During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union fought together as allies against the Axis powers. Shortly after the war, the relationship became suspicious and tense. Americans had long been wary of communism and the Soviets resented the Americans’ late entry into World War II, which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of Russians. After the war ended, these grievances ripened into an overwhelming sense of mutual distrust and enmity.
In an effort to smooth relations, the racing community staged an automotive dual between the United States and the Soviet Union. Only two cars participated, an American Ford and a Russian Lada.
After only 50 laps of the 100 lap race, the Lada had fallen so far behind, it could never recover. As the Lad slowly fell farther and farther behind, the race sponsors stopped the race to avoid further embarrassment.
The next morning, the Russian headlines read: