ZIL-4329AP and the real ZIS-5V. Source: Alexey Benera, fototruck.ru, en.wheelsage.org
A good idea
The celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Victory in 2005 was planned to be celebrated widely. As a highlight, it was decided to take veterans along Red Square to the legendary ZIS-5V. And not on a couple of cars following the T-34-85, but immediately in the composition of ten “boxes” of 12 cars each with a commander’s truck at the head. Total - 130 ZIS-5V, which prudently required 10 spare vehicles.
"PseudoZIS" is preparing for the parade. Source: Mazepa V.G., Shelepenkov M.A. Plant and people. 1916-2016 (in 3 volumes). Volume 3. Submission of positions (ZIL. 100 years)
Naturally, such a large number of wartime trucks, and even capable of breaking Red Square without breakdowns, were not. In total, in normal condition there were no more than ten ZIS-5. Therefore, it was decided to build trucks from scratch, more precisely, on the basis of existing models.
The idea, as we see, was originally very good: on the anniversary of the great Victory, solemnly take veterans to world leaders on retrocopies of wartime trucks. However, this idea came into the minds of the leadership too late, in October 2004, which, of course, did not imply the production of copies of the ZIS-5 close to the original. Igor Lysak, head of the ZIL experimental research corps, recalls:
“It all started with the fact that the management asked us:“ Choose a model on the basis of which you can create a machine similar to the ZIS-5 at minimal cost. ” The “bull-calf” is not suitable for these purposes, which means that the “big ZIL” remained. The very first sample of the “retro-ZIS” was shown to the plant management and representatives of the Ministry of Defense in early February: they approved the car, but advised to make a number of changes. ”
In fact, the very first sample was shown back on November 24, 2004, and it inspired a little horror. According to Alexander Lazarev, who worked at that time as an AMO-ZIL design engineer, the ZIS-5V replica looked more like a hippopotamus and frankly smacked of "collective farm" tuning. Then they didn’t even decide to show the car to the military and began to process the layout.
Initially, the truck for the parade was built on the basis of the six-ton ZIL-432930, from which the cabin was dismantled, replacing a metal tubular frame sheathed with 10 mm plywood. From plywood, they even sawed emblems of the Stalin plant on the grille. And all would be fine, but the layout of the modern truck is a lot different from the cars of 60 years ago. First of all, it is the ZIL cabin, pushed onto the front axle in order to increase the useful length of the loading platform. Accordingly, the motor moves forward, going beyond the truck base. At ZIS-5, everything was much more elegant, since it was still being built according to the classical recipe with the wheels far ahead and the engine in the base. Now, not even all passenger cars are designed like that, not to mention trucks. There was neither time nor money to reconfigure the civil ZIL, so I had to sculpt some kind of illustrious “three-ton” from a six-ton truck. Obviously, the opinion of veterans who still remembered the original cars, neither the factory workers nor the military were particularly interested.
The first "hippo". Source: Mazepa V.G., Shelepenkov M.A. Plant and people. 1916-2016 (in 3 volumes). Volume 3. Submission of positions (ZIL. 100 years)
The rush in which the machines were designed and built inevitably affected the quality of the ZIL-4328AP (this name was given to the “front” cars). Eyewitnesses say that the welds on the tubular frame were rough, and between the doors and the cabin the gaps were a finger thick. The car did not have side and rear windows together with the inner lining. However, ZIL products of those years and in serial execution did not differ in special quality. But the entire mechanical part underwent a separate verification of the quality of execution - the Ministry of Defense was the last to wait for failures during the Victory Parade. All 140 cars were required to be manufactured by March 2005, so that there was still a month left to train drivers in synchronous driving.
I must say that the “retro-ZIS” was collected by almost the entire AMO-ZIL plant. Cab elements were made in the model workshop, it was assembled in a new body building, and the whole machine was made out in an auto assembly building, on the plant’s head conveyor.
