April 17 for every amateur Sovietcars there has come a significant date. Exactly 75 years ago experienced the first experienced 64 GAZ - cars in the Soviet automobile industry special. Despite the fact that the GA-61 was considered to be the first and only model in the model range, it was from the 64th model that the epoch of construction of all-wheel drive cars of Soviet manufacture for the masses began.
The history of this machine is served in severalthe wrong kind. There are opinions of specialists and historians that the model is a plagiarism of Bantam BRC 40, however, to this technique the Soviet 64 GAZ is in no way involved. A few years ago, historians managed to find information that helped restore the fullest picture of the design and construction of this jeep.
Destruction of Myths
GAZ 61, which entered service in 1939was planned as the main vehicle for the command. It was expected that the release of many thousands of copies would be arranged. But, something went wrong. In October 1940, the workshop, in which the GAZ-11 power units were assembled, was handed over to the people's commissariat of the aviation industry. So the Red Army remained without SUVs, and without GAZ-63 trucks.
Those power units that have remained are enough only to support the production of reconnaissance tanks T-40. On the cars had to temporarily forget.
The problem was solved in an unexpected way. The main developer of off-road cars GAZ saw an article in a foreign magazine devoted to automotive topics. So, the article said that Ford designed trucks Pygmy, which are used by the US Army. Hence the refutation that 64 GAZ was built on the basis of Bantam models. The article said that the American plant actually delivered 70 cars. But information about Bantam is no more. The author of the article writes about Ford Pigmy. In the article there were even photos and technical characteristics. It was this American SUV that served as a model, from which, as they said later, a copy was made-GAZ 64. Although this can be considered a copy, the question is controversial. The version of plagiarism from "Bantam" is completely unfounded.
The designer GAZ became interested in the model itself,and the volume of supplies for the US armies. The article mentioned a figure of 30,000 copies. This is a huge figure. And in 1941 the People's Commissariat of Medium Machine Building received a letter demanding to assemble a prototype in the likeness of a model from the USA. And so work began.
The car was equipped with a 4-cylinder engine with a capacity of 42 hp, all-wheel drive, a wheelbase of 206 cm, and tires with increased throughput.
The history of GAZ 64 cars officially started 9February in the shop of experimental production of the enterprise. It must be said that the technical specifications and requirements for the SUV could be finalized only on March 22, when the works were almost finished.
So, the full length of the SUV should have beenno more than 3100 mm, the length of the wheelbase is 2100 mm, the height of the hood is 970 mm. As for the mass, it was estimated at 1000 kg, the carrying capacity was 200 kg. The body was calculated for 4 people.
It was planned to create three complete sets. Thus, a commander's version was planned, reconnaissance, and also a tractor for the needs of artillery.
For the command, a phaeton body was created. He allowed to ensure the installation of the radio station. For the needs of reconnaissance detachments, the same body was planned, but at the same time a swivel was installed in the cabin for machine guns. The truck was going to be made in the form of a pickup truck.
The value of unification
The development of the first domestic SUV ledSenior Designer Grachev. He wanted all 64 GAS nodes to be unified with other models as much as possible. This move then greatly facilitated the production of the "sixty-fourth."
So, the engine and gearbox were taken from the MM,the transfer case from GAZ 61 was also used after minor modifications. The front axle was also taken from the 61st, but it had to be modified a little - shortened the semi-axles and shrouds of the semi-axles.
The same improvements were made on the bridge from GAZ-11. The wheel disks were taken from GAZ M1, and the tires from GAZ A. A small part of the other nodes was taken from KIM-10.
Grachev decided to take the initiative and did notbuild a pickup truck and a phaeton. Instead, a chassis with a cut-out was installed on the chassis, which served as a door. The first sample was not equipped with a soft collapsible top.
During the test at the GAZ 64 range, the militarywheel-drive car, proved to be good, but the assembly technology required some improvements. The machine was dismantled, and the engineers analyzed the state of the main nodes. It was concluded that the prototype is technologically complex. The issue was suspended, the war began. The production was set up in the evacuation, and these jeeps were supplied to the armament and were successfully used.
So, this jeep was created on the basis of GAZ-61, buthad a shorter base. The difference in length was 755 mm - due to this, all-wheel drive cars could increase their maneuverability and patency. The short wheelbase allowed the engineers to get away from the use of an intermediate propeller shaft, with which there were some difficulties.
The power unit from the MM had to be modified a little. The motor was raised because of the high spars, while the center of gravity shifted forward.
The Soviet four-wheel drive car GAZ 64 hadcertain shortcomings. The military complained about its design when they tested a test sample on the test range - what they did not do with it. When they decided to check whether the jeep can swim, they took the toy away from them, and for this they wrote a devastating verdict.
The main disadvantage is the design of the frontsuspension, which affected the patency. The problems were covered in very hard sheets, from which the springs were made - that caused breakdowns. It had this design and advantages - at the ends of the package springs were installed powerful fingers, characterized by high wear resistance.
Further the military did not like and gallopingoff-road driving. This feature was the reason that the SUV was nicknamed "goat". This effect was caused by a short wheelbase, as well as incorrect shock absorbers. When all this was corrected, the machine "goat" stopped.
As for the power section, the engine, gearbox, transfer case, cardan gears were trouble-free. Even with poor-quality fuel, the engine produced passport power.
In early August 1941, the assembly line begango off the first batch of SUVs. By the end of the year, another 600 copies were issued. Also on the chassis of the "sixty-fourth" produced armored cars BA-64. We graduated from the production of these unique military vehicles in 1943.
Now such cars are very rare. On the roads you can see more often GAZ 69 than GAZ 64. The price of a jeep today is about 500 000 rubles, depending on the state. Collectors are very expensive to restore the original species - there are great difficulties with the search and purchase of original spare parts and assemblies, details of design.
Popular smaller copies of these cars are popular. They can be bought in stores - they are exactly the same as the original car.
Here he is, the Soviet "Pygmy" or the firstdomestic jeep-off-road car, the progenitor of modern all-wheel drive cars. And you can see it live in car museums or in personal collections.