolls-Royce that was modified by Adolphe Kégresse, tsar Nicholas II’s personal driver, to withstand harsh Russian winters. He was the French military engineer and inventor of the half-track and dual clutch transmissions who greatly improved the tsar’s car park.

Adolphe Kegresse’s Patented Design From 1913.
Lenin’s Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Kegresse at the Museum of Gorky Leninskiye. Photo by Maarten (2007).
Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost 1915 Kegresse. Photo by Krakow.
Adolphe Kegresse Seated Behind the Wheel of the Imperial “Benz” in Tsarskoye Selo. Unknown author (9 September 1911).

The Workers of the Putilov plant assembled skis and a caterpillar track to the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost model. Lenin used it to drive between his home and Kremlin. The unique car is now on display at the Gorky-Leninskiye Museum.

Our generation has no imagination. I mean, no-one modifies their luxury cars into half-tracks anymore. What a shame.

-op_blue via Reddit










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