The best SUVs of the USSR
Top of the best SUVs of the Soviet era.
In Soviet times, our country has many problems. One of the main roads were. Surprisingly, after a huge amount of time, this problem remains urgent. But that’s a topic for another article. Today we want to talk about those times when to buy a car, you had to perform the feat in the literal and figurative sense. Let’s remember the most famous and best SUVs the Soviet era. So the theme of the SUVs today are more than popular, we think our readers will be interested to know whether there existed on the car, USSR, cars SUV category.
Before the great Patriotic war our Soviet Government did not think about mass production of small SUVs. First, in connection with the lack of actual car market in the country, according to the state, the country is not needed in civilian vehicles. Second, most of the population lived in rural areas, where more often the quality of movement was used to transport horse-drawn (horse and cart) or, in an extreme case, trucks. The thing is that in the country there were no roads. That is why, in principle, the country did not need all-terrain vehicles for the citizens.
But with the outbreak of the Second World war, our government has revised its attitude to the SUVs, as the war experience has shown that this category of cars and not enough to our troops in a long bloody battle with the German army.
Unfortunately, the realization did not mean that soon SUVs will be available for purchase to the entire population of the country.
All the matter in the planned economy of the country. Each year the Government approves the plan in all industries. In the end, most of the population had no opportunity to purchase any vehicle as the annual plan of the state meant a small number of necessary vehicles in the country. More details on how you could buy a new car, you can see our other article here.
But, despite the limited number of produced vehicles in the country, our government gradually increased its industry, as well as design and develop new car models. However most of the transportation was based on the architecture of foreign cars.
However, despite this in our country, even in the prewar years produced a lot of off-road vehicles. But the main peak of production in the automotive industry came in the days of the cold war with the United States.
In the decades of the cold war, our country has developed new technologies for the production of 4x4s. Many technologies applied in the automotive industry for the production of off-road models, was reliable and easy, allowing for an SUV that would work reliably in all weather conditions. Also, many SUVs were so well-designed and easy maintenance, even in our days, many models based on older platforms that are still issued and are in demand not only in our country but in many other countries.
The secret of simplicity, all of the Soviet cars were that because of the planned economy, our government could not afford to produce a sophisticated car with modern technology. The fact is that under the planned economy, all industries conduct their activities in a condition of austerity. Because of sverhekonomichny automakers could not afford to produce a vehicle with great cost. This has led to the emergence in our country of simple design cars, and SUVs.
This suggests that in our country was not exciting cars. Of course, they were. Especially in the postwar years, the market was a lot of good cars, which nowadays are considered to be the old paintings of famous painters. The same can be said about SUVs, which from time to time appeared on the Soviet market. It is worth noting that some off-road cars, was a true product of the Soviet (not copied from their foreign counterparts). That is, many models were developed by Soviet engineers from scratch.
Let us today, remember the best SUVs that appeared in the years of the USSR:
VAZ-2121 Niva (Lada Niva 4×4)
When the company AVTOVAZ realized that it’s time to release a new model without technology Fiat, the first descended from the conveyor of the legendary Lada Niva 4×4, which is still issued by the Russian car company. It should be noted that our field has gained popularity not only in the Russian market since Soviet times, but became popular in Europe. Especially in Germany, where the frugal Germans, who are natural born engineers, still amazed by the simplicity of design and ease of maintenance Avtovazovskogo SUV, and appreciate its low cost in the market.
Lada Niva was released on the Soviet market in 1977 with the aim to provide rural settlements with all-terrain vehicles. Do rural residents in need of this category of vehicles, as the government did not think about the fact that throughout the country there are no normal roads.
The main task of the designers was to create a lightweight SUV, which cost will be very low (probably also influenced the indication state of the universal economy).
The first prototype Fields were demonstrated to the experts and the Government in 1972. A feature of the SUV was his appearance, which was in no way similar to a real offroad vehicle. Externally, the car looked like a car. Indeed, the field was very similar to passenger cars Lada, which were produced by AVTOVAZ. Most of the field was similar to the VAZ-2106, design and design elements which were used in the creation of the VAZ-2121.
For the first model Fields were established carbureted four-cylinder engines 1.6 l (1580 CC) with 80 HP
The advantage of the VAZ-2121 was a large road gap, which was 220 mm, the lightness of the body, whose weight was 1150 kg.
Also the machine was equipped with all-wheel drive with two-stage transfer case and lockable center differential.
Surprisingly, after an entire epoch, this model is still manufactured by AVTOVAZ. Recently, the company updated the legendary model. The machine changed his name and is now called the Lada Niva urban 4×4. However, in the design of the machine virtually nothing has changed.
So those who purchase the new Field should be ready for the lack of sound insulation, lack of power and other familiar signs of old Russian cars.
