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The car GAZ-13 «Chayka»

GAZ-13 «Chayka» - the Soviet representative (representative) the car of a large class, produced a small series on the Gorky automobile plant (c 1959 to 1981. All was made 3 189 cars of this model.

History of creation
The decade from 1950 to 1960 was in the world automotive design a period of continuous sampling, experiments and the search for new stylistic decisions, forms, materials and technologies. Therefore, the cars, the serial production of which started in these years, apparently become obsolete very quickly. This is exactly what happened with the Soviet car of a large class of GAS-M-12 Winters (1949-1960), the creators of which in terms of design, focused on particularly prone to rapid change tendencies of American «styling». Already after several years of serial production, to the middle of the decade, strict and conservative Winters looked far not the best way against the background of their foreign classmates, and after the 1955 model year as a result of the change of generations on conveyors of all the leading car manufacturers in the U.S. American design sharply, abruptly went forward and began to look frankly archaic. Quickly become obsolete and incorporated in him, in his time technical solutions. Therefore, in those years, on the background of the coming full swing upgrade process model series in the Gaza and the rest of the Soviet «passenger» factories - «Moscvich», Zile - the question of replacing the Winter of other, more modern appearance and technically perfect car.
It all began with the work on the modernization of the ZIM. In 1955, GAS-e was created prototype at its base - GAS-12V (he is also known under the designation WINTERS-12V). He already had the name of «the Seagull» and had in the grille decorative detail in the form of the typical profile of the wings of this bird. There are at least two distinct parts instance of this car. External changes were mainly cosmetic character - the more elegant rims headlights, tinted from the outside by exterior color, more generalized checkered radiator grille, whole windshield, other caps and moldings on the sidewall, a revised clearance tailgate and so on. Along with this, according to the data of the press of those years, it was planned to increase the power of the engine, to improve the car's braking properties and introduce automatic transmission of «Volga».
However, time passed, and soon it became clear that the style of the car hopelessly out of date, external modernization significantly modernize it could not. Therefore, the work on the new car began with a blank sheet of paper». On the creation of «the Seagull» worked great creative team of designers, engineers, designers and testers of the plant: In. With. Soloviev, N. A. Yushmanov, Str. A. Ponomarev, In. In. Гнетнев, Para. E. Сыркин About. And.Пелюшенко, M. Mokeev, B. The Greeks, as well as L. Dr.. Кальмансон, B. With. Pospelov, B. B. Lebedev, L. E. Duarte and others. Initially the project was developed under two mottos : «the Chaika» and «Strela», was eventually elected as the first.It should be noted that in those same years, at the Moscow Plant Likhachev developed and prepared for production of a new car of higher class - ZIL-111. The first samples of which carried the name «Moscow» (designer Valentin Sprouts, chief designer - A. Mr.. Островцев), were built in the mid-fifties and even at that time were conservative and rather featureless appearance, mainly сводившийсяfor the compilation of elements of design of various obsolete American cars of medium and higher class the first half of the 1950-ies, mainly of such brands as «Cadillac», «Packard», «Buick». Understanding this, the management of the plant announced the open competition (in the USSR in those years it was possible), won the «third party» in relation to the plant designer lion Eremeev, with Gas, who previously worked on ЗиМом, and at the same time - on the «Volga» GAZ-M-21 and the project of the future «the Seagull». They were offered a project of visually modern, original and dynamic vehicle, created under the clear influence of the newest models of the American firm Packard, who in those years, as once studied in the US (convertible Packard Caribbean and sedan Packard Patrician, both 1956 model year), along with other samples of the American automotive industry.
It cannot be said whether Eremeev used in the work on the project ZIL any already existing at the moment of the Foundation for the future «the Seagull», or Vice - versa, its design was created under the influence of the appearance of the car of higher class. Either way, the stylistic theme of both cars in their final versions of explicitly calling. However, the appearance of «the Seagull» was formed not at once. For example, some of the surviving search sketches she has no characteristic roofs above the headlamps, as in «Volga». On one of the remaining photos, depicts early large-scale layout, having a front end almost exactly like the serial ZIL-111, but more rounded and «soft» plasticity of the body as a whole.
Approximately in 1956, with the participation of the constructor body L. E. Duarte and sculptor (B. B. Lebedev was built as a minimum of two (judging by the photos; perhaps they were and more) the full-size layout, which had the appearance, is still very radically differs from the subsequent production cars.
