In Stuttgart, the Mercedes-Benz 170V, the 1936 model, again went off the assembly line. "Opel" resumed the release of "Olympia" and simplified the finish of the "Captain". Cars created in the second half of the 30s were offered by Citroen and Rover. Even the American giants assembled 1942 model cars, in reality - 1941.
Exceptions are the Volvo-444 child of neutral Sweden, introduced back in 1944, and … Soviet cars. Their birth in the first post-war years was paid at a very high price. Some of these machines were supposed to appear in 1941-1942.
Before the war, Soviet factories were preparing to replace obsolete models that had been pedigree since the late 1920s. The Gorky plant gradually increased the production of six-cylinder 76-horsepower engines GAZ-11 (slightly modified “Dodge-D5”). The motor got under the hood of the modernized GAZ-11-73 “emka” - they managed to do quite a bit before the war. The same unit in boosted up to 85 hp version was planned for the 2.5-ton truck GAZ-11-51, the leading designer of which was A.D. Prosvirnin (the prototype appeared back in 1939). In parallel, they created a family: versions with different wheelbases, a drive on both axles, a triaxial.
As far back as 1937, the Stalin Moscow Plant built the first prototype of a new family base truck - a 3.5-ton ZIS-15 with a three-seater cab. Its 82-horsepower engine ZIS-16 has already been used on buses. By 1940, several more prototypes were created, including a 5-ton payload with a 90 hp engine. and a five-speed gearbox. The machine was almost ready for production. The designers worked on the tractor, all-wheel drive modification, bus car layout ZIS-17. By the way, there were very few similar ones in the world in those years.
In the summer of 1941, the modernized ZIS-101 limousines with forced engines, an independent front suspension, and a modified body were actively tested (ЗР, 2004, No. 7). All promising work was curtailed in the fall of 1941: Moscow became a front-line city, ZIS was to be evacuated.
Yaroslavl plant in 1940–1942 waiting for a major reconstruction. After it, it was planned to produce a new YAG-7 with a carrying capacity of 5 tons. The first and, apparently, the only car with design - a copy of the American White, the ZIS-16 engine and a gearbox in the transmission was built back in 1938. They also planned a version with a NATI-MD 23 diesel engine - the development of the Koju engine (Koba Dzhugashvili), which was also being created since 1933 in the Special Design Bureau of the OGPU ("sharashka"), as well as the YAG-4 dump truck. But the war with Finland began, the reconstruction and refinement of the new model was postponed.
In 1940, KIM (later MZMA and AZLK) began to produce a small two-door KIM-10 - in fact, a copy of the British Ford Prefect. Before the war, about 450 cars were built.
There were projects in the 1930s designed for the distant future. Say, buses of the wagon layout NIIGT (City Transport) and NATI-A. At the last installed 155-horsepower experimental engine. The only machine built before the war was in trial operation, then returned to NATI.
Of course, already at the beginning of 1941, many understood, although they did not say out loud that the new items would not be on the conveyor soon. Design Bureau worked hard on armored vehicles, four-wheel drive modifications. And in the summer, of course, there was no time for new models at all … But they were thought about again already at the beginning of 1942, barely pushing the Nazis away from the capital! Almost ready-made pre-war structures were able to improve, studying trophy and Lend-Lease machines.
On prototypes GAZ-11-51 they tried cabins from Studebaker and made their own - very similar to the American one. To refine the all-wheel drive GAZ-63, the American experience was especially useful. Alas, the highly accelerated version of the engine had to be abandoned in favor of the standard GAZ-11 with a capacity of 76 hp. They returned to the 90-strong only in 1949, designing ZIM.
Things were going harder at the ZIS: after all, in October 1941, not only part of the equipment was taken to Ulyanovsk and the Urals, many qualified specialists went there. By the way, by 1943, two new factories were operating in the country - UlZIS and UralZIS (now UAZ and UralAZ). And in Moscow in March 1942, all design bureaus were united in the OGK, headed by B.M. Fitterman and resumed work on promising models.
In 1943, two layouts and four design engines for the representative ZIS-110 were ready. This work through the MGK VKP (b), where meetings were held regularly on the 110th, was supervised by the country's leadership. It was even rumored that Stalin himself demanded to copy the VMS from the "Packard". Perhaps these are just rumors, but the ZIS-110 really looks a lot like the Packard-180, though without repeating it in detail. Creating a car was not easy. A lot - from such a complex body to a hypoid main gear - was new for the plant. But on September 20, 1944, the State Defense Committee approved the first limousine.
Until May 1948, in parallel with the few more ZIS-150 trucks (deeply processed ZIS-15 of 1940, which went into series on October 30, 1947), the ZIS-50 - ZIS-5 with a new 90-horsepower engine was built.
One can imagine the surprise and pride of Muscovites who saw the first ZIS-154 buses on the streets of the capital in the summer of 1947. A car without a hood, with the first Soviet production diesel! The GM-line for the production of two-stroke American engines was launched at the Yaroslavl plant, where YAZ-200 trucks have been made since 1947 (again, practically copied from the American model).
They refused from the pre-war KIM-10, although its design, in fact, is not outdated - a similar engine was put on the European “Fords” for many more years. The story of the Opel-Cadet, which became the first Muscovite - more political than technical - deserves a separate discussion.
In November 1944, they prepared a prototype GAZ-M20, which was not yet called the “Victory”. The Gorkovites cleverly woven American motifs into their original, advanced design for that time. The so-called pontoon design of the supporting body and the front suspension were borrowed from the Opel-Captain. By the way, they compared the car with it in tests in 1945.
Four days before the Victory Parade, June 19, 1945, the car was shown to the country's leadership. Among the shortcomings, the all-knowing leaders called the six-cylinder engine, which, in their opinion, required too much gasoline. GAZ immediately created a “trimmed” two-cylinder engine, with which Pobeda, of course, lost momentum. The first production cars appeared already on June 28, 1946, surprising even Western specialists. However, hardly more than 25 cars were built before the end of the year. Yes, and the car was unfinished: because of this, in October 1948, production had to be suspended.