The 1952 Leningrad Sport Custom – Babich’s 1st Custom Sports Car

Hi Gang…

Besides being a great friend, Pal Negyesi is a automotive historian who researches the history of all cars but especially those in – or close to – his native country – Hungary.  Pal has shared several stories with me recently and now it’s time to share these stories with you.  The first story is a follow-up to yesterday’s story on a Russian Sport Custom automobile.

Click Here To Review Yesterday’s Story on the Russian Sport Custom

Pal shares additional information about that car in today’s story as well as new data about the first car the designer/builder completed.  This is a really cool story so I’m glad he shared it with us.  So without stealing his “thunder”, let’s turn it over to our friend Pal Negyesi.  And away we go…

The 1952 Leningrad Sport Custom
by Pal Negyesi

Yesterday we told you (here at Undiscovered Classics) the story of the Leningrad, which was built by Arkadij Babich.

Click Here To Read About Babich’s Russian Sport Custom automobile

Recently, a story on mentioned the fact that it was actually the Leningrad-2 – the second car built by Babich.  So let’s try to gather more facts.

In February, 2019 two photos appeared on, a Russian website focusing on archive photos which users tag by location. These particular pictures (see here ( and here ( were uploaded by Sergey PItersky and were attributed to Leningrad, Russia – today this city is known as St. Petersburg.

From the comments section for these photos, it became apparent that these pictures depict the first sports car, a self-built roadster by Arkadij Babich. It seems Babich built this roadster in 1952-1953, using a V2 motorcycle engine – which means a 750 cc Harley-Davidson engine, capable of 22 hp.

Not much is known on the fate of the car, but authorities – though they were not against home-built vehicles as witnessed by thousands of “Samodelki” aka self-built cars.  For these types of cars, they put a cap or “ceiling” on horsepower where maximum power should have not exceeded 40 hp/ton.

That is why Babich used a ZIM engine for his second car, the famous Leningrad-2.


Great thanks to Pal for sharing this story today and for his willingness to help provide stories about special and unusual “Undiscovered Classics“.  Here’s a bit more about Pal’s background:

Pál Négyesi, Ph.D., has been researching the history of Hungarian motoring for almost 30 years. Lately he has participated in various international research projects as well. He’s an international author and conference speaker.  He completed his PhD in 2018 on motoring museums (you can read it HERE He maintains a worldwide guide on motoring museums at and offers stories and an event guide on East European cars at  Pal can be contacted at, Vienna, Austria, +43 664 883 60 677

Click Here To View All of Pal Negyesi’s stories here on Undiscovered Classics

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…

The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.



The 1952 Leningrad Sport Custom – Babich’s 1st Custom Sports Car — 2 Comments

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