For the new car was designed by a completely new engine, V8 instead of standing on the ZIM row of the «big six». He had enough advanced by the standards of those years of construction, in particular - and the cylinder block and head, and intake manifold, and the pistons are made of aluminum alloy - the rare at the time the technical solution (in America, the first aluminum engines appeared in the early sixties, but of a special distribution in the time and has not received). Subsequently дефорсированный version of the same engine under the name of ZMZ-41 installed on BRDM-2, and created on its base version with reduced working capacity is still used in trucks GAS (ZMZ-53, -511, -523) and buses PAZ (ZMZ-523). With him was paired fully automatic hydromechanical transmission mate, the one that was created for required at the same time in the production of «Volga» GAZ-21, which significantly facilitated the operation of the car in comparison with the previous model. In addition modified transformation ratio of the Converter and the gear planetary parts, gearbox «the Seagull» was different and a mechanism of control: range of transmission was carried out button selector, located on the left of the instrument panel. He had four buttons: N - neutral; E - motion; T - quiet operation (only the first transfer, analog mode L in modern automatic transmission); ЗХ reverse.Also, unlike the Wake of carrying the body of Winter, the designers of «the Seagull» went on the use of separate frames, while the lightweight in comparison with the traditional лонжеронной - X-shaped, very original for the time of construction (in the United States later this frame will have the model of General Motors, and this will happen only in the beginning of 60-ies). The body was attached to it in 16 points through vibration rubber gaskets. The new machine was larger and heavier than the ZIM, and the use of the carrier body was in this case irrationally. In addition, the practice of long-term operation of GAS-12 Winters showed the existence of certain problems it is with the rigidity of its carrier body.
For the first time in the production of Gas were used a four carburetor, power steering, vacuum power brakes, power Windows, radio with automatic tracking and the antenna with the electric drive.
With regards to the design of «the Seagull», then, in spite of frequent claims that he did not bear a direct resemblance to a particular foreign model of the vehicle (including the models Packard, etc.), and not only due to the completely different proportions her длиннобазного body with three rows of side Windows, but also due to the quite original findings of the designer in the plastic and design. If to speak about the stylistic перекликании with other cars, like peaks above the headlamps used not only cars Packard 1955 and 1956 model years, but also, in certain years, Lincoln (1956), Mercury (1955-1956), Plymouth (1955-1956) and other brand, and as an initial example of this style is clearly made concept car Ford X-100, submitted as early as 1953. Registration of a tail part of «the Seagull» with V-shaped profile lanterns, with horizontal sections поворотников, clearly reminiscent of the corporate style of the concern General Motors, used in the period from the mid-fifties to early sixties on the cars of such brands like Chevrolet (1956-1957), Pontiac (1957), the Buick (1955-1958), Holden (1960-1962), but not the stylized under the arch of the Gothic Cathedral, the rear lights «Packard». But the majority of the design elements were just typical for the «Detroit of the Baroque» of those years as a whole (some examples of such similarities are shown in the gallery of images below).As a result, from used in «the Seagull» stylistic solutions, reminiscent of - and the remotely - specific directly for the products of the firm Packard, can be called, perhaps, only the instrument panel, with the gold trim and the glove box in the center, the lay-very different, visually more light, slightly resembling also panel "Олдсмобилей" of those years, as well as the front turn signals and bumper with no less characteristic of the Fang - «bullets». In the rest of the car though and was established with a clear orientation to the demands of American style, like all products of the Gas years (as well as a significant part of the European car of higher class, including brands such as Facel-Vega, Borgward and, in part, Mercedes-Benz), but all the same was not a «stylistic copy», or «creative development of the foreign model, not to mention the fact that, technically, «the Seagull» was completely original and quite advanced for its time (lightweight X-frame, full aluminum engine, 3-speed hydromechanical transmission with torque Converter, and so on) of the Soviet development.
It is clearly seen and the desire of designers Gas «write» design «the Seagull» in the line of cars GAS, referred to выштамповка over the rear wheel arch, as in «Volga», and not less characteristic pattern выштамповок on the bonnet, borrowed from the Winter. Subsequently, already «Volga» GAZ-21 received in the course of modernization of the elements of decoration, reminiscent of «the Seagull», such as «double-Decker» bumper (since 1962)
In 1957, has already been produced two running prototypes; they differed from the future production of «the Seagull» not only externally - mouldings around the wheel arches, the windshield, rear lights, front подфарниками, caps wheels, but also the working volume of the engine - 4.9 liters, compared with 5.5 liters in serial production. At about the same time they were presented at the exhibition closed in the US. Of these two prototypes was selected sample, by which the Assembly has started a pilot batch of vehicles for state acceptance tests. Judging by the photos and documents, we can say that there have been made not less than 9 copies, различавшихся color, and all of them, she was combined two-tone. From serial machines they were already slightly - for example, накапотным decoration in the form of sea-gulls and gilt radiator grille.
Cars of a test series were sent to test run with a length of about 21 000 km. In January 1958, the pilot sample with the number «e-2», which had a turquoise-dairy color, was sent to the exhibition of the Expo '58 inBrussels, Belgium, where on display from April to October of the same year.The official date of the beginning of production of GAZ-13 «Chayka», there were 16 January 1959, but in fact the first cars going on the stocks in the autumn of 1958. The first issued cars had a number of minor differences from the next, like any other location of the inscription «the Seagull» at the rear.
In the next few years, «the Seagull» repeatedly exhibited at the automotive and industrial exhibitions abroad, including in the cities of Brno, Budapest, Geneva, New York, Leipzig and Mexico City. In New York at the Soviet exhibition of 1959 (a response to the American exhibition in the USSR of the same year) was submitted by one-color «Chaika» (most of all - black color), but with typical for two-color machines Wellness center (with a scarlet cloth upholstery, which had «chess» pattern). For several years, two-maroon-and-beige «Seagull» was exhibited at the exhibition of economic achievements in the pavilion of the «mechanical engineering».


