Gas M-20. Victory to the Victory Day.
Initially, the car was planned to be called “Motherland”. “Victory” was the backup title. They asked good to Stalin. “And how much is the Motherland?” The leader inquired, squinting. And the car was called Victory. How much is the victory - Stalin knew ...
The first cars of the brand "Victory" off the assembly line July 28, 1946. They were equipped with a four-stroke carburetor engine, a volume of 2.12 liters and a power of 50 hp. The car’s factory marking is GAZ M-20. These cars were “raw”, had a lot of structural and technological flaws and were produced largely by-pass technology. Only after a brief cessation of production in 1948-49. designers and technologists were able to fix most of the deficiencies found. Since 1949, the upgraded Victory began to go off the assembly line, and the cars that had been released before were returned to the factory to eliminate the defects.
The design of the artist V. Samoilov (1943) was taken as the basis for the design. The back of the body was streamlined drop-shaped (body type fastback or aero sedan) - in the last American pre-war fashion (from 1942 to 1945 in America, cars were not made). When designing the chassis components and the power structure of the Pobeda bottom, Opel Kapitän’s 1939 design elements were used, since the engineers of the plant had no experience in developing load-bearing bodies and modern suspensions, and the Opel were for that time one of the most modern cars in its class.
For its time, this body shape was a new word in auto design, especially at the design stage of the car (1943-46) and in the early years of production (the British Standard Vanguard, which appeared in 1948, very much resembling Victory, was considered futuristic - what the name says , Vanguard-Avangard), because Most of the cars produced in Europe and America before the end of the 1940s were modernized pre-war models with separate wing volumes.
At the time of the start of production, the Victory differed in its modern design and advanced design, however, by the beginning of the fifties, the low functionality of its body became clear (the height of the ceiling above the rear seat was too low, the total lack of backward viewing, a modest trunk volume, poor aerodynamic effect associated with the emergence of lift when driving at high speed, as well as a strong susceptibility to demolition by side wind - because of this, the fastback body did not catch on the “general purpose” cars anywhere in the world). By the mid-1950s, the aggregate part (first of all, the lower-valve engine) no longer corresponded to the world level, since Since 1952-54, it has become standard to install overhead valves, hypoid rear axles, curved windows, etc. on advanced American and many European models.
During the last modernization of 1955, the Victory received a new radiator lining, a more attractive upholstery, a new steering wheel with a ring signal button, an A-8 radio and a new emblem on the radiator lining. Was once again increased engine power - up to 52 - 55 hp As a result of all the upgrades, the car was assigned a new index - M – 20V.
In 1955, with the development of virgin lands, they began to produce a four-wheel drive car modification - GAZ M – 72. And from October 1956, a new legend was being prepared for release - the GAZ-21 Volga. At first, it was even produced with a Pobedovsky engine of increased power.
In essence, Victory was the first massive Soviet car. Own car (or, as it was then carefully expressed, “a car for personal use”) before the Victory was regarded as a government award. In the late 30s, a number of celebrities got the car: Leonid Utesov, composer Isaac Dunaevsky, Boris Babochkin, who played Chapaev in the same film, composer Dmitry Pokrass - author of the “March of Budyonny” and more often on the radio song “If Tomorrow is War” ... And when this “tomorrow” came, and the cars had to be handed over to the military registration and enlistment offices. Forever and ever. So the first Victories were distributed on the direct orders of Molotov, the second man in the country, the leader number two.
With the onset of the Khrushchev thaw, the number of people willing to buy their cars began to grow rapidly. The car from the indispensable attribute of the bureaucracy or the sign of belonging to the “top” began to turn into a means of transport. That victory was the very first car that went on sale. Already from the mid-fifties in the halls of the shop “Automobiles” on Bakuninskaya Street in Moscow there were always victories. Well, soon there were already three available brands: “Moskvich”, “Victory” and ZIM. “Moskvich” cost 9.000 rubles. (“Moskvich” cabriolet - 8.500 rubles), “Victory” - 16.000 (“Victory” cabriolet - 15.500 rubles), ZIM - 40.000 rubles. The salary of a skilled worker or an average engineer was then from five hundred to a thousand rubles a month. Representatives of the same technical, creative or managerial elite lived at that time much better. Their income is ten times higher than the average level. For example, Grandmaster Botvinnik could afford the “Victory”. It was these privileged Soviet citizens who began the first to master the science of driving. In addition, they were even given the right to install a metal garage near the house. The lucky owners of the coveted cars were officially called “motorists”. Notice, not by car owners, but by some suspiciously dubious “lovers”.
Having received recognition at home, GAZ M – 20 paved the way for the Soviet automotive industry to the world market. The car was readily bought in the Scandinavian countries, in Belgium, in several states of Western Europe, where the first sales representatives of the Gorky brand appeared. In post-war Europe, there was a shortage of relatively inexpensive, comfortable cars, and the Victory quickly found steady sales in many countries. Even Western specialized publications spoke flatteringly about the Victory. They were amazed at the machine’s endurance and found only two serious drawbacks in it: insufficient dynamics (payment for economy and adaptation to poor gasoline) and poor visibility back.
A total of 235999 cars were produced, including 14222 convertibles and 37492 taxis. The car was produced until 1958, from 1956 - in parallel with the GAZ-M-21 Volga.