Road cars in the USSR

Soviet Russia and even renounced the old world, but to cooperate with the "capital of the world" could not refuse

Road cars in the USSR

Supply capitalist cars in the Soviet Union - an interesting topic, a huge and diverse. We leave aside the Lend-Lease and focus only on the main episodes of this long fascinating history. Basically, remember the period 1960 - 1980, but start with the more ancient times.

Capital without Marx

Small, especially for such a huge country, and extremely worn fleet of Russia after the First World and the Civil War demanded urgent replenishment and renewal. Paltry domestic production of trucks commenced in 1924, it has contributed little. Therefore, since the beginning of 1920 the purchase of imported cars for the Land of the Soviets rose steadily. In Moscow, for example, nurses working respectable 100-horsepower Mercedes-Benz 400, in the taxi were Renault, postmen one time went to the small French typewriters Amilcar. Before the start of mass production of the Soviet ZIS buses in Moscow went commuter British Leyland. But the leaders of the country's workers and peasants in the 1920s chose the prestigious British Rolls-Royce, in 1930 began to gravitate toward the products of American companies, mainly brands Lincoln and Packard.

Road cars in the USSR

American Moreland trucks with 6-cylinder engines Continental served in the Red Army Artillery

The first cars purchases peak for the Soviet Union was at the end 1920 - early 1930, when they brought us to the year 4000 under 2000 trucks and passenger cars. For the army, by the way, supplied the 6-ton US Moreland trucks. Relatively much it has been Ford A, which soon became Soviet, as their assembly settled in Moscow and Kharkov, and then a full-fledged production under mark-A GAZ in Nizhny Novgorod (since 1932 - Gorky).

Road cars in the USSR

Ford A supplied to the USSR for government agencies, but went to them, and private entrepreneurs, mostly writers and actors By the end of 1930 the flow of foreign cars dropped, but the US passenger cars delivered to managers of various ranks. For the heroes of the Soviet Union and other notable citizens have bought a small batch of the German Opel Kadett K38. This car was, in particular, security chief N. Vlasik Stalin. After the war, this model has gone to the people under the name of "Moskvich-400".

Road cars in the USSR

The small party Opel Kadett purchased in the early 1940s for the Soviet elite. After the war, these cars, under the name of "Moskvich-400", was offered to all comers

Topic lend-lease, I repeat, is omitted. We add only that in the 1940s in the Soviet Union were the party of American automobile Chevrolet Fleetmaster, Buick Eight, Ford V8. Of course, to the private owners of new cars such fall in rare cases and only to the approximate to power.

Road cars in the USSR

Chevrolet Fleetmaster early 1940s. Such machines in the USSR were quite a few, then in private hands, they traveled for decades

The rapid development of the post-war economy of the USSR took a lot of new cars. The domestic industry even with fully cover the needs could not with the socialist countries. Therefore, from time to time purchase and the capitalist model, and often virtually forgotten now marks.

Road cars in the USSR

French Chausson on route to Moscow, the end of the 1950s

So, for the Festival of Youth and Students in 1957 and brought to Moscow buses Austrian firm OAF. Of the same brand were big noses bonneted trucks - refrigerators. Around the same time in Moscow tried on city routes French Chausson bus with a diesel engine Panhard.

Road cars in the USSR

A two-storey German Bussing D2U in Moscow

Another quite amazing city bus - a two-storey West German Bussing D2U with 150-horsepower diesel engine - went on Leninsky Prospekt. This highway has been, to a certain extent, the front - led in Vnukovo, it is for it often allowed the experimental shuttle machines. As the buses from the GDR, two-storey Bussing not taken root in Moscow.

Wait, I will catch up!

The Soviet secret services of foreign cars worked before the war. However, gradually supplanted their domestic models. The police were, as a rule, ordinary cars, the KGB - limited-edition, exclusive version with forced or replaced with more powerful engines.

In the 1970s, the police began to appear thoroughbred western cars. One of the first was the versatile Ford Galaxie - he appeared after the international exhibition "Krimtehnika-74" (it was said that it is a gift of the Moscow police).

Soon in Moscow began flickering West German Mercedes-Benz W108 family and BMW 5 Series. Imported cars went to the government motorcades and solemn columns at the meeting honored guests, but there were sometimes more prosaic situations. By the way, BMW was involved in the capture of even the "Volga" - a taxi occupied by intruders in the film "Flowers on the admission" of a multi-year series "The investigation leading experts".

Road cars in the USSR

A solid police Mercedes-Benz W108 with unprecedented for the Soviet Union dynamics and comfort

The population of "Mercedes" greatly increased before the Olympics, when many cars delivered. In USSR were Mercedes-Benz W116, which later became rank as S-class, and more affordable Mercedes-Benz W123. Recently, by the way, put up for sale a dark blue Mercedes-Benz W116, which supposedly enjoyed in the Soviet era interior minister N. liquor.

Mercedes-Benz W123 in the service of the police was quite a lot

In addition to Mercedes-Benz and BMW, sometimes in police livery could meet more exotic models: American Dodge Tradesman van and the Volvo 264, the French Renault 20, and even a Porsche 911! Probably, most of these cars were gifts from what some foreign exhibitions.

