Curious Facts About The Legendary Soviet Truck

The legendary ZIL-130 is a real symbol of the Soviet era. The truck, which has been produced for decades since 1963 in circulation comparable to the VAZ “classics”, can still often be seen in the stream. Some of its interesting features and facts from the biography are introduced to us by the journalists of the quto.ru portal.

The 50-60s of the last century is the golden era of the American car industry, so it is no wonder that when developing the ZIL-130, engineers and designers focused primarily on overseas samples.

Solutions such as the panoramic “curved” windscreen are taken from there. And outwardly, the 130th resembles trucks such as the International R-Series, Dodge C-Series and Ford-F-Series.

ZIL-130 was equipped with a gasoline 6.0-liter V8 with a cast iron block and aluminum heads. The compression ratio was 6.5, the power was 150 hp. This engine is nothing more than a 5.8-liter Chrysler V8 modernized by Soviet engineers, which was used on the representative ZIL-111. For use in the national economy, the engine was slightly derated, but this was enough for the truck for decent dynamics.

Despite the fact that the “one hundred and thirtieth” outwardly resembled American trucks and had a related power unit, it cannot be said that it was copied from them. Moreover, the ZiL had many advantages over the overseas models: it had a strong and powerful frame, resistant to overloads and operation on bad roads.

ZIL-130, with a carrying capacity of 6 tons, refers to medium-duty trucks. In the Soviet classification, he occupied an intermediate position between the descendant of the “lorry” GAZ-53 and the heavier MAZ-500.

The first running sample of the 130th was assembled in 1956. In 1959, the car was demonstrated at the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition. And four years later, the mass production of the truck began.

At his native ZiL, he lasted more than three decades – until 1994. But even after that, the car continued to be assembled until 2010, and according to some reports, even until 2014 at the Ural enterprise AMUR under the name AMUR-531350.

In 1986, the truck was modernized. Outwardly, practically unchanged, the ZIL-130, according to the new Soviet classification, received a new designation ZIL-431410. Also, the car acquired a multi-circuit brake drive.

The vast majority of this truck was painted with a blue cab and a white front end. There are many theories as to why it was painted this way. The most widespread opinion is the banal excess of blue paint in the USSR, as well as the comparative cheapness of its production.

According to another hypothesis, the combination of blue and white was laid by designer Eric Szabo at the design stage and was intended to make the car more visible on the road, thereby reducing the accident rate. There is also an opinion that General Secretary Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev himself insisted on this coloring in order to demonstrate the peaceful intentions of the USSR – after all, all the predecessors of the 130th were usually painted in khaki before.

ZIL-130 served as a platform for a wide variety of equipment. On its basis, for example, the Chkalovsk bus plant produced the model “Tajikistan-5” (3205). The power unit and axles of the Likhachev truck were used on the KAZ-608 and 608V trucks from Kutaisi.

See also: Export ZIL-130T: a fan in the cabin and a more reliable “filling”

The legendary ZIL-130 is a real symbol of the Soviet era. The truck, which has been produced for decades since 1963 in circulation comparable to the VAZ “classics”, can still often be seen in the stream. Some of its interesting features and facts from the biography are introduced to us by the journalists of the quto.ru portal.

The 50-60s of the last century is the golden era of the American car industry, so it is no wonder that when developing the ZIL-130, engineers and designers focused primarily on overseas samples.

Solutions such as the panoramic “curved” windscreen are taken from there. And outwardly, the 130th resembles trucks such as the International R-Series, Dodge C-Series and Ford-F-Series.

ZIL-130 was equipped with a gasoline 6.0-liter V8 with a cast iron block and aluminum heads. The compression ratio was 6.5, the power was 150 hp. This engine is nothing more than a 5.8-liter Chrysler V8 modernized by Soviet engineers, which was used on the representative ZIL-111. For use in the national economy, the engine was slightly derated, but this was enough for the truck for decent dynamics.

Despite the fact that the “one hundred and thirtieth” outwardly resembled American trucks and had a related power unit, it cannot be said that it was copied from them. Moreover, the ZiL had many advantages over the overseas models: it had a strong and powerful frame, resistant to overloads and operation on bad roads.

ZIL-130, with a carrying capacity of 6 tons, refers to medium-duty trucks. In the Soviet classification, he occupied an intermediate position between the descendant of the “lorry” GAZ-53 and the heavier MAZ-500.

The first running sample of the 130th was assembled in 1956. In 1959, the car was demonstrated at the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition. And four years later, the mass production of the truck began.

At his native ZiL, he lasted more than three decades – until 1994. But even after that, the car continued to be assembled until 2010, and according to some reports, even until 2014 at the Ural enterprise AMUR under the name AMUR-531350.

In 1986, the truck was modernized. Outwardly, practically unchanged, the ZIL-130, according to the new Soviet classification, received a new designation ZIL-431410. Also, the car acquired a multi-circuit brake drive.

The vast majority of this truck was painted with a blue cab and a white front end. There are many theories as to why it was painted this way. The most widespread opinion is the banal excess of blue paint in the USSR, as well as the comparative cheapness of its production.

According to another hypothesis, the combination of blue and white was laid by designer Eric Szabo at the design stage and was intended to make the car more visible on the road, thereby reducing the accident rate. There is also an opinion that General Secretary Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev himself insisted on this coloring in order to demonstrate the peaceful intentions of the USSR – after all, all the predecessors of the 130th were usually painted in khaki before.

ZIL-130 served as a platform for a wide variety of equipment. On its basis, for example, the Chkalovsk bus plant produced the model “Tajikistan-5” (3205). The power unit and axles of the Likhachev truck were used on the KAZ-608 and 608V trucks from Kutaisi.

See also: Export ZIL-130T: a fan in the cabin and a more reliable “filling”

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