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Soviet limousines - History of the Soviet limousine industry

The first limousine in the USSR appeared on April 24, 1933 at the Leningrad plant and was named L-1 (it was also called Leningrad-1). The prototype of the first Soviet limousine was the American car brand - Buick. At a meeting in the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry on July 20, 1932, the manager of the All-Union Automobile and Tractor Association, Sergei Dyakonov, set the task for the Krasnoputilovsky plant in Leningrad to begin production of the "Soviet Buick".

Back in 1926, during the All-Union motor rally from Moscow to the Crimea, cars of this brand withstood all the tests, and the Soviet-American trading company Am-torg regularly bought Buick. For production, they adopted the largest and most powerful model - Buick 32-90 (Fig. 1).

The prototype of the first Soviet limousine - Buick-32-90 (1931-1933 of release)

It was planned to produce 20,000 cars a year, but by May 1, 1933, only six cars were assembled, which received the name "Leningrad-1", or simply L-1. The first Soviet limousine (L-1) had a 105-horsepower eight-cylinder engine, a thermostat, an excellent carburetor, double-acting shock absorbers, a brake booster and many other elements (Fig. 2).

The company failed to meet its obligations. During the rally, L-1s often broke down for a banal reason - due to a low production culture. As a result, "Red Putilovets" was reoriented to the production of tractors and tanks, and the completion of the L-1 by order of the People's Commissariat for Heavy Industry was transferred from Leningrad to Moscow to the Stalin Plant (ZIS).

6 copies of the L-1 were produced, which were used only in Leningrad and were lost after the blockade.

The first Soviet limousine Leningrad-1 (L-1) - 1933g. release

at the plant. Stalin in Moscow, the designers did not copy the Buick, but went along the path of creating their own car based on its design solutions. From the design, in particular, such dubious - difficult to manufacture and not distinguished by reliability - components, such as automatic clutch control, remote adjustment of shock absorbers, were eliminated. The frame and chassis were reinforced for use in the road conditions of the USSR, which also required their processing.

Nevertheless, the basis of the design of the ZIS 101 is still much from the Buick of the 1932-34 models. The 1934 Buick featured advanced technology in a number of ways. The in-line "eight" Fireball 8 of a then rare design - with a gas distribution mechanism OHV (push rods and rocker arms, overhead valves) with a capacity of 105 horsepower. Kinematically perfect double wishbone independent suspension with coil springs at the front. Whereas behind the usual continuous bridge - on longitudinal springs. The architecture is classic: the engine is in the front, the drive wheels are in the rear. A body with hinged doors was mounted on a spar frame (rear doors with a “suicidal” hitch). Ease of boarding and disembarking in the back row of seats. All these advanced technical innovations at that time were used in the ZIS 101. (Fig. 3.)

Soviet limousine ZIS 101 - 1937 issue

The first prototypes (two cars) were made in the spring of 1936, April 29, 1936 in the Kremlin, the prototypes were shown to the Secretary of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks I. V. Stalin. Conveyor assembly of Soviet limousines ZIS 101 began in January 1937.

Unlike the later ZILs, the ZIS-101 (as well as the later ZIS-110) served not only senior party and government officials, but also ordinary citizens. Of course, there could be no talk of selling for personal use in those years (although the ZIS-101 could be won in the lottery). But in large cities of the USSR, representative models of ZIS, reliable Soviet limousines, were widely used as taxis on long routes.

Soviet limousine ZIS 110 - 1946 releasePrototype ZIS 110 - American Packard 180, 1942. issue

ZIS-110 became the first car in the USSR with independent front wheel suspension, a sealed engine cooling system, the car chassis was equipped with anti-roll bars front and rear. For the first time after the AMO-2 car, a hydraulic brake drive was used.

