(first posted 2/3/2013) In the history of the Russian automobile industry, there were moments of light that punctuated the years and decades of drab. Clearly, this Moskvitch 2142 Prince Vladmir is not one of its more brilliant moments, especially when you consider that it was built from 1998 – 2002, the year its maker finally went belly-up. Its appearance at the Cohort, posted byDeeTwoAr, is auspicious, since its body was based on the Simca 1307/Chrysler 150 of just a few posts ago (although I would never have guessed so in the case of the notchback 2142). While doing a little research to dig up more history on these cars, I came upon the full-Brougham version, the Ivan Kalita. Are you sitting down?
Just to set the story a bit, the Moskvitch 2141 Aleko was a milestone car for the company, its first modern FWD product after decades of old (but beloved) RWD Mossies. As is quite apparent, from the A-Pillar back the Alekos body comes from the Simca 1307. From the many European cars Moskvitch evaluated for their plans to enter the modern world, the Simca was deemed suitable; however, it didn’t help morale among the engineers when they acquired the rights to build it instead of using it as the inspiration for a new, home-grown body.
But under the skin, the Aleko is much more Audi in terms of its longitudinal engine placement, which was necessitated because the Moskvitch four was too large to fit sideways; the suspension also cribs from Audi. The Aleko finally went into production in 1986, and was built in numerous versions until Moskvitch’s end, in 2002.
The 2142 was an obvious attempt to take the Aleko platform upscale by adding 20 mm to the wheelbase. Presumably, that explains the odd fixed glass in the rear window; clearly, it was cheaper to graft it onto an extended door (and keep the existing movable window pane and mechanism) than to tool up for a proper new one. There were three versions: the Prince Vladmir, shown at the top as a mid-level sedan–and then there was this, the Ivan Kalita, the Brougham of Moskvitchs.
Here’s a side view. But it gets better still:
If the wheelbase can be enlarged, it can also be shortened–drastically, even. Here’s the 2142 Duet:
Would anyone guess that this started out as a Simca 1307? Let’s just say Moskvitch’s attempts to cash in on the new-found wealth in Russia was not successful. A Mercedes 500SL, this ain’t.