Continuation. Read here how the Yunost minibus appeared based on the ZIL-111, how it won the bus competition in Nice and what links the daring ZIL project to Ford.
Hope for the youth
After the success in Nice, there were plans to produce 300 buses in 1968. But they were not supported by anything material. And the plant didn’t need it. He had plenty of current concerns about the execution and over-execution of the plan. Where to produce and to whom to sell hundreds of expensive “non-class” cars, it was still not clear.
However, in 1970 the car was updated. The restyling benefited her: the bus became more restrained, but also more harmonious and modern. True, ZIL-119-71, the release of which was officially launched in 1971, was, strictly speaking, no longer called Youth. The inscription of the body disappeared even earlier.
ZIL-118K second generation at the exhibition “Autoservice-73” in Moscow.
Loose specimens were still collected slowly and painstakingly, like yachts, on MSC 6, the same place where members of the government were. ZIL-119, soon renamed ZIL-118K, was of course no secret. Although the cars went to government agencies, the Ministry of the Interior and the KGB, they were not published in company directories. Nevertheless, ZIL-119 became the hallmark of the factory and the Soviet automobile industry. Machines have repeatedly decorated foreign and domestic exhibitions.
ZIL-118KL – forensics laboratory, 1982.
A prototype ZIL-119-70 with air conditioning, which the car really needed.
In 1977, Alexei Kosygin, chairman of the Council of Ministers, signed a document on the production of two thousand ZIL-118Ks per year. So, again they planned to reduce the cost of the next limousine – ZIL-114. At the same time, the bus was estimated to still be three times more expensive than the RAF.
On the ZIL-118K, the back door opened to the right.
But the main thing: before that, somehow they did not notice that, by the way, the 118th was already with a 170-horsepower engine – a variant of the ZIL-375 engine and a three-speed gearbox from the ZIL-114 ( 2.02/ 1.42/1.00 ), is poorly adapted to mass production and the testers have collected a list of claims.
The uncomfortable driver’s seat was inherited by the bus from limousines, in which the drivers were never considered the main drivers. The front suspension was overloaded, which affected the source. Finally, from birth, the machine suffered from inadequate ventilation and heating. The driver’s feet were freezing cold and the cabin was stuffy. For mass production, this all had to be completed.
Small-scale production was planned for 1984. It’s hard to say if anyone seriously believed in it. But the most surprising thing is that the most large-scale (very conditionally, of course!) production of buses already took place in the first half of the 1990s.
See you at the museum!
Series production, of course, did not begin. And before the thirtieth anniversary of the car – in 1990 – it was updated again, assigning the ZIL-3207 index. The engine now developed 180 hp. at 3600 rpm, the maximum speed of the passport was increased to 140 km / h. The car finally got disc brakes.
Late ZIL-3207 with a modified front end and rectangular headlights.
From 1991 to 1995, the factory sold thirty cars, despite the fact that thirty-one had been assembled in the previous three decades. They called the price of 120 thousand dollars – quite comparable to the cost of the most expensive and prestigious passenger cars. But during the period of rapid accumulation, and especially the redistribution of capital, there were buyers.
It did not take long. After all, a rare car still had to be serviced, repaired and spare parts obtained somewhere. And for a gigantic factory in hard times, the former Youth was not at all the car that could help make things better. Then a beautiful pickup truck and cabin appeared – a cutout of a bus on a cargo chassis.
Experienced pickup truck ZIL‑32072G.
A prototype truck with a cab cut off from the ZIL-3207 body.
The assembly of ZIL-3207 buses was discontinued in 1995, the last bodies were made in 1998. Of the 87 machines of different generations and modifications, several dozen survived. For collectors – desirable rarities. And the youth deserve it.
Such an unusual, strange, romantic car could only appear in the place and time in which it appeared. But she didn’t fit at all into the world she was born into, and in fact she was doomed from birth to produce, like member-carrying limousines. But Youth is an interesting, bright artifact of our history. And not just cars.
Bus of the latest generation with high roof ZIL-32071.
It was ZIL-118A who became the first-class nurse in the USSR, which later became known as reanimobiles. In 1964, a prototype was made with a lifting roof, increasing the internal height to 190 cm. The roof was stretched like buttons of accordion fur. It was made at the Bayan factory, named after the Soviet army. The machine was equipped with the most modern equipment, they even made a lifting operating table with an electro-hydraulic drive.
ZIL-118A – an ambulance with the most modern equipment of the time and a lifting roof.
The first experimental ZIL-118A worked in Moscow and Leningrad. Of course, doctors and patients alike were delighted with the spacious, fast, soft-sprung car. Even in the version without lifting roof – ZIL‑118S.
But a few expensive cars, as you might guess, worked in the 4th Main Directorate of the Ministry of Health, serving the leaders of the party and the government. Later, single nurses were also sent there.
Only two high sanitary ZIL-118KA were made.
American Chevrolet Greenbrier made based on the Corvair passenger model. In the “face” of the van there is a distant resemblance to Youth. But structurally, the Greenbrier, which was made in 1961-1965, is completely different: the air-cooled boxer engine was located under the floor at the rear.
Checker Aerobus produced from 1962 to 1975 with sedan and station wagon bodies, in six and eight door versions, with 160-200 hp engines. from. The eight-door 12-seater estate car, which took part in the bus competition with our youth in 1967, had a length of 6852 mm and a base of 3924 mm. The car was mainly used for transfers to expensive hotels and transport of small groups of tourists.
- 300 hp and a body instead of a trunk – you have (certainly!) never seen a Niv like this!
- Extend the life of any mechanism and help modern additives in fuels and lubricants.
- “Behind the wheel” can also be read in Telegram.
In the 1970s, ZIL-119, which arose from childhood, became the hallmark of the Likhachev plant and the entire Soviet automobile industry. Although the series, albeit a small one, only went into the 1990s. But entered into history – and not just in the car – immediately after birth.
The most amazing Soviet bus: childhood and its “children”
Source: Z R