Chaika (car)

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GAZ 13 Chaika
A c. 1960 GAZ Chaika parade car
Manufacturer GAZ
Production 1958-1981
Body and chassis
Class Luxury car
Layout FR layout
Engine 5.5L M-13 V8 195 hp (SAE Gross)
Transmission 3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 3,250 mm (128.0 in)
Length 5,600 mm (220.5 in)
Width 2,000 mm (78.7 in)
Height 1,580 mm (62.2 in)
Curb weight 2,050 kg (4,519 lb)
Predecessor GAZ-M 12 ZIM
Successor GAZ 14 Chaika

The Chaika, (Russian: Ча́йка, meaning gull), was a luxury automobile formerly manufactured by GAZ, from 1958 to 1981 in the Soviet Union . The vehicle was one step down from the Soviet ZiL−111 limousine.

Specifications and history[edit]

Chaika automobile production consisted of two generations, the First Generation model from 1958 to 1981, and the Second Generation model from 1977 to 1988. All Chaika production ceased in 1981.

First Generation 1958−81[edit]

The Mark 1 Chaika, the GAZ 13, debuted in 1958. It was a copy of the American 1955 Packard Patrician four-door sedan, except the Packard was a 4-window sedan, and the Chaika was a 6-window/7-seater (with jump seat) sedan, or with a divider partition a limousine.[1] The cabriolet/convertible GAZ-13B Chaika model was only produced in 1961 and 1962, for officials in Soviet parades.[2] The GAZ-13 Chaika was produced from 1959 to 1981, with 3,179 vehicles built in total.[3] The M13 was powered by a 195 hp (SAE Gross ) 5.5L V8 and driven through a push-button automatic transmission copied of a Chrysler TorqueFlite unit.

It was offered as a sedan/saloon (GAZ−13), a limousine (GAZ−13A), and a four-door cabriolet/convertible (GAZ−13B) with an electrohydraulic top.[4]

In the 1960s the RAF (Riga Autobus Factory) in Riga, Latvia produced the GAZ−13S Universal, a station wagon/estate model. This was also built as the GAZ−13C ambulance model, as well as a hearse model.[5] Small numbers were also built for Mosfilm.[6] Produced for only a few years in the 1960s, the GAZ−13S is the lowest-volume Chaika model.

As a limousine-class car, the GAZ−13A Chaikas were available only to the Soviet government. They could not be purchased by private Soviet citizens, who were only allowed to rent them for weddings. <-Chaikas were one step down from the more prestigious ZIL limousines, and were issued to top professionals, party officials, scientists, academics, and other VIPs. --> Chaikas were also used by Soviet ambassadors and Communist Party First Secretaries in East Germany, North Korea, Bulgaria, Hungary, Mongolia, and Finland, among others. Fidel Castro was given a Chaika by [ CPSU General Secretary []Nikita Khrushchev]], who himself preferred a Chaika to his ZiL limousine,[7] and kept one at his summer dacha. With their larger size and more powerful V8 engines, Chaikas were also allowed to be ordered in some quantity by the KGB. Top speed was 99 mph (159 km/h).[citation needed]

Most GAZ-13 Chaika cars were the sedan/saloon model. The GAZ-13 line was discontinued in 1981.[8] The GAZ-14 line had debuted in 1977, and it was used to the end of Chaika car production in 1988.[9]

Gallery—First Generation[edit]

Second Generation[edit]

GAZ 14 Chaika
GAZ-14 Czajka.JPG
Manufacturer GAZ
Production 1977-1988
Body and chassis
Class Luxury car
Layout FR layout
Engine 5.5L GAZ-14 V8 220 hp ( SAE Gross )
Wheelbase 3,450 mm (135.8 in)
Length 6,114 mm (240.7 in)
Width 2,020 mm (79.5 in)
Height 1,525 mm (60.0 in)
Curb weight 2,615 kg (5,765 lb)
Predecessor 13 Chaika

The modernized GAZ-14 Chaika model was introduced in 1977. The exterior design primarily copied the 1968 and 1972 Mercury Marquis, while the interior design primarily copied the Mercedes-Benz W116. Although visually more contemporary and fitted with the latest electronic luxury features, the GAZ-14 was built around the drivetrain and undercarriage of the preceeding GAZ-13 model.[10] The GAZ-14 engine was a new 5,526 cc (337.2 cu in) and achieved 220 hp ( SAE Gross< ) ref>Thompson, p.211.</ref>

The GAZ-14 limousine was a seven-seat model that came with additional soundproofing.[11] It measured 611 cm (241 in) long overall and weighed 2,600 kg (5,732 lb).[12] A four-door convertible, the GAZ-14-95, was introduced in 1982.[13]

The Chaika 14 remained in production from 14 October 1977 to 1988.[14] Each year around a hundred GAZ-14s were built. The total production (including those out of spare parts in 1989) was 1,114 vehicles.[15]

The Chaika limousine brand ceased in 1988. On orders from Mikhail Gorbachev, the blueprints and tooling were destroyed as part of his "fighting privileges" campaign under perestroika.[16]

Gallery—Second Generation[edit]

On display[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thompson, Andy. Cars of the Soviet Union (Haynes Publishing, Somerset, UK, 2008), p.69.
  2. ^ Thompson, p.70.
  3. ^ Thompson, p.70.
  4. ^ Thompson, p.70.
  5. ^ Thompson, p.70.
  6. ^ Thompson, p.70.
  7. ^ Thompson, p.70.
  8. ^ Thompson, p.70.
  9. ^ Thompson, p.70.
  10. ^ Thompson, p.211.
  11. ^ Thompson, p.211.
  12. ^ Thompson, p.212.
  13. ^ Thompson, p.305.
  14. ^ Thompson, pp.211-212.
  15. ^ Thompson, p.305.
  16. ^ Thompson, p.305.

External links[edit]