The car with the chassis and appearance of a Packard and the body of a Buick (which actually was a Cadillac) despite such a complex origin turned out to be solid, beautiful, architecturally finely balanced. She embodied the quintessence of advanced (then American) automotive experience. On this car, a three-speed gearbox shift lever on the steering column, which was unusual for the Soviet automotive industry of that time, was used, as well as hydraulic valve lifters and a hypoid main gear, which provided the 110th with a quiet ride, independent front wheel suspension, electro-hydraulic windows, radio receiver. In addition, an efficient heating and ventilation system provided coziness and comfort during the trips of the first persons of the state. In general, the car gave the impression of technical perfection, a combination of boundless solidity with a monumental appearance, which was what the Main Customer wanted.

Soviet limousine phaeton - ZIS 110B (manufactured in 1949-1957)

In the Soviet Union, limousines were produced mainly for government needs and were nicknamed "member carriers" by the people. The only exception was the GAZ-12 ZIM (Fig. 7) , which was a GAZ-M20 Pobeda enlarged to the size of an executive car, although by American standards it is an ordinary full-size car with a limousine interior squeezed into its body. "People's" Soviet limousines GAZ-12 ZIM were mainly official cars, and also made up most of the capital's fleet. Soviet GAZ-12 ZIM limousines fell into private hands already at a reduced price, being decommissioned and having served their warranty period.

"People's" Soviet limousine GAZ-12 ZIM (1949-1959 production)

In 1955, GAZ began work on the modernization of the GAZ-12. In 1955, a prototype was created at GAZ-e - GAZ-12V (it is also known under the designation ZIM-12V). It already bore the name "Seagull" and had a decorative detail on the radiator grille in the form of a characteristic wing profile of this bird. However, time passed, and it soon became clear that the style of the car was hopelessly outdated, external modernization would no longer be able to significantly modernize it. Therefore, work on the new car began from scratch. Initially, the project was developed under two slogans - "Seagull" and "Arrow", as a result, the first one was chosen

The official start date for the production of GAZ-13 "Chaika" (Fig. 8) was January 16, 1959, but in fact the first cars were assembled on stocks in the fall of 1958. The first cars produced had a number of minor differences from subsequent ones, like something else the location of the inscription "Seagull" on the back.

The best Soviet limousine GAZ-13 Chaika (1959-1981)

Limousine GAZ-13 Chaika, produced in 1959-1981, was intended exclusively for official use. "Seagull" was used by the first secretaries of regional committees, heads of republican departments and largest enterprises, ministers. Single copies were donated to such famous people as Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968) and Mikhail Sholokhov (1905-1984). For everyone else, it was an impossible dream. "The Seagull" is often called the most beautiful Soviet-made car. Looking at her, it's hard not to agree with that. It is not surprising that in large cities the decommissioned "Seagulls" were transferred to the Wedding Palaces and used as wedding cars.

Wedding Soviet limousine GAZ-13 "Chaika" - Rear view

GAZ-13 "Chaika" was equipped with a 195-horsepower engine, which was used in armored personnel carriers. Among the advantages of the GAZ-13 is an automatic transmission and the ability to raise and lower the antenna and windows with a simple push of a button.

Soviet limousines of the "Brezhnev" era

The next era of the Soviet limousine industry began with the coming to power of Leonid Brezhnev (1906–1982). Leonid Ilyich was a great connoisseur of cars, especially foreign ones, but at the same time he advocated the creation of domestic models. Therefore, already in 1967, the ZIL-114 appeared, which became the standard of the Soviet executive car and was then called the visiting card of the country (Fig. 10) .

The 6.3 meter long body, strong frame and very good suspension ensured a smooth ride never before seen - for this reason, several special vehicle variants were handed over to leading film studios as camera vehicles. The 300 horsepower engine made it one of the fastest government cars in the world. A total of 113 specimens were collected.

Executive Soviet limousine ZIL-114 - 1967 release.

The car had strict and harmonious forms. Large dimensions in length and low height made the car elongated, swift. It was with the series "114" - "117" that ZIL began to move away from direct copying of the American style, elements of which could be seen in previous models.

