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Cyclecar SMZ S-3D (Мотоколяска СМЗ С-3Д)




 Manufacturer SMZ (Serpukhov automotive building plant)
 Model name Cyclecar SMZ S-3D (Мотоколяска СМЗ С-3Д)
 Years of production  1970 - 1997
 Body style  2 door coupe, 2 passengers
 Car layout 4 × 2. Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive

Izh-Planeta-2, 1 cyl. Two-stroke. 0.35 L, 12 hp.

Izh-Planeta-3, 1 cyl. Two-stroke. 0.35 L, 14 hp.

 Transmission  4-speed manual
 Max speed 60 km/h
 Fuel tank capacity 18 L
 Fuel consumption 7 L / 100 km.
 Dimensions 2825x1380x1300 mm.
 Cargo capacity 200 kg.
 Curb weight 498 kg.










After World War II the disabled veterans didn’t have wheelchairs even to move, they moved with boxes which had bearings instead of wheels. Soon specially for disabled veterans were created so called “tricycle”, which had about 2.3 hp and it was hardly enough to move a person on straight road.

In 1952 Serpukhov automotive building plant (SMZ) started production of special cyclecars for disabled persons so called “Invalidka”.

The most common models were the S-3A (S-Three-A) and S-3D (S-Three-D). They were specially designed for disabled drivers and were distributed in the USSR free or at a large discount through the Soviet Union's social welfare system, and were not officially sold to non-disabled people.

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The S-3A-M was produced between 1958 and 1970. It was powered by a 346 cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine, giving 10 hp (7 kW) and a top speed of 55 km/h (34 mph).

Creation of the S-3D model, exhibited in the museum, started in early 1960s, and in 1967 preparing for production. The first car came down from the production line in July of 1970 and last 300 cars in 1997. All were made 223 051 ones.


The S-3D was a twin-seat, four-wheeled cyclecar, 2.6 metres (102.4 in) in length, but rather heavy (≈500 kg) due to all-steel body. It was powered by IZH-P3 air-cooled two-stroke engine (18 DIN hp).

People called such kind of vehicles “Invalidka” which means vehicle for disabled person. They were distributed to disabled person by social departments, with 5 years of term (in a similar way to the British Invacars, made by AC, Thundersley and Tippen). After 2.5 year of exploitation an owner could repair the car for free and after 5 years of exploitation the owner ought to return the vehicle to the social department and after that the owner could get new one.

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To ride the cyclecar a driver had to have an A category driving license. Disabled persons were helped by social department to learn driving and get driving license.


Overall the cyclecar was an unsuccessful compromise between, minicar and motorized appliance, because it’s bad aerodynamic characteristics, noise, weight and fuel consumption, but it also had some advantages as well: because of big glazed space the vehicle had good view from driver’s seat, also the vehicle was easy to drive and had big space around driver’s seat which was comfortable for disabled persons.


However, unlike the Invacars, not all of the "invalidkas" were scrapped, because some of their disabled lessees managed to register them as their private property. However, nowadays they are rare, and earlier models are exceptionally rare and have become collectors' items.




© Tbilisi Automuseum. 2019



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