We are about to visit the shop where they make executive class cars, and we are going to do it illegally. It’s one of the shops of the factory named after I. A. Likhachev. In some areas it looks abandoned nevertheless it still works and remains under guard.
This shop was built in the 30s, probably during the second reconstruction of the factory.
There was time when even authorities were not allowed to enter the shop freely. They were required to have a special pass from KGB.
The first executive class car made by the factory was ZIS-101 ( 1936 – 1941 Ð³.). In general they produced 8752 cars.
The next attempt to make a car for the Soviet authorities was made in the times of the war. It was an executive class ZIL.
Stalin liked cars of “Packard” so it became the basis for the new car. It pretty much resembled Packard 180, the main changes were inside the car (bigger distance between cylinders, for example, that improved engine cooling). From 1945 to 1958 they made 2072 ZIS-110 cars.
Marshal Zhukov in ZIS-110B.
They applied typical Soviet methods of production.
When they still were making limousins 800 people worked in the shop. Today their amount is tive times less.
Body panels are made with help of special oak moulds on which metal sheets are tapped, planished and evened. Manually.
It’s a hard work for professionals.
With such methods of production they could not make many cars. Though it was not necessary. Soviet people did not need thousands of limousines.
As opposed to mass production where a future car moves on a conveyor and obtains new parts, here they used stocks. Car frame was fixed on it and details were welded on.
Body elements are welded on upwards.