Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

1456650981-708a10912f955197dfaafac3c80086a6The Russian Empire was one of the first countries in the world to use special vehicles for the transport of prisoners.

The prison department in those troubled years of the First Russian Revolution became necessary in a reliable, well-protected and able to quickly move the vehicle. There were incidents of attacks on prison carriages and foot columns of political prisoners for the purpose of their release.

From various sources it is known that one Avtozak was built by the Germans - the Berlin company NAG, and it arrived in Russia not earlier than in the middle of 1908, when the revolution had already ended ingloriously. A detailed description of this car is found in the magazine “Automobilist”, No. 18, 1908: “A car arriving from abroad does not make a pleasant impression. Being externally upholstered in iron-painted black and having a seat behind the convoy, he somehow immediately catches the eye. It must be said that the "black car", as it is called,has an excellent German chassis with a twelve-cylinder two-cylinder engine, and that its incomplete fitness for this purpose is undoubtedly the reason for the fact that there are no such cars in Western Europe. ”

In the same article in Avtomobilist we also find a detailed description of the second car that arrived at the same time at the service in the Main Prison Administration in St. Petersburg. We are talking about one of the first avtozakov in the world, manufactured in Russia by the plant of the Company “G.A. Lessner ":" In fact, it would have occurred to anyone that a smart car, lacquered in a beautiful dark blue color with black and blue siblings (the colors of the prison convoy), contains 6-8 people of criminals who are being investigated in the District Court, to the Crosses, to the Peter and Paul Fortress, and maybe to the gallows? If he had on the sides of the window, he could have been taken rather for a limousine - without them he gives the impression of a commodity van, and only the presence of convoy men fully armed, not escaped from an attentive passer-by, sitting in a half-turn to each other, makes it possible to guess this is a prison car. Car plant of the Society “G.A.Lessner is also covered with iron, but not from the outside, which it would only spoil, but inside. The floor is covered with linoleum. In general, the entire interior is designed so that it can neither be left nor deliberately hide any object, which was one of the main conditions of the order. The car travels at a speed of 20–22 versts per hour, running about 40 minutes between the most distant places of detention in St. Petersburg, whereas before that in green horse vans familiar to St. Petersburg people, they were shaken for 2.5–3 hours . It is curious that the car plant of the Society “G.A. Lessner ”, despite its features, amenities and beautiful appearance, cost the Prison Department 20% cheaper than foreign. According to rumors, the Prison Administration intends to purchase another large man by sixteen. ”

Rumors about a possible new order were justified. However, unfortunately, the domestic manufacturer did not receive the contract in a row - on June 28, 1909, a license agreement on the construction of engines and cars between the German “Motor Motors Daimler” company and the Joint-stock company of the machine-building and boiler plant “G.A.Lessner was terminated, the production and assembly of cars in St. Petersburg ceased. Probably, having learned about the upcoming collapse of car production in St. Petersburg, and perhaps for another reason, the Prison Department soon decided to replenish the fleet with NAG cars. Soon, two L4 cars were purchased with four-cylinder engines of 18–22 hp. and one two-cylinder 12 – strong van of model AC2 (cars on KDPV).

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  • Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

    Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

    Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

    Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

    Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

    Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

    Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

    Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

    Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

    Avtozaki of the Russian Empire, 1909, St. Petersburg

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