ZIL is a very respected brand in Russia.
At one point ZIL plant produced famous during World War 2 lorry cars, as well as buses, cars, lots of other vehicles, including floating cars. The plant even produced refrigerators ZIL. Refrigerators, created in Soviet times, are not discarded. They still operate today (more than 40-70 years without repair!).
Today, not much is left from the former glory of ZIL. ZIL car factory managed to occupy a niche of making vehicles for housing and communal services.
We will tell you about the most famous Russian limousinecreated at the plant – ZIL 41047.
Automobile ZIL 41047 replaced ZIL 41045 in 1986. A new progressive leader of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, had to change the image of a stagnant Soviet leader.
The car went through a thorough modernization. Minor changes in the appearance of the car included the emergence square headlights, new design of rear lights, a more visible radiator, changed windows and fastening of the door mirrors.
The car got a new 8-cylinder engine, which allowed this heavy armored car to accelerate to a speed of more than 190 kilometers per hour.
Engine displacement was 7695 cc. Engine power was 315 hp – it didn’t seem very large for a heavy vehicle (the weight of armored ZIL reached … 6 tons!). But the engine torque was 608, which was comparable with the fastest sports cars! And that was with using 92 gasoline!
ZIL emblem mounted on the hood had no risk of injury. It folds when you press on it.
The wheelbase of the car, equal to 3880 mm was so great that the car was simply impossible to overturn.
Single-unit manual assembly
One ZIL 41047 was assembled in half a year. In one year ZIL plant could produce no more than 20 cars.
The car had a very rich, deep color of the body, which was almost impossible to reproduce. It was reached by layering 10-15 layers of paint, each of which went through a polishing stage!
In addition to the leader of the Soviet Union, the car could be given to the members of the Politburo of the Soviet Union.
All vehicles were assembled manually. Each element was individually customized, thus achieving an unsurpassed quality of the limousine: the cars almost never broke down, and most cars are still on the move today.
On the inside, ZIL 41047 was decorated in a heavy Stalinist style using expensive wood paneling made of walnut burl. Seats were covered with special velour for passengers and leather for the driver and the guard.
On the back door from the inside there was not one, but two handles for door opening. The second was intended for a bodyguard who could sit on the flip stool.
The car had a very smooth ride.
Insulation of the car reached a thickness of 5 cm; the windows had three layers, which provided for exceptional noise isolation of the cabin of a limousine.
According to witnesses’ opinions (some cars, of course the ones without armored protection, were later used for weddings), riding the Russian ZIL limousine left a special impression than no other luxury foreign car can boast of.
Protective armored qualities of the presidential limousine ZIL
Body armor of the car was unique. Western experts could not believe how it was possible to provide such a high protection for a conventional car. The secret was revealed years later, after the collapse of the USSR, when intelligence officers managed to buy an old ZIL car. In contrast to existing methods, body armor of ZIL was not done by using conventional armor “screens.” First, a whole armored capsule was made, around which the car was built!
The weight of the door was more than 200 kg. In some places, the armor had a thickness of 7-8 cm and a thickness of the glass reached up to 8. 5 cm.
Armor of the car could protectfrom bullets with a caliber of 7.62 with armor-piercing core, fired from a sniper rifle, and from a grenade exploded underneath a limousine.
The wheels of the car had a radius of 16 inches, and they could withstand punctures and tears.
Ground clearance of 17 cm allowed to overcome significant bumps on the road, and even, if necessary, to drive over curbs.
A couple of photos made in 2014 at ZIL plant
Convertible ZIL (perhaps, produced on the order of the government of Russia for the Victory Parade on May 9) / Artem Svetlov (CC, flickr)
Finished ZIL (maybe it’s a collector’s car sent to the factory for renovations) / Artem Svetlov (CC, flickr)
Feel like the first president of the USSR
ZIL cars “with history” can reach a price of 1.5 million euros. The problem is that no one wants to sell. Collectors are holding onto them with both hands. And they will certainly not allow you to take a drive on a Russian limousine.
But you still have an opportunity to drive a ZIL. And only in Moscow. The cost of a trip (at least 5 hours) will be about $ 1,000, slightly cheaper on weekdays. The capacity of the car is up to 6 passengers.
A video of ZIL 41047 in motion:
P.S. “New” limousine for the Russian President
Today ZIL plant has developed a model of a new presidential limousine.
It has all the advantages of a modern comfortable car, while maintaining the Soviet traditions in the design of the car. Here is a video of a test-drive of a prototype of a new presidential limousine:
Will the new Russian ZIL limousine be of interest to the Russian president, who is currently driving a foreign car?