Chronology of the issue
In 1961, in addition to basic saloon was developed and a version with a body «cabriolet» (in other sources - «Phaeton»), which was designated GAZ-13Б. He had a folding tent with electro-hydraulic drive, the scope of the glass doors were missing - their place in the side Windows were light metal framing, убиравшиеся together with them. Folded tent was placed in the niches on either side of the rear seat, so it was only two people, and the total number of seats was reduced to six.
In addition, in the same year in the production program was listed and the variant with a body «limousine», having a wall in the passenger compartment - GAS-13A.
Issued such cars were a little bit - and at the present time it is known only about 10 surviving cabriolets and only a limousine.
Production of the car by this time reached the 150 pieces per year, and subsequently remained approximately at the same level.
In 1962, the basic modification of the GAS-13 was not technical and external updated, in particular appeared the carburetor K-114 (instead of To-113), new receiver with optional volume control in the left rear armrest of the sofa, new wheels with other caps. Cars are now cutting the cloth of the front of the officers ' overcoats gray color.
In the early 1970s, the «Chaika» has received the side mirror on the left of the door.
In the late 1970s, in parallel with the release of «the Seagull» GAZ-14 and on its pattern, on GAS-13 has been upgraded salon. Instead of a brass grid on the instrument panel appeared film with texture «under the tree», sofas and upholstery door panels steel jacket velour mustard or green in color. A new radio - transistor, with the short-wavelength range. Just such a car is one of the latest release of copies - is on display in the Museum of «GAZ».Modifications made on Gaza
The GAS issue «Seagull» in the following versions:
GAZ-13 - the absolute majority of the «Seagull» was closed четырехдверные body with three rows of seats without internal walls;
GAS-13A - according to the requirements, mainly the Ministry of defence, manufactured automobiles with the internal partition between the driver's and passenger compartments;
GAS-13Б - these machines had the rear of the open type «Faeton», or in other sources - «cabriolet»; soft top rose and fell electrohydraulic system, controlled from the driver's seat; the number of produced carriages, according to different estimates, makes up not more than 20 pieces.

