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10 most beloved buses of the USSR

Urban, suburban, intercity … – the bus in Soviet times was the main transport.

Left with a nose

Behind the wheel

Bonnet buses operated throughout the country for many years. In the provinces, they were even used as regular ones. In large cities, “nosed” cars were official.

The production of GZA-651 at the Gorky Bus Plant (a branch of GAZ) began back in 1950. The car for 19 seated passengers was based on the GAZ-51 units, was equipped with a gas six-cylinder 70-horsepower engine, and even repeated the front of the truck.

The production of such buses was soon mastered in Pavlovo-on-Oka, and then in Kurgan. As well as many other smaller factories around the country. Their cars differed slightly from each other in body shape, but its chassis, units and front end remained unchanged.

At first, the body frame was made of wood and sheathed with steel sheet. Later, factories gradually switched to steel “skeletons”. In some places, such machines were built until the second half of the 1970s.

The next “nosy” bus was the Kurgan KAvZ-685. Its serial production began in 1972. This car with the “face” of the GAZ-53 was equipped with its own V8 engine with a working volume of 4.25 liters and a power of 115 hp. Analogues on standard Gorky chassis were also made at other plants of the Union.

The last offspring of the “nosed” family, already based on the GAZ-3307 KAVZ-3976, was built until 2007.

Buses of the GZA-651 type were made at many Soviet factories.Buses of the GZA-651 type were made at many Soviet factories.

small forms

Behind the wheel

The most massive Soviet buses in history are small-class Pavlovsk cars. Starting from the PAZ-652, the release of which was launched back in 1958, to the current PAZ-3205.

Pavlovsk cars are produced on a conveyor – a rare case for bus production. A six-cylinder engine was installed on the PAZ-652, and a Gorky V8 was installed on the PAZ-672. This model, like the next PAZ-3205, even had all-wheel drive versions of the PAZ-3201 and PAZ-3206.

Simple in design, durable and reliable “paziki” worked as regular buses in small towns and on suburban routes. In megacities, Pavlovsk machines served in state-owned enterprises. It was difficult to find a citizen of the USSR, who at least once in his life did not ride in the “pazik”.

Buses in Pavlovo were assembled in huge quantities: PAZ-652 and PAZ-672 sold a total circulation of more than 350 thousand copies.

The famous and beloved PAZ-672.The famous and beloved PAZ-672.


Behind the wheel

In 1957, the production of the ZIL-158 city bus began in Moscow, designed for 60 passengers (32 seats) – a huge capacity for those times.

The car was based on the nodes of the ZIL-164 truck and was equipped with a 6-cylinder engine with a working volume of 5.6 liters, 109 hp, and a five-speed manual gearbox.

In 1959, production was transferred to a new plant near Moscow in Likino, where until 1970 the ZIL-158 was mass-produced. In total, more than 62 thousand machines were manufactured, which worked in large cities throughout the country.

By the way, it was on the basis of ZIL-158 that the first articulated bus with a semi-trailer in the USSR was made – the “accordion” LiAZ-5E-676. But he was not allowed into the series. One of the reasons is the underpowered engine.

The ZIL-158 was replaced by the revolutionary for our country LiAZ-677, later – LiAZ-677M. The car, to the delight of drivers, received a two-speed automatic transmission.

V8 engine with a working volume of 7 liters and a power of 180 hp. was very greedy. The bus consumed up to 50 liters of gasoline per 100 km. But in those years, the operators did not care.

Another feature of LiAZ-677 is air springs in suspensions. When they were serviceable, the car was very smooth. In the 677th, for the first time in the USSR, storage areas appeared, and the total capacity was 80 passengers.

ZIL-158 was produced in Moscow, and then in Likino near Moscow.ZIL-158 was produced in Moscow, and then in Likino near Moscow.

In Likino, LiAZ-677, which worked in many large cities, was assembled until 1996. In total, more than 194 thousand cars were manufactured. Several provincial factories carried out overhauls of buses, sometimes using complete bodies supplied from the Likin plant. In some parts of the country, buses traveled for another ten years.

Another favorite mass city bus of the USSR is LAZ-695. For the production of these machines, the plant in Lviv was reorganized, turning it into a huge specialized bus.

The famous Soviet centenarian LiAZ-677.The famous Soviet centenarian LiAZ-677.

The first cars were made in 1957 for the Moscow festival of youth and students. A Moscow 6-cylinder engine with a capacity of 109 hp was installed in the stern. – the same as on ZIL-158.

Since 1964, a motor from the ZIL-130 – V8, with a volume of 6 liters, with a power of 150 hp, was already installed on the LAZ-695E.

LAZ-695 buses in Moscow did not work on city lines, but they were well known in many large cities of the Union.

The LAZ-695R model from this family was made in many versions right up to 2003. In total, more than 258 thousand of such machines were produced.

Early LAZ-695.Early LAZ-695. Continued on the next page.

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