Road cars in the USSR

BMW E3 on a Moscow street

Already in the new time of perestroika in the capital began to reappear police cars from America - Ford Crown Victoria and Chevrolet Cavalier. And then a lot of other cars.

Import Sovtransavto

Large main tractors MAZ and KamAZ even appeared later - the top of the Soviet truck industry - already in the second half of 1970 for international traffic did not fit. Our cars had a low capacity, lack of capacity and, consequently, the dynamics. Even Skoda tractors, seemed not spoiled our drivers to the height of perfection, not really suited for the role of travelers on European routes. In "Sovtransavto" began to appear Western tractors.

Road cars in the USSR

Tractor units Volvo F89-32 worked "Sovtransavto"

One of the most common was the Volvo F89-32, which comes in both two-axle and three-axle versions in. Swedish tractor trailers pulled steadily full weight 29,850 - 30,500 kg at a rate of up to 108 km / h. The six-cylinder diesel engine in working volume 11 l of 97 at 2200 rev / min developed very solid at the time of 330 l. from. The machine was eight-gearbox with two-stage divider. In general, Volvo F89 was one of the most advanced long-haul tractors of its time.

Road cars in the USSR

Tractor unit Volvo F89 with the third lifting axle

Like the Mercedes-Benz 2232S - the second leader of the Soviet international traffic. Triaxial tractor towed trailer GVW 29,070 kg. V10 engine working volume 16 l 320 l developed. from. at 2500 rev / min. Vehicle transmission with an eight and a two-stage divider reached a speed of 98 km / h.

Road cars in the USSR

In the late 1970s the Soviet Union began to arrive Volvo F12

Road cars in the USSR

Refrigerated tractor-trailer Volvo F12 tractor c

Swedish and West German trucks have taken root in the Union. Since the end of 1970, we went to the new Volvo F12C 12-liter 320-horsepower engine. In addition to Volvo truck tractor we have come and the chassis, mainly with refrigerated vans. In the late 1980's - early 1990's, in addition to tractors Mercedes-Venz 1735C 366-horsepower engine, into the country in small numbers came tractors IVECO 260-36 and Renault 385.19. Around the same years, we began to purchase buses Mercedes-Venz O302 Turkish production. Travel machine length 12 m 53 housed passengers and equipped with 14, 6 liter V8 diesel engine rated at 280 power. A little later came the Turkish city and "Mercedes".

Road cars in the USSR

On the International Carriage worked quite a lot of trucks Mercedes-Benz 2232S

Road cars in the USSR

Tractor units Mercedes-Benz 1735 appeared in the USSR in the late 1980s

Speaking of buses, remember Yugoslav TAM, which, strictly speaking, were socialist. However, Yugoslavia has always stood apart, and the relationship with the Soviet Union it has been special. THERE 260A119C 256-horsepower produced by MAN license. The machine proposed in 52-local and local-44 variants. The latter was an unprecedentedly comfortable - with a fridge and even a toilet.

Road cars in the USSR

The Yugoslav coach bus TAM

By the Olympics-80 from Germany brought a compact four-wheel drive chassis of Mercedes-Benz company the Unimog, which is mainly used for snow removal and other utility equipment. There were also tow trucks Magirus-Deutz Series 90C 87-horsepower diesel engine. About this once very famous German brand is a special subject.

Road cars in the USSR

Magirus-Deutz 90 series appeared in our country before the Olympics-80

Drummers socialist labor

They said, quite rightly, that it is the Soviet Union was rescued from the collapse of one of the oldest companies of Germany - Magirus-Deutz. Orders for dump trucks enabled the company to stay afloat, but then she still entered the IVECO group.

Road cars in the USSR

The legendary USSR Truck Magirus-Deutz 232D

The bonneted trucks with a characteristic angular "nose" and the air-cooled diesel Soviet drivers are highly respected for their reliability, comfort, excellent cabin heater. We were supplied chassis, flatbed trucks and even tractors. But the lion's share accounted for dump trucks. Biaxial Magirus-Deutz 232D carrying capacity of 11 500 kg was equipped with "eight" of 11, 3 l capacity 248 liters. from. Triaxial embodiment - Magirus series 290 - carrying 16,600 kg and was equipped with a motor V10: 14 l, 310 l. from. Analogous side load trucks have, respectively, 10 and 14 tons. Triaxial Magirus-Deutz 290. These trucks have long worked and after the collapse of the USSR

A lot of trucks to work in Siberia and development of oil fields in the grand construction of the century - the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM). In small quantities, we have worked and all-wheel drive (6x6) Magirus-Deutz 380-30 to 306-horsepower motor and reduction gear.

West German Unimog at a Moscow exhibition, 1981

The influence of German trucks on our economy has been enormous. And not only because it brought a lot of them, and they have worked for many years. In Kazakhstan, Kostanai, began construction of a plant for engines Magirus-Deutz license. He really, really, never earned - Kazakhstan became independent, and the economy of the former Union has changed dramatically. Tipper IVECO already under the brand gathered on one of the first in Russia viable joint venture IVECO-UralAZ. But that's another story from a very different time.

Sergey Kanunnikov