Iron Planet: test drive Ford G8T

During the test drive this truck, 1944 issue, we admired the beauty of the Lomonosov and Kronstadt, sometimes stopping for photography. And we were immediately surrounded by curious, what we really have become accustomed: to ride a rare cause of the machines have to often. But if Studebaker or ZIS-5 many passersby learned that Ford almost all curious introduced into a stupor. Yes, the car is really unique: the only surviving in Russia, but not spoiled by fame and honor. According to the American beautiful and, despite not being the most brilliant state attractive.

H e secret that the Americans during WWII, not only fought, but earned. And when Studebaker began to row shovel money for their US6, Henry Ford is to be expected began to get nervous. He then had one big advantage over competitors from Studebaker and General Motors Company (GMC): the release of his truck was delivered in a big way, was only slightly modify them under the requirements of the military. It turned out it’s not right.

As many as nine years – from 1932 to 1941 – Ford has not produced a six-cylinder engines. Either modest “four”, or immediately V8. On the trucks used, of course, the V8. Cars with such units at the front were not necessary: ​​fuel consumption of a large, difficult to repair, even to serve such a motor is not easy. Therefore instead needed a regular row “six”, so what put on another American technology, care for the Lend-Lease in warring countries. Since the first Ford-6 appeared instead of the Ford-V8, and it is the name commonly used to refer to this car. That Ford-6, released in 1942, it called Ford 2G8T and had significant differences from our current Ford G8T. Installing a six-cylinder engine has not solved the question of the transformation of farm truck in a military vehicle. In 1942 we changed the design, and in 1943 the Soviet Union began to receive updated G8T. What changed?

Why six best eight

Operation First 2G8T immediately showed that the machine for agriculture is not well suited for the war. Undoubtedly, the Ford was easier to our “polutorok” or ZiSov drivers evaluated this machine is quite positive. In any case, not yet started to fall apart.

Articles / History
Test drive GAZ-51: to live and helps build

A man in the prime of life is not seen on the streets of GAZ-51 is almost impossible: he has not only his face, but with nothing comparable to the charisma of a typical working man of Shukshin’s stories. At one …

There were weak frame, engine and suspension system inherited from the Ford-AA final drive. Not the best way to behave springs (breaking in case of overload), and the range was a little more than three hundred kilometers, which, too, was not enough. Many threaded connections often had to stretch, and because of the weakening of the cylinder head tightening were infrequent cases of burnout pads, which was simply nowhere to take, and access to the motor was not too comfortable. Plus, there was no sufficient degree of harmonization of the car with the other American trucks, which also greatly complicated the operation of the machine at the front.

Over time, many of the structural deficiencies in the new modification eliminated, pulled and unification. For example, the body has become a standard, more precisely, the same as in the Studebaker. Fixing wheel was on the heels of six (there were five), there was an extra fuel tank. There were changes in the cabin: removed the “civil” instrument panel, steering wheel became chetyrёhspitsovym, the opportunity to tilt the windshield, changed lighting devices. However, all this, we still look at, and now I will say a few words about where the truck came to St. Petersburg. And this story is much more interesting than anything that you are yawning in a fist, recited above.

Six names on the three

our car chassis retained its serial number, which helped to establish some facts biography of Ford. The truck was released in 1944 in the United States. And where else could he do? – you ask. Not all Fords-6 came to the USSR as a finished product – in particular, they were collected in Gorky GAZ American car kits. They say that the quality of these machines have been worse in the assembly involving all hands mode makes its own adjustments. They did not put the metal body, which is in our copy.

In short, this machine is made of the ocean and it was in 1944. Soviet registration certificate was issued to her September 4, 1945. On the front of the machine such documents were not supposed to, so Ford has got a car registration only after “demobilization”. In fact, it should have been sent to America (Lend-Lease is provided), but to confess: there is little to get us back. A detailed account of no one led, and our Ford, it is likely “officially dead” for Americans anywhere in Berlin. Yes, and the documents issued in Moscow, and from there to the United States very little that came back to hurt far surpassing the nearest port.

Once a passport has been issued and a contract according to which Ford has gone to a new duty station – now a civil – in the boarding house “Seashore” city Alushta. And there our Ford was lucky to meet with Alexander Alexandrovich Lefter-Krachesko, who became his first driver.

Lefter-Krachesko and the Ford-6

From 1945 to 1992, the Ford worked in a boarding house. He was not just a truck, and drove tourists in the mountains of Crimea and streamers. We had to deal with him and the carriage of the football team “Petrel” at the competition in Sevastopol, Bakhchisarai and Yalta.

The same Ford in Crimea

April 1, 1992, Lefter Krachesko bought Ford and became a classic “privateers.” By the time the truck mileage has exceeded far beyond a million kilometers, but still his condition was quite decent (of course, the age-adjusted). By the way, in the photos appears damaged (eg jammed right wing), which is now. History, what to say …

Lefter-Krachesko and the Ford-6

In 2013, Alexander Alexandrovich died. Ford became the owner of Vladimir Vladimirovich Around-fist. And he, too, was able to keep the car in almost original form. By coincidence, the current owner of the truck from St. Petersburg also has a double surname!

Whatever you say, and our Ford – an incredible lucky. He could have been killed at the front, to be dismantled for parts, jaded to death in a boarding house, “zakolhozhennym” obscene subsequent owners, but no! He survived everything. And now he’s in front of us, with him not to threaten the total restoration, transforming the car from the “soul” and the unique destiny in the sparkling museum exhibit. No, this Ford continues as he looks now.

