“We have mastered the passenger car ZIS-110 – a very difficult automobile. Besides the fact that it requires a great level of production culture, it also demands a great technical maturity,” said I.A. Likhachev, Director of the automotive plant, now named after him, 30 years ago at the plant party conference.
ZIS-110, a luxury class limousine, was constructed with account of all latest technical achievements in car industry. This was the first new product mastered by our industry in the first year of peace. Car design engineering began in 1943, during the war years. On September 20, 1944 the car samples were approved by the Government, and a year later, in August 1945, the first batch was assembled. For 10 months – an incredibly short period - the plant made the necessary drawings, developed a technology, and prepared the necessary tooling and equipment.
The new car turned out to be a huge success. A solid and incredibly reliable automobile ZIS-110 at the same time was very comfortable, quiet and fast. It was used for official purposes by the senior government organizations, Soviet embassies in different countries. In addition, ZIS-110 was also used as an ambulance and as a taxi, and notably, in taxi parks it had the highest reputation.
Inside of car the back of the front seats formed a wall connecting the central body pillars. A glass partition extends from this wall separating the front part of the body from the back one. Besides, two additional folding seats were placed in the wall niches which allowed increasing the total number of seats in a car from five to seven. Limousine ZIS-110 was produced from 1945 to 1958.
What was interesting about ZIS-110 from the construction perspective? First of all, the use of various technological innovations. Among them, it should be noted a hypoid main gear of the rear axle which allowed lowering the drive shaft and, thus, to make the floor completely flat.
Car headlamps were also unique. Strings, a reflector, glass are combined here into a single molded unit, known today as the “floodlight lamp”.
ZIS-110 in the postwar years was not only the most powerful, but also the fastest home-produced automobile. Car maximum speed reached 140 km/h. A reserve capacity, substantial at the time, allowed, taking off in first gear and picking up 25-30 km/ h, to shift immediately to the third gear, the highest one.
An interesting detail: the speedometer arrow changed the color depending on the automobile speed: green - up to 60 km/ h, yellow - up to 100 km/ h, and red when the speed exceeded 100 km/h.