Traditionally, all generations of Muscovites were accompanied by a "commercial" modification – a light delivery van or small van based on the basic model. The first Moskvich, model 400, was no exception: it was manufactured in parallel to the model 400-422 (later 401-422). The designation system of the Muscovites of that time was simple: the first number indicated the model of the built-in motor and the second the body model. The body itself, as was fashionable in the 1930s and 1940s, was made of wood; The reason for this was less fashion in the case of Moskvich than the general situation in the post-war USSR.
In the classic car gallery, which died out under auction cars at the beginning of March, this Moskvich-422, made of wood in 1954, was quietly exhibited. Due to their specificity, such "Muscovites" died out in the Soviet years: wooden bodies were short-lived, and "commercial" cars rarely fell into private hands after being decommissioned, in which they could survive until the collapse of the Union.
Private traders were prohibited from buying trucks, buses, and even such vans – they were believed to make money in their own pockets, which was illegal in the USSR. Relief only came in the late 1980s: employees were allowed to buy IZH-2715 heels, and for large families they were able to control RAFs under Category B. Therefore, after their decommissioning, most of the Muscovites delivered became state-owned companies and the cars of First two generations of scrap metal – relic rarities and rare crumbs of the later models 433/434/2733/2734, which survived the collapse of the USSR, did not survive scrap in a new country.
Under the hood – a humble engine for 26 horses – it's hard to believe that he drove an entire van!
"Moskvich-400-420" or "Elephant" – the basis for the wooden limousine "Pinocchio" – a model with deep German roots. It is foolish to deny that the basis of the "Muscovites" of the first generation is the pre-war Opel Kadett K38: No one tried to hide or disguise their direct relationship. However, historians dispute the legend of the Opel plant "exported through reparation". The city of Rüsselsheim, where Opel is headquartered today, and the largest factory that was built after the war were not in the Soviet, but in the American zone of occupation, and nothing could leave the USSR …
The machine retained the original 6-volt wiring: many first-generation Moskvichs lost it during operation.
However, the Germans could not do without the Germans here: The Moscow from Opel was reproduced in Germany using the reverse engineering process. For this purpose, in the 45th year, two used cadets were bought by civilian Germans, who were dismantled with gears, and so easily restored all the documents necessary for the production of cars in Moscow – In Germany, which was occupied after the war, gave there were eleven special design offices of the People's Commissariat for the automotive industry, which were organized by the Soviet authorities.
In such a Soviet-German design office in the city of Chemnitz, where the Auto Union Group's design office was active before the war, a preliminary design and a prototype of a wood-metal delivery van based on Moskvich was developed. There were several options for a van on this chassis, with both wooden and metal bodies, but this was accepted for production. Why?
Birch solid front doors and their lock
Wooden bodies with the nickname "Woody" were very popular in Europe and the USA at the time. They were easy and inexpensive to manufacture and repair, and unlike metal, they were "tailored" to the customers' tasks. In the case of Moskvich, this decision was not so much determined by flexibility and cheapness, but by a simple lack of everything that was destroyed by the war in the USSR: the automotive industry in particular did not have enough cold-rolled metal and stamping plants. And the job of a carpenter who could repair such a body was more common in those years than the job of a modern autopilot.
This machine is not a replica, but the most restored original. After 65 years, the wooden "Moskvich" miraculously retained its original body made of birch beams with plywood panels. The restorer, who now owns the car, only restored locally rotted frame fragments – a total of 5-10 %% – and brought the car into an exhibition-ready condition.
In the Moskvich 422 salon, the smell of wood gives you the feeling of being trapped in your grandmother's sideboard. Amazing feeling: I haven't noticed anything like this in any car. Natural product!
The dashboard is unchanged from the usual Moskvich. The shift takes place via a steering column lever
One of the two glove compartments in the dashboard, more like a deep pocket of a sheepskin coat
Side view: You can clearly see what's from the limousine here and what's yours
The thresholds are like the other elements of the chassis made of metal
Kadett and Moskvich had no frame – it was a very advanced solution for the 1930s that the car continued to develop. In order for the body to retain its strength, its strength elements – bars that run along the thresholds – are made of metal. The rigidity of the body also adds the propeller shaft "in the tube".
The frame of the windshield and the windows of the front doors are made of metal, similar to the "Donor" limousine Moskvich 400-420
The roof is made of a material called "Autobim" – one of the "modifications" of dermatin or synthetic leather. "Autobim" was used at that time for cars and motor vehicles (for example for motorcycle seats). Nowadays "Autobim" is not used anywhere and is almost forgotten.
Fabric roof trim clearly visible
From the inside, the roof of the wooden Moskvich is a frame made of longitudinal and transverse rails. Between the outer layer of the Autobim and the frame is a layer of soft and light fabric, similar to an old Soviet blanket – your grandmother must have had the same
This is how the wooden roof is connected to the metal frame of the windshield
Let's move on to the cargo hold – the most interesting part of this car.
Rear bumper – similar to the front
View into the cargo area from the passenger compartment. The high floor is due to the presence of a "hump" on the rear axle, which is hidden by the rear sofa in the sedan
Corners of a wooden frame reinforced with metal elements
A spare wheel and the tank neck are hidden in the "subfield" of the cargo area
The neck of the fuel tank is behind the rear axle
The cutout is inscribed on the outside of the wheel arch.
Fabric door stopper – original part
A wooden body could not be durable: it "behaved" in wet weather, was afraid of moisture and wetness. Over time, the geometry was disturbed and the wooden elements and fabric roof pads deteriorated, which lost both the appearance and the functional properties assigned to them. But the first-generation "Moskvich" was a very simple, reliable, and long-lasting machine, and the wooden bodies of such vans were often given a "second life" with simple repairs.
The only rear light is a license plate light. Turn signals were not yet required
In production, the wooden Moskvich was mastered a year and a half later than the sedan – in 1948. They also took it off the assembly line with some delay compared to the basic model: They stopped producing the sedan in April and the delivery van in December 1956. It was replaced by the Moskvich-430 – an all-metal delivery van based on the second-generation Moskvich – and it was a car with completely different consumer properties. As they said, it was a very different story.
And that's all for today. As always – until the next station!)