The Likhachev plant produced several types of limousines for the highest range - ZIL-114, ZIL-117 and ZIL-4104. By the way, for a long time it was the ZIL-41047 limousine ( Fig.11) was the longest production passenger car in the world: overall length - 6339 mm. Today, ZIL limousines are sometimes used as escort vehicles, and Chaikas have become a fashionable rarity and are often used as wedding and holiday limousines.

Executive Soviet limousine ZIL-41047. Start of production - 1985.

Stalin's armored limousine

Of the Soviet limousines, most of the legends were created about Stalin's armored cars. The first armored car of the highest class for the Soviet party and government elite was built at the end of 1940s at the Stalin Automobile Plant, later renamed the Likhachev Plant.

Armored car ZIS-115 (Fig. 12), , which originally had the ZIS-110S index, was prepared in 1946-1947. Such limousines, according to various estimates, were made about 40 copies. The weight of this monster is impressive - 7,300 kg, while the engine power is only 162 hp. with fuel consumption - 27.5 liters per 100 km.

Stalin's limousine, ZIS-115 (1948)

The ZIS-115 used a special armor system - an armored capsule: the protection was a single shell of armor, sheathed on the outside with body panels. The production of these cases was strictly individual. On each, even the smallest part of the body, the car number was stamped. Armor for the ZIS-115 was previously fired at the training ground.

The cars were assembled in a special box of the ZIL car assembly shop with a separate access system. The side windows in the doors were 75 mm thick and weighed almost a centner. Their rise is carried out with the help of hydraulic jacks, and the descent is carried out with a special lamb. In addition to conventional door locks, both rear and right front doors are equipped with chains to ensure that they cannot be accidentally opened while driving. A distinctive feature of the interior of this car from the base model ZIS-110 is the absence of a glass partition between the driver's seat and the passenger compartment.

Stalin's armored limousine ZIS-115 (Car weight 7,300 kg)

Suspicious Stalin never used the same car. License plates were constantly changing, which were installed only at the rear. None of the drivers of the Kremlin Garage of Special Purpose knew which car Iosif Vissarionovich would drive today. And just before leaving the Kremlin, Stalin used to change his route, starting with which gate the motorcade would go through - he decided this himself, literally at the last minute before leaving.

After the death of the leader, no one used his cars - during the "thaw" it was irrelevant: Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev liked to show off in public in a cabriolet, and Stalin's armored cars are a thing of the past. Several cars were donated to the leaders of the communist parties of the countries of the socialist camp. And most of these unique cars were destroyed. Now, according to the most daring estimates, less than eight cars remain alive.

Restoration of one of the ZIS-115 cars from Stalin's garage

After the collapse of the USSR, the automotive industry in Russia fell into decline and viable new models practically did not appear. If something else is produced and is in demand at VAZ, then the Gorky Automobile Plant, apart from Gazelles, cannot boast of anything. A series of passenger cars reached in 2005 the number GAZ-31107 "Volga", which few people remember now.

For us, the GAZ-31105 "Volga " model is interesting (Fig. 15) - a Russian passenger car that was mass-produced from 2004 to 2009. These cars are still made to order in the factory studio of the Gorky Automobile Plant. In fact, the "105th" is an improved version of the GAZ-3110. Since the summer of 2006, the American DOHC 2. 4L Daimler Chrysler engine with a power of 137 hp has been installed on the Volga. The maximum speed was increased to 178 km / h, acceleration to 100 km / h did not exceed 11 s.

Russian limousine GAZ-31105 "Volga" (2004-2009 production)

Unfortunately, the prestige of domestic cars has now fallen to almost zero, no one remembers the transfer of people's deputies to Volga, and top-level officials (and not only higher) prefer to drive around in Mercedes. (Fig.16)

Dmitry Medvedev's motorcade

The most popular limousines in the world - The most common limousines

Continuing the series of articles about the masterpieces of the global automotive industry, let's pay attention to the top limousines. The main goal of creating modern limousines is to provide owners with a roomy and luxurious car. All cars of this class have something in common - each model is exclusive.

