ZIS-101 – The First Luxury Car of the Soviet Union

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About half a century ago, the Soviet Union (now Russia) was a country capable of providing luxury cars for high-ranking officials in many Governments. Among them, the ZIS-101 was the first and most popular luxury car.

In the 1920s – 1930s, the leaders of the Soviet Union and politicians often used large, expensive Buick cars. Since then, the top leaders of the Soviet Union have come up with the idea of designing a luxurious domestic line of cars similar to the Buick line.

The manufacturing process of the new car line was inaugurated in Leningrad in 1932. This is a sophisticated and ideal technical car, with many useful applications. Leningradsky Putilovets Company, assembled all six of these types – all of these cars appeared in the May 1933 parade.

However, all six cars showed many disadvantages during the test run on the road from Leningrad to Moscow and back. The company had to stop producing cars, and switched to making tractors and tanks.

A factory in Moscow named Stalin (Zavod Imeni Stalina – ZIS) was entrusted with the task of continuing to develop the luxury car line. Later on, the design of the Buick-32-90 type was not copied, only its engine technology borrowed.

Ambi Budd Company of the United States received an order from the Soviet Union to design the car body for the ZIS-101 line. This company eventually produced a series of car bodies for the assembly of the new, luxurious Soviet car line. In return, the Soviet Union had to pay a large amount for this product at that time – $1.5 million.

The car body type of the first luxury car line of the Soviet Union is very remarkable. It is made of both wood and metal. Each car body is handmade. The car does not make sound while running.

In the spring of 1936, Ivan Likhachev, director of the Moscow Automobile Plant, drove this new car from Moscow to Podolsk and back. The results were very promising, and the first cars were handed over to the Kremlin.

Two ZIS-101 cars, one cherry red and one black, were introduced to Joseph Stalin, Kaganovich, Mikoyan and other leaders on April 29, 1936. Senior government officials were deeply moved by this new car line. They all nodded in approval for mass production. Over 8,000 luxurious Soviet cars with various improvements were assembled before World War II.

This type of car is 5.5 meters long with a speed of 120 km/h and a 110 horsepower engine. The car is equipped with a heating and radio system. The ZIS-101 consumes 26 liters of fuel per 100 km.

From then on, the Soviet car manufacturers produced all kinds of cars for high-ranking officials.

Thế Đạt (TTTĐ)