Saturday, August 26, 2017

Volga GAZ-21 (Part 1)

Nowadays it’s difficult to imagine the life of a modern motorist without the presence of tow trucks and recovery vehicles on the roads. Breakdown recovery services are ready safely and quickly to bring faulty vehicles to destinations at all hours. It’s probably impossible to ascertain who designed the first specialized vehicle for towing broken cars, but it’s easy to surmise that similar mechanisms probably existed from the late nineteenth century, and emerged a little later than the invention of the car itself.

Tow trucks, as such, were practically non-existent in the USSR. So, when it came to a breakdown, the soviet citizen either had to apply his physical power to push the car, or use a tow and neighbor’s car to get to the nearest workshop. The soviet automotive industry produced not only lots of civilian car models, but also various specialized hardware. Tow trucks and other recovery vehicles, however, were never on serial production. Such vehicles began to appear on the post-soviet territory only in 1990’s. But before that period, in the Soviet Union, there were very few craftsmen, who managed to create unique vehicles for breakdown services.

Presently, the only extant handmade recovery vehicle in Armenia from that period is this GAZ-21 of 1960 production. In those years, this car “tirelessly worked” in special services.
In 1960, the second taxi fleet of the capital got another batch of Volga-M21A cars specially designed for a comfortable ride for urban population. The brand new Volga of second generation was an impressive and respectable car, which provided unprecedentedly comfortable ride in those times. The drivers of other vehicles were simply green with envy, since among the available cars for soviet people the new GAZ-21 was the most expensive and prestigious one.
To be continued...

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Nissan Terrano (Part 2)

The four-wheel drive with a transfer box and rigid axis lock combined with manual transmission and high-torque 2.4 Z24 petrol engine predetermined the application field of this car for long time. After years of service, in April 1998, this vehicle was put up for sale for a nominal sum.

The buyer was Hovhanes Malkhasyan, a local resident, who claimed that, long ago, in grave health condition, he was taken to hospital, to a surgery department, on this very same car. In the new family the car was treated like an equal member. It must be noted that the owner of the Nissan, like most of other inhabitants of the earthquake zone in that period, was destitute of a roof over his head and dwelled in a little cabin on the outskirts of the city hardly affording the bare necessities for existence. Unsurprisingly, the car was kept on the street and had no proper care. After several years of poor upkeep, the car plunged into a deplorable condition.  In 2011, already being in unusable condition, the car was confiscated for depths and passed into possession of a private bank. Fate, however, gave a second chance to this Nissan Terrano. In March of the same year, the car had a new owner, who undertook its restoration. Very soon, it underwent cosmetic repair.

Then all the useless parts were replaced with new ones; it received a completely overhauled mono-injection engine with additionally installed LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)
Presently, this car can be seen in the streets of Yerevan. Its owner is an active member of the society of hunters and inspector in the Ministry of environmental protection.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Nissan Terrano (Part 1)

It’s amazing how touching the story of, at first glance, a most ordinary car can be. Although having been ruthlessly used in harsh conditions from the day of its production, this unremarkable Nissan Terrano still demonstrates incredible endurance.

In 1988, the practically new Nissan was brought from Europe to Armenia. This car, along with some others, were to be engaged in the elimination and subsequent restoration of the ruined city of Leninakan, which was razed to the ground by a devastating earthquake on 7 September 1988. The earthquake embraced an area of population of about 1 million. In that period, in addition to the union republics, 111 other countries rendered assistance of various kinds; both humanitarian and technical. After so many years, it is impossible to ascertain exactly which country sent the car to the disaster zone. Besides conveying the injured to hospitals, the car was also used by foreign medical staff to reach the neighboring towns such as Spitak, which literally went under the ground.

This Nissan had every day to cross difficult terrain in order to get to Spitak and back. After the first stage of the elimination works in Leninakan, the car was sent to Amasia, a village, which is about thirty kilometers away from the district center. What typical for this part of Armenia is that there are severe weather conditions in winters accompanied by abundant snowfalls that make the roads impassable not only for ordinary cars, but also heavy trucks. This cost-saving off-roader, also, proved to be extremely easy in maintenance. 
To be continued...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Chevrolet Suburban Silverado (Part 2)

With this purpose, they modified the suspension in order to increase the ground clearance and gave the car a threatening appearance. In the chassis they used modified front and rear springs, and put adjustable shock absorbers. For a comfortable boarding the car received extra footrests produced by CARR. Originally, there were halogen flood lights on the roof, which unfortunately did not survive. However, the most original part in the design of the car are, of course, the wheels themselves.

Manufactured by Interco Tire Corporation and named Super Swamper TSL/BOGGER, these tires are extremely popular among the fans of off-road vehicles. They have unique and inimitable design and are depicted on the logo of the company. These wheels are primarily designed for riding through swamps, although they can be used on any rugged landscape and road surface. The signs of the “off-road adventures” soon became visible on the car with the naked eye.

Then I learnt that in 2004 the car was put up for sale. In the autumn of the same year, it was purchased by a customer from Armenia, to where it was shipped by water. In February 2005, the SUV was registered by the traffic police of the Republic of Armenia. They wrongly identified the car and recorded it as Jeep in the field “Manufacturer”

Very soon, the car came to a full stop for an indefinite period of time. For a complete overhaul, it was decided to obtain another body of the same car in its standard version. These plans, however, did not come true. All this time, the car has been rusting on an outdoor parking in the suburbs.  Recently, the owners renewed their plans for the restoration of this Chevrolet.
Let’s wait.
Time will show what they are really capable of.