GAZ-GL-1 - the first Soviet racing car
The GL-1 car at the head of the column of new cars of the Gorky Automobile Plant, tomorrow, May 1, 1938, is a tankman! ” In 1938, the Gorky Automobile Plant them. Molotov was created record-racing car GL-1. He became the first Soviet race car, designed and built not by artisanal enthusiasts, but by specialists from a car factory. Record-racing car GL-1 at the start.
GAZ also responded to the call of the USSR government for automobile plants to create racing cars. The initiator of these works was the chief designer of the plant, Andrey Alexandrovich Lipgart. More than anyone else, he understood the importance of building racing cars and participating in sports. The desire to be the first spurred design thought, and in high-speed races car units passed accelerated tests for performance and reliability. Participation in the race for the plant was not an end in itself - motor sport allowed to quickly find and find the optimal design of many nodes and then try them in action.
It is said that the record-racing car with the GL-1 index, created in 1938, was decoded as “Liphart Racing One”. If so, then this is a nod to the chief designer, a sign of respect for his foresight and decisiveness. After all, GL-1 was the first Soviet racing car, designed and built by a car factory, and not amateur athletes in taxi parks, garages or club design offices.
The famous GAZ M-1 was taken as a base, or rather, its chassis, “dressed” in an open two-seater, was used in the construction. Wings, steps, headlights - removed everything.
Design a racing car A.A. Lipgart assigned Evgeny Viktorovich Agitov, a talented designer and head of the experimental workshop of GAZ. A former combat pilot of the tsarist army, Agitov came to the plant in September 1929 after graduating from the Leningrad Institute of Labor and six months later headed the experimental workshop. And in September 1933, A.A., who arrived from Moscow, was appointed to the position of chief designer of GAZ. Lipgart. He saw an outstanding specialist in Agitov and made him his first and only deputy.
On the chassis of the serial "emki" Agitov put a double open body of a streamlined shape, which did not have wings, doors, footboards and headlights. All this made the car heavier and hindered the achievement of the main goal - the establishment of a speed record. "Undressed" car began to weigh exactly a ton instead of almost one and a half tons of serial "emka". The standard four-cylinder engine GAZ-M1 with an experimental cylinder head was forced according to the Ford documentation, which by then had been thoroughly studied and mastered at GAZ. The power increase was achieved by increasing the compression ratio, the number of revolutions and the size of the valves. Two carburetors were installed on the engine, and the intake and exhaust manifold nozzles were polished from the inside.
These measures led to the fact that, unlike the standard engine with a power of 50 hp. his racing version was already producing 65 hp at 3200 rpm This was the limit of the four-cylinder power unit. More than Agita was able to do, no one achieved from the M1 engine. The first official start of the GL-1 was given in September 1938 on the Zhytomyr highway near Kiev, at 11 All-Union auto-moto competitions.
More than two hundred athletes from thirty cities gathered at the USSR Championship, although motorcyclists were the backbone. Leningrad race drivers A. Gerel, G. Kleschev and G. Tsvetkov, who already had experience of participation in such competitions, arrived on their cars. On their account were the first established records. Arkady Nikolayev, a 24-year-old test-tester of the road test department of GAS ESC, was to perform on a Gorky racing car. The mechanic Mikhail Smirnov was engaged in car maintenance at the competitions.
Agitov continued to improve the Soviet sports car, and in 1940 the car received a six-cylinder (3485 cm ') GAZ-11 engine.
Engine: number of cylinders: - 6, displacement - 3485 cm3, number of carburetors - 2, valve gear - SV, power - about 100 liters. with. at 3600 rpm; the number of gears - 3; tire size - 6.50-16 inches; curb weight - about 1100 kg; base - 2845 mm; maximum speed - 162 km / h; 1000 m from the place - 35.5 s.
At the same time, in Europe, and more specifically in Germany, work was also being carried out to create the fastest racing car in the world. Ferdinand Porsche himself worked on the “Silver Arrows”, entering into tough competition with Mercedes engineers.
While trying to overcome the speed of 147 km / h at GAZ, in Germany, not far from Nyurrgringa, Autounion and Mercedes went together.
The GAZ test driver was Arkady Nikolaev. On the first run in Kiev (1938), it was possible to reach a speed of 143 km / h. In Moscow, this tester dispersed the car to 147 km / h
... The Second World War in its own way disposed of the construction of racing cars. Those several copies of GAZ GL-1, which were created in 1938-40-ies as experimental samples, were destroyed under certain circumstances during the Second World War. According to one version, they were cut at the factory, like many cars that did not go into the series. According to another, they were destroyed during one of the bombings of GAZ. And the car did not reach mass production due to the fact that it had not yet been brought to the desired state.
After the war, Arkady Nikolaev realized himself as a scientist. He took part in many secret state projects, the most striking of which is a successful expedition to the pole of the inaccessibility of Antarctica.
The fate of Yevgeny Agitov was tragic. The projects he worked on were “frozen” during the war, and the designer committed suicide.