Perhaps there is no such person in the post-Soviet space who would not know the scale of the automobile industry in the USSR. But in reality, very few people already know how it began. In fact, the first Soviet passenger car, which went to the assembly line, was a replica of the American Ford, which was remade by domestic engineers for Soviet realities. That's just, despite the fact that the GAZ-A model was pretty good, at some point it simply disappears from the streets, and not by itself, but by order of the authorities.
The history of the first Soviet car began in 1932. Then the USSR acquired a license from the famous American company Ford Motor Company to produce a replica of their Ford-A model. The equipment and documentation were transferred to the Nizhny Novgorod Automobile Plant. In addition, the local engineers were given another task: not only to copy the legendary American passenger car, but also to adapt it for Russian roads.
At the end of the summer of the same 1932, a new car rolled off the assembly line. The demand for GAZ-A was simply huge, because it was necessary to provide it not only to ordinary consumers, but also to almost all government agencies. So, in the first couple of years, the army headquarters received the car, as well as medical units. They were also used as a departmental vehicle. Moreover, it was with GAZ-A that the era of taxis on the roads began in the Soviet Union. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that the total volume of cars of this model produced in less than a five-year period amounted to almost 42 thousand units.
As soon as the scale of demand became clear, they decided to start producing GAZ-A on the basis of the KIM automobile plant. Its capacity supplied the USSR with these machines from 1933 to 1935. And directly the Gorky Automobile Plant was engaged in the production of GAZ-A from 1932 to 1936. True, despite the increase in production volumes, ordinary Soviet citizens quite rarely could get the first passenger car for personal use, because most of the copies went to the needs of the army, where they "served the state."
However, Soviet engineers were not only able to produce the first domestic passenger car, but also modify it for more efficient operation on the territory of the USSR. This process took place on the basis of the Gorky Automobile Plant. Initially, the car almost completely corresponded to the technical characteristics and design of its prototype Ford Model A Standard Phaeton with body code 35B, however, Soviet auto designers changed a number of parts and systems.
For example, they installed one-piece mud guards above the footpegs, and also changed the look of the front of the car towards a simpler design. This was done because most of the cars were given to the needs of the army or subordinate structures, and there was no need for extra decorations for the car.
The inside of the car was also changed: for example, the design of the engine power supply system was modified: the flask of the coarse fuel filter was moved to the carburetor;
the fuel cock went under the hood - this protected the interior from getting gasoline there in case of wear of the cock.
However, those systems that remained unchanged in the car also deserve attention. So, the engine was lubricated through scoops on the connecting rods, which were dipped into the oil in the crankcase. But the car's cooling system is characterized by the absence of a pump: it works due to the difference in temperature indicators in the radiator and engine.
It seemed that the first Soviet passenger car would serve the people of workers and peasants for a long time, but in reality everything turned out to be exactly the opposite. Less than five years later, in 1936, the government of the USSR ordered GAZ-A to be withdrawn from service in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Moreover, the specific reasons for such a strange decision were not explained. Later it was found out that, most likely, the problem was that the type of this model was already morally outdated and did not correspond to the requirements of the then reality.
The owners were advised to massively replace the GAZ-A with a new version with a surcharge. It turned out to be a replacement for GAZ-M-1, but it appeared on the market only after a year and a half. Yes, and their volume did not allow to quickly replace GAZ-A both among the civilian population and from departmental garages. The service continued to use them for quite a long time. The first Soviet passenger cars finally disappeared from the streets only by 1940.
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