Of course, after the purchase had to be replaced and all the engine attachments equipment to sort out the brakes somewhere remove rust. But otherwise it was all the same lend-lease military machine, which this year celebrated 72 years. Let us examine it more closely and take a ride on the amazing places of the Leningrad region.

Too handsome soldier

Civilian truck roots visible to anyone. Not the most practical form of feathers, grille, hood – everything is beautiful, but of little use to repair, especially in the field. It would be more logical to see this Ford on corn fields somewhere in Texas (or where they are there), than at the front, too peaceful exterior of this car. It is somewhat unusual proportions: a long base did not have none of the Soviet truck. It is 4010 mm, with rear overhang after modernization more increased slightly for the installation of the same body as that of the Studebaker. The base thus remains unchanged, but the length has increased markedly.

Interestingly, Body boards remained more American. Firstly, the original texture of the wood visible, and secondly, look at the bolts: square nuts and other accessories, noticeable from the inside of the body, after the replacement of boards thrown. There still remains the “native”.

Unfortunately, the conscience does not allow me to say, that something here redone. For example, the spare wheel bracket is to be different and in a different place – the back, under the body. The front mudguard of the “native” of the rear wheel, rear – no. But we forgive grandfather-Ford are malfunctioning, do not you?

But back buffer flush with the body have appeared on this version, in the previous they were not. This is a purely military “trick” – if, in the column and push back running machine is not terrible.

Additional tank – it is also a sign of a car after 1943. Its volume – 114 liters, with the tank under the seat (60 l) he allowed to pass without refueling about 700 km (this is, of course, if there is a road).
Everything is no more strength to endure! We climbed into the cockpit, sit behind the wheel.

And uh-oh, let’s go!

What I like foreign trucks 40s – they can take without the risk of breaking the legs, arms, spine and head. Place there, though not much, but enough to not feel like a sprat in the bank. Closely consider the devices do not become – they are from the gas. But our focus controls, oddly enough, deserve.

It would seem: the steering wheel as the steering wheel, is very typical of “Americans” at the time. But pay attention to the thickness. In casting about, he spoke much thicker, and it is so he was back in ’72. I’ve seen a lot, but to be so worn steering wheel rim – a simply calls okoloreligiozny awe. Add to that worn to holes metal clutch pedal and the complete absence of any elements of the upholstery – and here it is, apocalyptic “Planet Hardware” in the spirit of the 40’s. In short, my inner Meter “Moldova” zashkalil and burned long before I passed the first ten meters.

Start the engine. Of course, the row “six” can not produce wild vibration simply by virtue of their natural balanced design, so the cabin is quite comfortable. Turn on the light – we honor the SDA. To do this, click on the checkbox fuse the central light switch and turn the box itself.

Now you can squeeze the clutch and engage the gear. Of course, the second: on the first of any self-respecting truck does not travel empty. The lever and the back, and if suddenly someone will forget how to turn on the transfer – have the appropriate signs on the panel. If Americans would then have created a truck without a heap of training plates, they would have gone mad by pangs of conscience and insomnia, so that the presence of the instructions in the cabin is not surprising.

Ford starts moving and gaining speed. Fast? No, not too much. But when you consider that the steering backlash exceeds all reasonable limits, and the brakes (as it turned out), start work only after the third pitching pedal, it is still scary. But fun.

Switch to the third, and then – to the fourth gear. Yes, there are four of them, but in the early Fords had three. 50-60 kilometers per hour the car is running is easy – 77 l. from. after all. Despite a rather cool autumn day in the cockpit is becoming warmer and warmer – heated engine shield. But really, I was sweating at the first turn. Not only that damn mirror can not see, and closed bars glass in the rear wall of the cab is only suitable for viewing the contents of the body, and had to turn the steering wheel hard.

Of course, steering worm here, GUR is no and there can not, and even when Ford goes on all fours, and does not stand still, turn the steering wheel is very, very hard. And yet, in spite of the long base, Ford maneuverability can not be called bad, a lot of space to turn is needed. After a couple of turns and turns riding in a straight line with a double and three squeezing the clutch pedal force for each deceleration seems fantastic flight in the constellation Cassiopeia – fast and modern.

Meanwhile we’re going already Kronstadt. Many passers-by took the phone, shoot us and waving their hands. Signals in response, the more the signal button on the steering wheel, too, has remained more factory. It is plastic and heavily deformed by time and temperature changes, but in fact with its help, perhaps to alert some frontline chauffeur who drove this car in 1944 or 1945.

Therein lies the beauty of neotrestavrirovannogo truck, he kept the atmosphere of those times when it was not me, nor my parents … And he has fought, he took a people who perhaps found more Nicholas the Bloody and fought in the Civil .

As noted else? I think it must be said that switching fuel tanks made of a small cabin a tap just under the driver’s feet. But wiper mechanisms will seem familiar to anyone who has seen, for example, the GAZ-51.

What’s next?

The USSR had to import about 60 thousand Ford-6. For comparison, Studebaker imported about 100 thousand. What happened to them after the war? Some of them are disassembled for spare parts for our gases and ZiSov, another part remained to serve in the army (in the 50s Fords-6 met in more parts), many cars have gone in the economy generally – in agriculture. Until the 1970s Fords could still be seen on the city streets and rural roads, but with time, of course, all finished their way into the melting. And our Ford especially roads that not only was the last in Russia, but also to preserve the original state, thanks to which we can more fairly assess the heroism of those who drove this car on the front line the roads.

For assistance in preparing the material thank the restoration workshop RetroTruck

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