Most roads in the Soviet Union, especially those located beyond the city limits, always left much to be desired. This was especially felt in the post-war years, when the state was required to restore agriculture and infrastructure facilities. The country needed cars that could move easily across rough terrain and off-road conditions. Therefore, in 1946, Grigory Moiseevich Vasserman, who was the leading designer at the Gorky Automobile Plant, began working on a new off-roader.
The birth of a "toiler"
The first sample of the machine, which the factory workers called "a worker", with the official marking of GAZ-69 came off the assembly line in 1947. In 1948, 3 machines were assembled at the plant. At that time, such a speed of appearance of the car, from the project to the first prototypes, was considered simply phenomenal. But to that there was an explanation. The fact is that in its design, ready-made nodes and mechanisms were used, successfully used on machines produced serially.
For example, the engine, whose volume was 2,1 liters, went to the "sixty-ninth" from the famous GAZ-M-20 ("Victory"). It was slightly modified, resulting in power increased to 55 l. from.
The transmission of the new SUV was also borrowed from the "Victory".
A novelty in the car was the appearance of a device that provides pre-heating. The salon was equipped with a heater, and for windshield was provided for airflow with warm air. All these innovations allowed to operate GAZ-69 at any time of the year and any weather.
The appearance of GAZ-69A
The first tests under the supervision of the state commission were held in September 1951. In the same year, the first sample of GAZ-69 was assembled, which had noticeable differences from the usual "sixty-ninth". First of all, they concerned the body of the car.
GAZ-69 had two doors. There were two seats in front. Three benches were set up behind them to transport six people. This ascetic arrangement of the body was explained by the fact that this car was intended primarily for the army. Therefore, convenience was sacrificed for practicality.
GAZ-69A had a broader purpose, it was planned to be used for the needs of the national economy. Because of the existing doors were added two more, and wooden benches replaced a soft sofa, which could accommodate three people. In addition to the fact that the body of GAZ-69A received new elements, changes have also affected the fuel system. In the "sixty-ninth" there were two fuel tanks with different volumes: one 47, another 28 liters. In GAZ-69, they were replaced by one tank in volume of 60 liters.
Passage - the main trump card
However, the added amenities did not make GAZ-69A a comfortable city car. He still remained a hard worker with no frills. Its patency and unpretentiousness could become a standard for any SUVs of the world at that time.
It was the impeccable patency of the "sixty-ninth" family that became their distinguishing feature. A short base, a small mass, a system of four-wheel drive, excellent clearance under the bridges of the car allowed the SUV not to be afraid of difficult road obstacles.
Such qualities of the car, as well as its low cost, provided the car with demand not only in the USSR, but also abroad. About 50 countries abroad have acquired a Soviet SUV for their own needs.
Despite the fact that the salon car GAZ-69A was considered quite spacious, it was not very convenient to sit in it because of the narrow doors.
Comfortable excesses in the cabin can not be found. Everything is only the most necessary.
The front panel of the GAZ-69 (photo above) contained a minimum of instruments:
- A pointer informing the driver about the amount of fuel remaining in the tank;
- ammeter showing the level of charge of the battery.
A heating system for winter and a sun visor for the summer period - that's all the amenities offered by the manufacturer for comfortable operation.
The trunk lid was folding. If it was in the open position, it lengthened the floor of the luggage compartment and made it possible to transport an oversized cargo.
The dermatine-covered armchairs were soft, but slippery, and it was problematic to sit on an uneven road. GAZ-69A had a spring suspension design, which made the car spring on bumps, and with it all those who were in the cabin. Actually, for such a jumping car and called "goat".
The windscreen was cleaned from external contaminants by a windscreen wiper, the trapezoid of which was installed above the glass.
To protect the car from the weather, a cover was provided, which was a tent made of a dense waterproof material (tarpaulin). The GAZ-69 Tent was stretched on the body of the carcass and with the help of loops "soldered" to the edges of the cover (eyelets), firmly fixed at the base.
At GAZ-69A power unit and two bridges were fixed to a frame structure. The frame had a rectangular closed form with six transverse reinforcements.
Both car bridges were leading. The axle differential in the design was not provided.
As already mentioned above, the engine on the SUV was installed from the car "Victory" and had the marking of GAZ-20. Its volume was a little over two liters and the power of 55 l. from. Worked four-cylinder unit on gasoline with low octane (A-66).
The manual gearbox mounted on GAZ-69A had three shift stages for forward and one for reverse.
Power steering in the design of the car was not provided, and, in fact, and the needs for it were not special, the steering wheel turned even on a standing car without much effort.
GAZ-69A technical characteristics were as follows:
- the overall dimensions of the car (including the canvas awning) were 3 m 85 cm x 1 m 75 cm x 1m 92 cm (length, width, height respectively);
- inter-wheel track - 1 m 44 cm;
- the distance from the roadway to the bridge is 21 cm;
- declared fuel consumption - 14 l at 100 km, the actual flow rate varies from 16 to 20 liters, depending on the load;
- the maximum possible speed is 90 km / h;
- The weight of the car without the equipment is 1415 kg, 1535 kg is the weight of the equipped car.
Contribution of modern craftsmen to the design of the car
Despite the fact that GAZ-69A last time left the assembly line in 1973 year, it still falls on Russian roads. However, to see it in the form in which it came out of the gate of the plant, it is still difficult. The craving for the vintage car lovers to bring modern features into their appearance is very great. Tuning GAZ-69A is not limited only to changes in the appearance of the car. Changing its running gear and even the engine.
Improvements to the running gear of an SUV
Since GAZ-69A is an off-road car, the owners of this rare car first of all try to improve its already good cross-country ability.
To do this, make a car lifting. And it is performed not only on the body, when it is raised above the frame, using special spacers, but also on the suspension, when the ride height of the SUV increases.
Lifting on the body is done with one goal - to make it possible to install a larger wheel on GAZ-69.
Tuning the appearance of the Soviet SUV
To make the "goat" more attractive, and at the same time improve its qualities, it is equipped with power bumpers of increased strength. The design of the car is supplemented with a winch, the availability of which sometimes helps out on impassable roads.
The nozzle of the exhaust pipe is installed above the level of the body of the car. The thresholds of the machine are being improved. Standard tires are replaced with spectacular mud rubber. Installed chrome wheel disks.
All of the above improvements in the car require increasing its power, so owners are trying to replace the GAZ-69 engine with more modern units. And under the hood are installed not only domestic models, such as ZMZ 402, ZMZ 406 ("Volga") or UAZ's UMZ 417 or UMZ 421. But the engines of German manufacturers "BMW" - M10 or M40.
Tuning any car is expensive, and tuning an SUV, especially a rarity, will pour out to its owner in a round sum. Often, for money spent only on disks, you can buy another car. But if you do not pay attention to the financial side, tuning makes the car not only beautiful and unique, forcing passers-by to turn around, but more reliable in operation.