Third-party modifications
In addition to these, produced by the manufacturer of the modifications, GAZ-13 was the base for numerous alterations, by various third-party refineries and car refinish workshops.


GAS-13C
Ambulance version of GAS-13C with the body of the wagon were produced at the factory RAF was released about 20 units, of which survived the order of 12. In them there were wall in the back of the frame. Almost all generalists had between them those or other differences from the build manually. Cars were intended for service of the top nomenclature. Also known universal-hearse.

Other modifications
Known and a «mother» of the front carriages on the basis of «the Seagull». For example, the leaders of the GDR - Walter Albrecht, and, later, Erich Honaker used the front of «the Seagull» with a high hand rails around the cabin.
In the beginning of the release of the model, when in operation remained cars of the previous generation, there were alterations of «the Seagull» with a suspended body «iron» of ZIM - the so-called «musk ox» or «ослобык».They were constructed on the military ремзаводах on request of some of the nomenclature of workers, who «Seagull» on rank is based was not.
There is unconfirmed information about the two спецмодификациях sedan - machine communication and support, which had the equipment of communication of the brand «Rosa», and the machine-the pusher («battering RAM» with reinforced front end styling, ahead of the government of the column).
From written-off «Gulls» was made at least one railway мотодрезина.


The modernization project
Because of the extremely fast, in fact the annual change model series in the USA in the second half of the fifties, already by the beginning of the next decade «Chaika» has lost visual freshness of its design. Therefore, in 1961, in parallel with the works on the modernization of the mass model of the middle class GAZ-21 «Volga», an attempt was made to update and physical appearance of the car of a large class. In the remaining photos of the prototype seen the new design of front with horizontally-way radiator grille on the whole width of the vehicle, four headlights reduced diameter under the broader peaks, the more square the front bumper. Sidewall remained the same. The rear part, probably, was also altered appearance, but the photos of the prototype at the rear is not known.
However, this proposal was not adopted for serial production, and, unlike has undergone in 1963, the restyling of the vehicle ZIL-111 more high-class, «Chaika» throughout the whole issue outwardly almost did not change.
According to one version, the reason for this was the fact that the similarity of «the Seagull» with ЗиЛом of a higher class «at the top» was seen as a violation of the established type of representation cars. And really, if ZIM and in size, and the number of cylinders of the engine significantly inferior to the modern him ZIS-110, and the design of a very distanced himself from him, «the Seagull» and externally, and the size and the characteristics closely approached the ZIL-111. Therefore, ZIL-111 was four years after the beginning of production of modified externally, allowing visually «make» him with «Chaika», and subsequently the design of the passenger cars of this brand changed relatively regularly, and this is the upgraded version of «the Seagull» GAZ-13 in the series never went.


Operation
In contrast to ZIM, which officially was in free sale to the population (albeit at a very high price, more than twice as expensive «Victory»), «the Seagull» was never consumer goods, did not even have installed the retail price. No confirmed data about cars of this brand new entering the personal use of citizens, there is no (according to other sources, «the Seagull» received the writer Sholokhov and the ballerina Ulanova, woman-cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova has received the first white GAZ-13).«The Seagull» was used as the personal transport top nomenclature (mainly of Ministers, first secretaries of regional committees), which was issued as an integral part of lying «package» of privileges. It is the «Chaika» in 1980, was killed the first Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Belarus P. M. Машеров. They served and in the embassies of the USSR abroad and other countries in the USSR.
And sedans and convertibles «Chaika» were used for parades, served at the meetings of foreign leaders, opinion leaders and heroes, were used as a convoy vehicles.
Also, «the Seagull» came in «In tourist», where, in turn, they can order all comers, for use as a wedding limousines.
In our time, most of the surviving «Seagull» is used in the wedding business, and, as a rule, is located in the fully converted state. The preserved authentic copies are in private collections and museums around the world. 

Sources: 

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