January 29, 1932 - the birthday of the first serial Soviet truck GAZ-AA. The truck designed by the engineers of the Gorky Automobile Plant with a carrying capacity of 1500 kg is known to all of us as a lorry. This car became the most massive truck in our country in the first half of the twentieth century. A total of 4 factories produced 985 thousand cars (almost a million!).
The USSR was in the first five-year plan (1928-1932), the tasks of which were completed ahead of schedule - in four years. The country adopted a plan for the rapid development of all spheres of society and the creation of a powerful industrial power. Over 1500 various industrial and production facilities were built and developed throughout the country. To fulfill this large-scale and ambitious task, a large mass of trucks of all types was required, the "workhorses" of rapid industrialization.
The Soviet Union was dependent on foreign supplies of cars, but especially on expensive spare parts for them. The need for their own full-fledged production lines was increasingly felt. And soon they began to appear. It was decided, in cooperation with American engineers from Albert Kahn inc, to build an auto giant near Nizhny Novgorod, which, according to the plan, was supposed to produce up to 100 thousand trucks per year. There were not very many options to choose from: AM General did not agree to cooperate with the USSR, but another auto giant, Ford, offered its services. The company itself was then undergoing modernization, and the Ford cars of the T generation were replaced by new ones - A and AA. Just a Ford AA. He met all the requirements, and therefore was chosen as a sample. The new truck took on board one and a half tons of cargo, was simple, reliable and unpretentious, and most importantly, our engineers developed their own version of the machine, made adjustments to further simplify the design, but with a multiple increase in its reliability.
In record time, in collaboration with engineers from Albert Kahn and Austin Co. By the beginning of 1932, a new Soviet auto giant had grown up in the USSR near Nizhny Novgorod (near the village of Monastyri). In October of the same year, the city was renamed Gorky, and the car received the usual designation GA3. The workers were mastering the assembly process, and by that time the personnel at the plant were already sufficiently qualified. By the end of 1932, the plant was assembling 60 trucks a day! And since 1933, the car has become completely domestic, it was assembled only from Soviet components and did not require any foreign supplies.
Year after year, the process of improving the lorry went on. So, in 1938, the GAZ-MM appeared, with a forced up to 50 liters. ... engine and many improvements that made the car even more reliable. Separately, we should dwell on the modifications. Experts find more than 50 versions: this is the most massive bus of the 30s in our country, and a fire truck, and a tank, and an airfield vehicle. Armored vehicles were also produced on the basis of GAZ-AA.
By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army and the national economy of the USSR had an impressive fleet of vehicles, but the losses affected, and it was necessary to speed up the production of trucks of all types as much as possible.
The engineers of the Gorky plant took an extremely simple way: they removed everything unnecessary from the lorry. There were no metal or plywood doors, they were replaced by tarpaulin covers. The roof was replaced by an awning with a small window at the back. The fenders were bent from simple roofing iron, and one wiper, one headlight and one front brakes had to be abandoned. The body was now reclined only at the back, and not on three sides. The lorry became a reliable workhorse for Soviet military drivers. Simple and unpretentious, she almost always walked with an overload (sometimes with a double one). Another interesting modification was created - the gas generator GAZ-42, a car with a stove that ran on wood.
More than 300 thousand lorries together with our army went through the whole war, retreating, and then advancing, carrying the wounded, were messengers and airfield vehicles. They worked day and night in the steppes of Ukraine and the Caucasus mountains, in the Arctic, and then in Europe. But most importantly, during the years of the blockade of Leningrad, they transported hundreds of thousands of tons of military cargo and food on the ice of Lake Ladoga, along the Road of Life. The lorry showed fantastic survivability and maintainability and met the requirements of wartime. Drivers, talking about the war, often mention that where German or French captured trucks got stuck, unable to cope with the broken front roads, our GAZ-AA crawled briskly, showing a fighting character. In total, until 1951, about a million and a half were produced. After the war, the truck was returned to its classic appearance. The car participated in the restoration of the country, it could be found in the cities and villages of the USSR until the end of the 60s. Nowadays, the legendary truck is not found on the roads. It can be seen only in a movie or a museum, and samples restored by enthusiastic reenactors can be seen at celebrations and exhibitions. But this can hardly make him less significant for the history of the country.