The history of the Soviet Union the main minivan
• The history of the Soviet Union the main minivan
RAF - September 30, 60 years ago in Latvia, or rather, in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Riga Bus Plant, or rather was based. For nice and in general the sad story creator of the popular Soviet minivans and minibuses, we gained a lot of pictures and some letters.
However, the development of the first RAF did not micro, but quite the contrary - makroavtobus. RAF-251 - only cabover body on lengthening and strengthening the chassis GAZ-51 truck.
The first minivan (or, if you prefer, by minibus) Riga factory became RAF-977 "Latvia". Built on units and aggregates 21 minutes of "Volga", 977 th was issued 17 years and was used ... However, where it just was not used ...
For example, a medical version of "Rafiq" with a stretcher, radio and spotlight-seeker called RAF-977I.
Served as "Latvia" in the taxi. However, in terms of mass with the current generation of "gazelles", "transit" and "fighters" could not argue. Probably because I not left a bad memory.
"Latvia" in an all-metal wagon format under the brand produced on ERAZ ErAZ.
In 1976, to replace the 977-th came the new model. Raf-2203 based on the GAZ-24 units of "Volga", and could boast of a much more modern (at least as it seemed then) design.
The new "Rafik", of course, immediately called up for special operations: in the fire, and the police and an ambulance.
Especially for the Olympics-80 in Riga created several interesting special version. Among them technical assistance for the pickup riders machine with electronic board attached to the roof, and even judges minivan's electric! Apart stands passenger trailer RAF-3407 for the guests and participants. After the Olympics, these fun "avtoparovoziki" was used actively in the theme parks and at ENEA.
But the coolest of the "Rafikov" - an armored car collector, with a registered body of the French firm Labbe. Heaviest Razorback does not fit well with slebenkoy suspension and plywood floors Latvian minibus. So that the age of the armored cars was short-lived.
The collapse of the Union resulted in the collapse and the Riga bus factory. Due to a shortage of components release raf-2203 stopped and promising model of "Roxanne" not reached the conveyor.
The same fate, however, awaited and RAF Stils. Although front-monocab design, developed in the US, for its time (early 90's, for a moment) looked very cool.
The production at the Riga bus factory shops stopped in 1997. Today at the site of the former leader of the Soviet Union minivenostroeniya located retail and office space. About cars here today nobody remembers ...