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Original Issue

...Here Comes the Kharkov


Sputniks have not been the total preoccupation of U.S.S.R. engineering in recent months. Last week the Soviet unveiled a brand-new racing car, the Kharkov Six, in an arrestingly streamlined version designed for straightaway speed trials. Along with this history-making picture came the announcement that the Kharkov, under the lead foot of Vassili Nikitin (in cockpit above), has averaged 170 mph over a six-mile course—a speed respectable enough to justify entering it in its 2½-liter class in world competition. Indeed, this seems to be exactly what the Russians have in mind. Last week officials of the Moscow Autoclub were fishing for invitations to Britain and Western Europe in behalf of a grand prix version of the Kharkov. Western racing clubs, eager to observe the first racing car the Soviet Union has ever offered in international competition, hustled out invitations. One of the first came from the British Automobile Racing Club—to the big international meet at Goodwood in April. There the Kharkov should get a test against the best from Britain, Italy, Germany and France, but not from the U.S. The U.S. produces no such racers.