Thursday, May 27

Gaz-A First Produced in Russia in 1932 =Ford Model A 1928 Design=

On 6 December 1932, 11 months after operations commenced at the Gorky Automobile Plant, the first GAZ-A passenger cars rolled off the production line, built under a Ford licence and adapted to reflect conditions in Russia. This car represented a new chapter in the history of Russian automobile construction – the Gorky Automobile Plant had commenced mass production of passenger cars.

The GAZ-A was primarily produced with an open five-seater, four-door Phaeton body. In case of poor weather, the canvas top could be raised and the canvas sides fastened above the doors. The passenger car sported the same finish, windscreen frame, dashboard and front doors as the first vehicle ever produced at the Gorky Automobile Plant – the GAZ-AA truck. The car’s engine, steering mechanism and electrics were also identical. However, the car’s chassis was designed quite differently. Its front and rear axles were joined to a light forged frame by two transverse springs. Its nickel-plated radiator boasted the Gorky Automobile Plant’s first ever logo – the letters GAZ in a black ellipse.
Many of the GAZ-A’s design features will appear surprising to motorists today: the contracting band handbrake for the rear wheels, the absence of a device for regulating the valves, the very low compression – meaning that in hot weather, when the conditions were favourable for liquids to evaporate, the car's engine could even run on kerosene. The speedometer did not have a needle but instead, behind the window of the device, numbers applied to a drum indicated the speed of the vehicle. The three-ply windscreen consisted of two layers of glass either side of an elastic transparent film. In case of impact, the shatterproof glass would become covered with a thick layer of cracks, instead of breaking up into separate chips like toughened glass, which was invented later. For the convenience of the driver, there was a suction wiper and a rear-view mirror located on the windscreen.
The GAZ-A was the first Russian-made car to have hydraulic shock absorbers in the wheel suspension – four per vehicle. The car’s wheels, with wire spokes positioned in three rows, boasted a high level of rigidity in both the longitudinal and transverse planes.
Fitted with a four-cylinder, 40 horsepower engine, the GAZ-A was able to travel at quite a high speed – 90 km/h.
The GAZ-A, thanks to its uncomplicated design, high road clearance, three-speed gearbox, gravity fuel feed to the carburettor and simple electrical wiring, was well suited to conditions in Russia, and drivers adapted to it with ease.
A number of GAZ-A vehicles, fitted with extra low-pressure tyres, took part in the legendary Kara-Kum desert test run in 1933, where they successfully demonstrated their impressive off-road capabilities, durability and reliability. Without any substantial breakdowns, they succeeded in driving more than 9500 km, of which 6000 km were cart tracks and dirt roads, and 1000 km were bare sand.
On the basis of the GAZ-A, the GAZ-4 pickup was also produced, with an all-metal cabin and a metal cargo bed suitable for carrying a half-tonne load. Ambulance bodies and D-6 and D-12 armoured car bodies were mounted to this, for use by units of the Red Army. In 1934, a batch of several hundred GAZ-TK vehicles was produced – six-wheeled cars with improved off-road capabilities – as well as a trial batch of GAZ-6 cars, fitted with closed sedan bodies, which were used as taxis, among other things.
Despite the relatively short time for which the GAZ-A was produced, the car entered the national consciousness for many years, and was familiar to everyone.

Produced 1932-1936. All together 41,917 units were produced. It was an almost exact copy of the 1928 Ford-A and its also officially the first passenger car produced in the Soviet Union. People have also called this car “Gazik”. Wheels 4×2. It was built with 5 seats and 4 doors.
Formula 4 cylinder gasoline
Power 40 hp @ 2200 rpm
Displacement 3,285 liters
Maximum speed 90 km/h
Fuel consumption 12 liters/100 km
Fuel tank 40 liters

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