In early 1930s without any licensing arrangements the Soviet engineers copied the first limousine car for the Communist party executives. In 1932 six limousines were copied off the American Buick 90L. However, later the factory production line was switched to producing caterpillar tractors,so the limousine business was shifted to Moscow Stalin Factory.
The car, based on the engine of the Buick and the body copied off the Cadillac, was given another non-poetic name, ZIS — 101. It also had Buick radiator bars.
By the beginning of the Second World War there were three huge car factories in the USSR. Despite the fact that the USSR already had its own highly educated and talented engineers, the very first post-war limousine ZIS-110 was also a copy of an obsolete American car. When making a decision about the launch of a new car, the engineers selected four models – Packard 180, Packard Clipper, Cadillac 75 and Cadillac 63. Stalin himself was to make the decision, and he picked the Packard 180.
In August 1945 the Soviet government issued a decree on the opening the Moscow Factory of Small Capacity Cars. The same decree established the technical features of the new car as well as the commencement dates for the production lines. The patterns for the new car were also selected by Stalin. The Soviet leader liked the pre-war German Opel Cadette. In order to please Stalin, the Soviet engineers urgently found several trophy C-38. The cars were dismantled and the designs of the parts were sketched. The first five engines were made by November 1946 and the cars were on the road by the end of the same year. Interestingly enough, thenext generation of cars under the brand “Moskvich” was made on the basis of American Ford Prefect and Ford Taurus rather than the German range. The samples of those cars were purchased abroad.
The denouncement of the Stalin cult and a new seven-years plan to develop the Soviet economy for the period of 1959 – 1965 had inspired the Soviet engineers to create more cars. The flagman cars of that time were the ZIL-111 and GAZ-13 “Chaika” developed after the trial runs of best American executives cars. The ambitions towards the rapidly changing American fashion had made the ZIL-111 obsolete by the beginning of 1960s. That is why this car was later redesigned in the Cadillac style of 1960 – 1961. Nevertheless, the production of GAZ-13 “Chaika” was continued without any changes in its design till the 1979.