This model was the main commander’s car our of the Soviet Army. UAZ 469, replaced the legendary SUV GAZ-69 in 1972, which began the serial production of cargo-passenger Soviet SUV.
The first development of the car began in the early 60-ies of the last century. Since 1964, it produced a small batch of prototypes experienced UAZ-469.
This car was designed for the transport of persons, transportation of various cargoes or mobile trailers on all road surfaces. Including in heavy terrain.
The body of the UAZ-469 is designed on a rigid spar frame, which is able to withstand high loads (including torsion).
The car was equipped with four cylinder engine of 2.5 liters with an output of 75 HP the car was equipped with all-wheel drive with two-speed transfer box.
Later in 1985 the UAZ SUV was upgraded. The model has received a new index UAZ-3151.
With the beginning of the great Patriotic war, our Army needed a light utility vehicle. As a result, in 1941, our Government has set the goal of two plants (GAS and NACHI) to develop and manufacture Russian SUVs.
As a result, in the period from 1941 to 1943, the above plants were developed and released about 5,000 of the SUVs are different specifications for the needs of the Russian army. Since the end of 1943, our country has launched production of a new model of GAZ-67.
The SUV began to develop in 1946. Already in 1948, the Gas company has released the first prototypes of the car. After several years of research and refinement in 1953 started the serial production of GAZ-69.
It is worth noting that the original GAZ-69 was produced at the company’s plant. Then production of the car was transferred to the Ulyanovsk car factory, which previously produced the ZIS.
With the release of the GAZ-69 at Ulyanovsk automobile plant received a new name – “Ulyanovsk automobile plant – UAZ”.
What do you think, whether produced in the Soviet years, the automobile off-road cars? Many, unfortunately, do not know what our country and in this class of cars is something to brag about. For example, few people know that our country has established a pilot production of four-wheel drive vehicle on the basis of “Moskvich 402”. Offroad Moskvich was referred to as “410”. The all-terrain vehicle was produced from 1957 to 1958. The machine was equipped with a reinforced monocoque body, all-wheel drive and other technologies and options. First machine was designed for rural needs of the population.
The Moskvitch 410 is also equipped with a specially designed two-speed transfer gearbox and a traditional manual transmission. The ground clearance was 220 mm. 410-I model is also equipped with a gasoline engine of 1.2 liters with a power of 35 HP
After Moskvich 410, in 1959, to market brought Moskvich 411, which is also equipped with all-wheel drive and had increased ground clearance. Unfortunately, in the early 60-ies of the production of four-wheel drive Muscovites stopped because of the lack of necessary facilities and funds due to the launch of export of production of passenger models of Moskvich 407, which was sent to the main power plant.
In the period from 1955 to 1958, the Gorky automobile plant produced four-wheel drive model on the basis of “Win-20”. As all-wheel drive system, the GAZ M-72 were equipped with the technologies of the GAZ-69.
It should be noted that the creation of a comfortable four-wheel drive vehicle on the basis of “Victory” designers had to change the longitudinal and transverse stiffness of the body, after making a number of additional amplifiers, floor, spars and more.
To create off-road “Victory”, the designers have equipped the vehicle transfer case transmission from GAZ-69. Also this SUV engineers took the front and rear axle, as well as a number of other technologies.
The amazing thing is that it was really all our Soviet car, completely from scratch designed by our Soviet engineers. By the way the car at the time of production had no analogues in the world. At a time in the West on the establishment of such cars have not even thought of.
Thanks to its unique technology, the GAZ M-72 could move through mud, sand, snow, arable land and rough roads.
Unfortunately, after production was shot the model of “Win-20”, production of the SUV GAZ-M-72 was also minimized. During the period from 1955 to 1958, it was released 4677 copies.
Before you legendary Soviet off-road vehicle that was produced from 1966 to 2001.
It should be noted that LUAZ-969 was the first Soviet sports car, which was intended for all peoples of the country. That is, this car could theoretically buy any citizen of the Soviet Union.
Despite the terrible machine design and cheap interior trim, this car was equipped with unique technology, which made off-road ability of the car outstanding even in our days.
Car LUAZ-969 was created on the basis of a floating war machine LUAZ-967. Read more about this unique car can be found here.
In 1965, the Ulyanovsk Automobile plant started serial production of “UAZ-452”, which later the people gave the name “Loaf” (probably because of the design of the car, which is really similar to a loaf of bread). This model was equipped with all-wheel drive with the wheel formula 4×4.
In addition, since the beginning of production the car was equipped with an engine, which was mounted on a GAZ-21 (2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 93 HP).
Surprisingly, despite an outdated platform and technology, the car is still in serial production. However, in 2011 some of the modifications the car received some upgrades.
So in particular machines were power steering, ABS system, new engine, compliant with Euro-4 and some other changes.