Although limousines are primarily associated with the holiday, they are often used as executive cars. The high cost makes the car inaccessible to most owners. Limousines are produced by the manufacturer exclusively to order. The cost of cars ranges from 100 to 400 thousand dollars. Additional configurations bring the cost of cars up to a million dollars.

Given the volatility of the world's automotive trends and the continuous evolution of technology, it is impossible to find the best limousine for objective reasons. Therefore, below are the most popular. In addition to popularity, the rating is influenced by driving performance, technical characteristics, comfort, length and reliability.

Ford Excursion

Dimensions provided the Ford Excursion, on the basis of which the limousine was assembled, the reputation of a medium truck. An SUV was produced in 1999-2005. This is the largest SUV from the manufacturer Ford. The limousine version is equipped with a three-section frame. The model is a long entertainment room on wheels. The limousine has a high cross-country ability due to the high ground clearance. In terms of comfort and cabin size, this limousine is considered the best in the world. The cabin can easily fit 25 people. There is a disco bar, cutlery, furniture, panoramic windows, strobe lights, lasers, LCD monitors and much more.

Lincoln Excalibur

This eight and a half-meter handsome man has not needed advertising for a long time. Successfully combining luxury and classics, Lincoln Excalibur gives the impression of a car from the 40s. The base model of this exclusive vehicle is sold or rented with corner sofa, neon lights, LCD TV and DVD player. Practically arranged salon allows you to organize a buffet table or an entertainment event in the salon. The car has space for a bar and cutlery.

Cadillac Escalade

American representative of the limousine class, a vivid example of maximalism in car design. The title of one of the most beautiful cars in its class is provided by its extensive dimensions and faceted silhouette. The limousine is designed for 20-25 people. Interior elements are decorated with Swarovski crystals and neon lights. Leather seats and luxurious furniture give a sense of celebration. Ergonomically organized space has become a clear advantage of this model. The car has the function of increasing the height of the ceiling. The standard set of options includes an audio system, a panoramic roof, climate control, beer bars, LCD monitors, a touch-sensitive interior control system and much more. Some models are equipped with ball lightning and stage smoke launch systems. This comfortable limousine has become ideal for renting for weddings.

Hammer h3

Limousine assembled on the basis of the army HMMWV. This provides the car with high cross-country ability and a strong suspension. Hammer h3 is popular due to its long base and powerful frame. The luxury characteristics of the car are complemented by high cross-country ability. Cabin height -180 cm. The doors of the limousine open up. And the huge wheels and OPERAALIGHT lighting give the model an unusual look. The interior of the limousine is also original. The already considerable space is optically enlarged by panoramic LCD glazing, as well as a mirrored floor and ceiling. For guests, marble bars and private areas are equipped here. In the cabin there are LCD monitors, a disco on wheels, a huge number of lasers.

Infiniti QX56

Based on the Nissan Patrol SUV, the limousine features a modern interior with premium finishes. The car is equipped with all-wheel drive. Its 5-liter engine has become a symbol of reliability. Limousines 14 and 10 in length are sold and rented for 29 and 20 passengers. The salon is equipped with a high ceiling, panoramic windows, a remote interior control system, soft bar lighting and LCD monitors. The Infiniti QX56 has power sliding doors.

Lincoln Town Car

For its spacious interior and dimensions, the car was nicknamed the "land yacht". This is a beautiful limousine that has become the embodiment of the American dream. Now a quarter of the world's limousine market is inevitably accounted for by the Lincoln Town Car. The car owes its success to a powerful engine that accelerates the car to hundreds in 9.2 seconds. Traditional American design is visible in the interior design of the limousine. Everything here suggests that the car was created for the holiday. It is not for nothing that the Lincoln Town Car limousine has been holding the title of the best car in its class in terms of price-quality ratio for several years now.

Chrysler 300C

Another great example of the American auto industry. The limousine has already received numerous awards for comfort, handling and reliability. He took a strong place in the ranking of the best cars on the market. The car has a 9-meter extended base for comfortable accommodation of 9-12 people. The interior of the Chrysler 300C is designed not only with convenience in mind, but also with safety in mind.

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