Russian leaders try to force themselves to like domestic cars

Russian people will be able to learn more about the vehicles used by top officials of the country. A new book titled "First Persons' Cars" is to be released under the auspices of the Federal Guard Service (FSO).

According to the author of the foreword, FSO Director, Lieutenant-General Dmitry Kochnev, readers will learn exclusive details not just about cars, but also about most protected vehicles that the Soviet Union and Russia have ever seen. It stands the reason that the vehicles that top officials use for their work play a very important role in the security of the state leader. The cars that are used today for officials taking top positions in the country were developed on the basis of decades of experience.

The book is illustrated with pictures taken in the Kremlin, in the Dacha of Joseph Stalin and other prominent locations. The authors wanted to place every vehicle in the entourage for which it was created. However, the FSO director believes, all the cars that one can see in the book have one common feature: they look majestic.

For example, the appearance of Aurus limousine in Russia was a historical event, Kochnev said. It became the first car of representative class in the recent history of the Russian Federation developed with the assistance of the Federal Guard Service.

The first vehicle for a top official appeared in 1906, when a Delaunay-Belleville appeared in Tsarskoe Selo near St. Petersburg, Doctor of Historical Sciences Sergey Devyatov said. The vehicle was bought in France for the family of the Russian Emperor. Lenin used a Turcat-Mery. Since the 1920s, leaders favored Rolls-Royce, but then switched to Lincoln, Packard, Cadillac and Buick vehicles. Stalin had a very special affection for Packard Twelve that he used for years.

On the eve of the Great Patriotic War, Soviet engineers started designing a domestic vehicle of representative class. In 1942, they started working on a limousine based on the prospective model ZIS110. Those vehicles had been used before 1982.

Khrushchev, after a trip to Geneva in 1955, wanted to have a car similar to the Cadillac of US President Dwight Eisenhower. This is how ZIL111 saw the light. For Leonid Brezhnev, another model was released - ZIL114. By the 1980s, Soviet engineers started designing armored cars again; the project for their construction was called "Topol."

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Kremlin started buying luxury cars from foreign countries. Mercedes-Benz vehicles were most popular during the 1990s. Vladimir Putin continued the tradition of his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, by using a Mercedes, and then changed it for a Pullman Guard (VV220). Prime Minister and former president Dmitry Medvedev still likes Mercedes-Benz: he ordered his car at Carat Duchatelet (Centigon).

In 2012, Russia resumed working on domestic cars for executives. As a result, original limousines and a line of business-class cars were developed, among them a sedan and a minivan of the new Aurus brand.

On May 7, 2018, Russian President-elect Putin arrived to the Grand Kremlin Palace for his inauguration driving a domestic limousine. The name Aurus consists of two words - "aurum", which translates as "gold" and "Russia". Its manufacturers are particularly proud of its modern eight-cylinder 4.4-liter 598 hp engine. A more powerful 12-cylinder engine (6.6 liters 857 hp) is on the way. 

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov