Volga - from sunrise to sunset

Soon we all known since childhood brand "Volga" can become a part of history. Since 1956 "Volga" car nearly half a century has been a dream for Soviet and later Russian citizens. But like "Moskvich", "The Seagull" and ZIL, this legendary Soviet car brand is close to that to cease to exist.

Text + 7 ph © Alexander Plekhanov via auto.mail.ru

It so happened that for the Gorky Automobile Plant "Volga" is also a subject of legitimate pride and ... long-term headache. The first "Volga" GAZ 21, was born in 1956, became a symbol of the "thaw" of the fifties and sixties, this car is removed and still make films. It has been successfully exported, won awards at international exhibitions and has, without exaggeration, the only available vehicle for Soviet citizens, as one would say now, "premium." After all, "Twenty-One" "Volga" was the first among the "people's" cars acquired a "bourgeois" gimmick as automatic transmission. It was really good and outstanding car, and perhaps the most iconic of all car developed and produced in the USSR.

Since 1968 to replace the GAZ-21 came to a successor - a future survivor GAZ-24. This car also became a symbol of its era and, despite appearing almost simultaneously with the VAZ-2101, it is the domestic "Volga" for many years was considered the top model of the Russian car industry ("ZIL" for ministers in the present case does not count). This machine was prepared for extremely long conveyor life - it is the "twenty-fourth" "Volga" and its subsequent modifications became the most mass passenger car in the history of gas.

His "premium" status "Volga" strengthened in 1981, when the light appeared "Director" GAZ-3102. This car was quoted in the Soviet Union almost as high as Mercedes or Volvo. If not higher, as it is on the GAZ-3102 drove the party nomenklatura, and traffic cops on sight chopped characteristic silhouette, immediately took salute. But with all the advantages of this machine it was at a significant and negative - age. After all, it was based on the design almost fifteen years ago. That is why since the mid-started the development of the next generation of the "Volga" - GAZ-3105. This car was replaced at the same time and GAZ-3102 and GAZ-14 "Chaika". Of course, first of all the new "Volga" we had seats the party apparatchiks and officials, and then planned to release its simplified versions for "mere mortals", taxi, police and other services.

And since the mid-eighties of the last century the Soviet Union was the second after the United States a world superpower, before gazovskih designers were set very ambitious task - to make a modern, well-equipped vehicle is not conceding world counterparts. Country dozens launch rockets into space, which is building nuclear submarines and of great scientific and technical potential just had to have a good car. Such "Volga" GAZ-3105 and was supposed to be. And would, if not instigated by Mikhail Gorbachev, the so-called "perestroika", which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
As for the car, it was a very successful project. Nothing like in the Soviet Union had not yet been issued. The machine features a hitherto unprecedented level of comfort. There was a power steering and adjustable steering column, ABS, climate control, heated and power seats, power windows, four-wheel drive with differential lock with the driver's seat. Under the hood is located 3 and 4-liter "eight" power of 170 hp which aggregated a five-speed manual gearbox. True car weighed nearly two tons and the city spend more seventeen gallons of fuel. But who cared if such trifles? After the USSR gasoline cost cheaper than mineral water. The first pre samples were collected in 1987, but it took almost five years to the car went in the series. However, by the time the situation in the country has changed dramatically. Nomenklatura disappeared as a class, and officials hastily transplanted to foreign cars. And the price of "Volga" GAZ-3105, given the small production volumes, was too high. In all there were 55 cars (according to other sources 67), and in 1996 the production of cars was stopped. About that, how much it cost the country the development of the story modestly silent. GAZ-3105 proved to be the pinnacle of evolution of the Soviet automobile industry, and the beginning of the end ... of the brand "Volga".

A second attempt to change the conveyor veteran GAZ-24 (31029, 3110) was undertaken immediately after the GAZ-3105 ended his short life. Again, Gorky managed to create a very unusual car. The car has received index GAZ-3111 and should, in theory its creators, not only to replace the old lady, "twenty-fourth", but also to compete with European and Japanese cars E-class. The strength of GAZ-3111 will definitely become a "neo-classical" design. Outside the car turned out quite modern, but while maintaining a "generic" features gazovskih of cars. Like its predecessor, the loser GAZ-3105, the new "Volga" also had good equipment: power steering, ABS, central locking, electric windows and LED taillights. The machine was equipped with a 2, 5-liter engine ZMZ 4062.10 155 hp and five-step "mechanics". In the future, planned to use a more powerful engine ZMZ 4064.10 (200 hp), as well as six-and eight imported engines and automatic transmissions. On the downside can be attributed the presence of units of the GAZ-3110, in particular the rear beam axle with leaf springs. But it was a temporary measure to continue gazovtsy surely would have brought the car "to the mind».

The first GAZ-3111 left the assembly line on the eve of the new 2000 ... and then it turned out that this car is no use to anyone. The new "Volga" was the way, suffered a variety of childhood illnesses, and besides the trust of Russians to domestic cars on the background of an increasing number of cars, it was, if not completely lost, it seriously undermined. All were released 428 copies of the "Volga" GAZ-3111, after which the project was buried. About how much money has been thrown back "to the wind", GAZ try not to remember.

In 2003, the Nizhny Novgorod had tried to develop a more budget option "Volga" - GAZ-3115. The car was lowered step below - in Class D, added a multi-link rear suspension and 2, 3-liter engine with 130 hp But beyond prototypes did not get, and that's the story of the "Volga" national development can be considered complete.
But that was not the end. In 2006, GAZ has decided once again to step on a rake favorite. But now it has been decided to make "the mind." From abroad he was invited "Viking Guest" - Swede Erik Eberhardson, who had recently led Volvo Trucks office in Ukraine, and was also recognized as the best manager in 2006. Mr Eberhardson It came up with a brilliant idea to buy the US line to produce Chrysler Sebring and carry it to Russia. Best manager in 2006 somehow was convinced that Russian buyers are lined up together for the Chrysler Sebring, barely it will do in Nizhny Novgorod, but more along the way and will call "Volga". Well, that greedy on all overseas Russians remembered that the new "Volga" is the most that neither is the exclusive car, the car for some reason invented yet synthetic, unpronounceable name of Siber. At this time, the price of this more than doubtful undertaking is very well known - $ 290 million. That's how much he gave for the GAS line for production of Volga Siber, its installation and commissioning. The first car came off the production line in July 2008, and last year's gas fired 2151 "Volga-Siber". For comparison, approximately the same amount produced per year of supercars Lamborghini. But plans Eberhardson were truly Napoleonic - at least 60 000 vehicles per year.
Now gazovtsy sadly state that the machines produce at a loss. Guilty, as in all previous cases, there was again no.
And just the other day the story came to its natural end - it was reported that after the end all 10,000 purchased kits, production of Volga Siber will be almost one hundred percent probability discontinued. It is understandable - who in their right mind will produce cars at a loss and even in crisis ?! Also do not forget about the plight of GAZ, whose debts exceed 55 billion. Rubles. There can be no "Volga-Siber» ...



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