Category: New cars

Way To The People


Video: Way To The People

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Video: AKMU - ‘사람들이 움직이는 게(HOW PEOPLE MOVE)’ M/V 2023, January
Way To The People
Way To The People

The first sample of NAMI-050 arrived in the capital on November 16, 1955, just six months after the idea of ​​creating a popular - simple and inexpensive - car “began to take over the masses.”


The project's underground worker was Fedor Alexandrovich Reppikh - in those years the deputy chief designer of the Irbitsky motorcycle plant. Once he brought to Moscow a bunch of letters that came to the factory, where the same thing was repeated in different expressions: “Give us a simple and cheap car!” Employees of other factories in those years also read similar letters of request. Soviet citizens, in general, wanted quite a bit: albeit a small, slow-moving, but accommodating at least three car - a kind of motorcycle with a sidecar and a roof. That is why, incidentally, turning to different authorities, did not forget the motorcycle factories.

Reppikh easily found like-minded people in US. First of all, Yuri Aronovich Dolmatovsky - the designer, and later the author of well-known automobile books, who headed the “Bureau for Machines for the Transport of Consumer Goods” in the early 50s, and Vladimir Ivanovich Aryamov - the designer, a mechanical engineer by training.

Aryamov characterized the future car with a 5x5 formula, which implied 5 seats, a dry weight of 500 kg, an engine of 0.5 l, fuel consumption of 5 l / 100 km, a range of 500 km on a gas tank. Of course, these parameters were approximate. For example, they decided to take the engine ready - the Irbit M-72 with a volume of 0.75 liters and a power of 23 hp, but with a fan for forced cooling. Motorcycle brakes were also used, but with a hydraulic drive.

Having upgraded, they used a three-speed gearbox of Moskvich-401 (the original gearbox was on the two later samples). All wheel suspensions were independent.

But the most original was the body - a compact wagon with a motor located at the rear. The rear-engine layout, influenced by the Volkswagen Beetle and FIAT-600, has found many adherents in the world. Our country was no exception, the main ideologist was precisely Yu. Dolmatovsky (in Moscow in the early 1950s, the original NAMI-013 carriage was developed). The Soviet designers, who then created the people's car, were clearly influenced by the Italian Isetta. Her door was the front wall of the body.

The panels of the first body were tapped in Irbit … gypsy-coppers. There were no such specialists at the motorcycle factory, and there were enough of them in the camps located in the vicinity of the city. Around the same time, the name “Squirrel” was born. After all, the car was planned to be produced in Irbit, even before the revolution, famous for its fur fairs. By the way, on one of the sketches, even the side turn indicators (painted by the artist Kobylinsky) looked like a pretty squirrel.

For the manufacture of such an unusual car, the forces of NAMI and the Irbit factory, of course, were not enough. In order to attract specialized enterprises to the creation of the machine, NAMI employees wrote, as they said, “lyric letters”, clicking on the fact that they were working on a popular car. They answered from the factories, as if by carbon copy: “The team is eager to help …”.

When the first prototype began to be rolled in a little, newspapers and magazines already excitedly wrote about Belka, presented its sketches, even the estimated production volumes were called up to 20 thousand cars a year. In general, the national machine was looking forward to. But she still had to work and work on it. One of the main drawbacks was the leakage of the door-wall. As an option, they proposed NAMI-048 - an almost symmetrical “push-push” with a door in the middle and a spring-loaded front seat, pushing which sat on the back.

In 1956, the artist who came to US Eduard Molchanov created the so-called rural version of the “Squirrel” - with a simplified body without doors and with an awning. Later, another rural version appeared - with a plastic removable hardtop. In general, Belka was dealt with a lot and seriously, but it was already solving b and another problem.

After the war, there were a lot of disabled people in the country, and the only motor vehicle for them was a primitive three-wheeled Serpukhov motorcycle stroller with a 3.5-liter engine. with. After Stalin's death, all instances, including the Central Committee, rained requests to create a more convenient car. They began to solve this problem both at GAZ (ЗР, 2003, No. 7), and in US.

The chassis of the two-seater NAMI-031 pledged, according to Soviet tradition, to be made to the "40th anniversary of the Great October Revolution, " but by the time the institute factory of experimental designs (ZOK) had assembled the car completely. The car was framed, with body panels made of plastic (in US already in those years they worked with such material).

The two-cylinder Irbit engine (obviously, the M-52 engine version) with a volume of 0.5 l developed, according to US, 13.5 hp, which fully fit into the standards of the 1950s. And NAMI-031 had an independent torsion bar suspension and rack and pinion steering.

At this time, employees of the institute already had the opportunity to compare their work with real foreign counterparts. We tested the British Bond-Minikar, the Italian Isetta, the German Fuldamobile, Gogomobil-T300 and Tsunadpp-Janus, and other cars. There was no landfill yet, public roads were used (though others, more likely, resembled the current landfill special roads). In one internal document by us at that time, it was written: “Strength should be determined by the ability to pass at least 5000 km along Pyatnitsky highway”. By the way, the German "Lloyd-600" already after 2100 km of driving on this highway, the rocket suspension rods broke.

The question of the production of a people's car on January 30, 1957 was discussed by the Council of Ministers of the USSR. In a long decree, they finally said the main thing: the car should be, moreover, rear-engined. But their "Squirrel" preferred "proven foreign design." At the Moscow plant of small cars, they began to copy the body of the FIAT-600, and in the US we developed two four-cylinder engines: an opposed one, an analogue of a Volkswagen and a V-shaped one, which was based on the Tatra engine. This decision was undoubtedly the right one. Motorcycle (on the later Squirrel models - the 18-horsepower MD-65, most likely the version of the famous M-61 motorcyclists), neither in terms of characteristics nor in resource for a full-fledged four-seater.

The body ripened before the engine, and the first prototypes of the Moskvich-444 were still equipped with motors removed from the squirrels. Thus ended the story of this interesting, largely advanced model. But, fortunately, not the history of the national car of the people.

“Moskvich-444” turned into a serial “Zaporozhets” ZAZ-965, which was made including in versions for the disabled - a very good car for those years. In Serpukhov, the production of C3A began. Of course, this was not a masterpiece of technology. But still, the four-wheeled vehicle with independent suspensions, rack and pinion steering compared to the three-wheeled S3L was a noticeable step forward. By the way, we developed a version of C4A with a hard roof, as well as C5A with fiberglass body panels, but they did not go into production.

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