After the November failure, when a clearly crude layout was shown, engineers and assemblers approached the modeling of the appearance of the replica more carefully. They put a narrow radiator, conjured over the equipment of a diesel engine, which allowed to narrow the hood to the radiator grill. They abandoned the bumper, leaving only the characteristic towing fangs, but even they were not able to spoil the already unsuitable appearance of the cabin. And with a “cherry on the cake” more elegant doors were installed in order to bring the proportions of the 6-ton truck closer to the “three-ton”. We managed it by the end of January 2005 and immediately put the updated truck on the vibration stand for the “three thousandth” (this is about kilometers) test. During the “shaking” two modes were modeled: movement along a smooth road surface and profiled cobblestone imitating Red Square. The cabin made of pipes and plywood withstood the vibration test, and on February 3, ZIL-4328AP appeared before military acceptance.
Oddly enough, I liked everything, just asked to remove the handrails on the sides of the body and build them up with another board. The military did not bother (they say there was a major general and colonel) that the replica of the Victory domestic truck was more like the German Magirus and Vomag of the early and mid 30s of the last century. That is, created under the power of the Nazis! And in each such "pseudo-ZIS-5" it was supposed to put 20 veterans - for this, the seats were borrowed from the Bychkov buses. Landing was provided through the tailgate via a ladder with a handrail, which was then pushed into the body between the rows of seats. By the way, the trucks were not just to be honored by the participants of the war along Red Square, but also delivered after the holiday to their place of residence in the city.
ZIL-4329AP. Source: Mazepa V.G., Shelepenkov M.A. Plant and people. 1916-2016 (in 3 volumes). Volume 3. Submission of positions (ZIL. 100 years)
The day when the ZIL-4329AP for the first time took on board veterans. April 29, 2005. Factory parade "AMO-ZIL". Source: kolesa.ru
Veterans of the Great Patriotic War for the first time saw the creation of the hands of car manufacturers even before the holiday: on April 29, a traditional parade was held at the ZIL in front of the Glory monument to the heroes of the war. Then for the first time ZIL-4329AP for the first time and took on board the war veterans. The machine appeared before the workers and employees of the plant, invited by military personnel of the Presidential Regiment, cadets of the military-technical school with a brass band. It is not known for sure, but perhaps after that, the newspaper “Moscow Automobile Plant” described the impression of the new item:
“On a quick inspection, the car resembles German heavy Magirus or MAN trucks of the late 30s and early 40s.”
The Zilovites themselves did not deny the obvious resemblance to fascist technology!
Who does the ZIL-4329AP really look like: at the top is Magirus, below is Vomag. Germany. 1930s and 40s. Sources: autowp.ru, auto.vercity.ru
After the factory manufactured all 140 cars, they went to Teply Stan to the place of permanent basing, and pre-train training was usually held on the Khodynsky field. During the Victory Parade, it was not known where the information came from that trucks, stylized as a GAZ-AA lorry, were traveling along the cobblestones. This is to the fact that it was impossible to unambiguously determine the belonging of the resulting miracle. However, in one of the interviews, Mayor Luzhkov called the three-ton ZiSs “the one and a half we won.” Maybe this is what caused a strange rumor.
As if ashamed of their own creativity, the factory workers after the parade dismantled almost all the “retroZISs” and returned them to their original form of the donor ZIL-432930. The fact is that contact with the Ministry of Defense did not imply a ransom of 140 trucks, and after the restoration of the car they were sold. According to available data, only three vehicles remained alive after the 60th anniversary of the Victory: in the Ryazan Museum of Military Equipment, in private hands and on the territory of the plant. The last one, with an inscription on the back of the car “Glory to the soldiers of the 1st Belorussian Front”, was destroyed in 2014.
ZIL-4329AP in Ryazan. Source: offroadclub.ru
“They wanted the best.” This is how you can briefly retell historyassociated with the construction of ceremonial replicas of ZIS-5 for the Victory Parade 2005. And after the retelling a lot of questions arise ...
If it was initially clear that it wouldn’t work out so quickly, why didn’t the trucks change? After all, was it possible to assemble a collection of ZIL-157 and ZIS-151? Or were they too much like the Lendlisian Studebakers? If so, then why not bring veterans to the familiar Urals with honor? And symbolism here would be no less. In the end, it was possible to turn to GAZ, maybe they would have obtained one and a half loots more adequately.
Having no competitors in the struggle for a military contract, the Zilovites treated the issue as real monopolists. And the military simply had no choice but to accept the “pseudo-ZIS”. Accept and forget - as a story that would be better not to happen.