65 years ago, the first LAZ-695 bus was assembled. He was very different from those specimens, which then released a Lviv bus.
It should be submitted to a small historical help. The fact is that the territory of Western Ukraine, as well as Western Belarus, was part of the Polish State of Pizompuita-II, and was called «Eastern Drivers». Poland did not strive to industrialize this territory, settled the eastern outskirts with their colonists (sediments), which received extensive land and lifting from the state. But after the establishment, the Soviet authorities needed to begin the industrialization of the regions that were mainly agricultural. Therefore, engineering has become one of such breakthrough industries.
Accordingly, the Lviv bus factory became one of the largest industrial enterprises in Western Ukraine. Later in Lviv opened the All-Union Design and Experimental Institute of the bus construction, but it will be later.
And then the first Lviv bus was distinguished by fairly advanced design and technical solutions for that time. For the first time in the Soviet co-bus, the body with a carrier base instead of a traditional frame appeared. And it is 65 years ago !!!
The firstborn LAZ-695 was a city car, as if we were told today, the middle class. For the landing of passengers served the rear duplex door, the flaps of which were folded when opening. In turn, the front, single-door door was intended for landing.
Then, by the end of the year, a suburban modification of the bus appeared. And what is interesting, it was on this model in the fodder part of the body a top air intake was installed. And on the front mask appeared emblem in the form of a stylized letter «L». Many people remember that the inscription «Lviv» was also behind. However, on the 1957 sample bus, it was in front, then moved back.
32 seats installed in the cabin, the bus was designed to transport 55 passengers. Originally installed the engine ZIL-124, the developing capacity of 109 hp
During the first years of operation, it turned out that the body has insufficient rigidity.
Therefore, in March 1958, an experimental LAZ-695b machine appeared, which was distinguished by an enhanced body. In the back on the roof they installed the upper air intake. In addition, he has improved brakes.
It was this bus that became a milestone in history. 60 years ago, on such a specially converted bus to the start of the spacecraft «Sunrise», the first cosmonaut of the planet Yuri Gagarin went. Newsreel personnel have retained and show this historical event.
Total in 1958-1964 16,718 LAZ-695 buses were manufactured. Next, other, more advanced versions of the LAZ-695 family have already come.
The LAZ Model Gamma Buses in the 60-70s was represented by middle-class buses for urban and suburban routes and LAZ-699 tourist class buses.
The peak of production has fallen in recent years of the USSR, when in 1988 LAZ released 14,646 buses.
During this period, the enterprise began to transition to the release of diesel buses, in the engine compartment of Lviv buses «prescribed» the KAMAZ engine, instead of the voracious and outdated gasoline ZIL-375. The LAZ-4202 model range was represented as an average urban and suburban bus.
In recent years, the Lviv bus has practically lost the market of Russia and other CIS countries. The last major order was associated with the replenishment of the Park of the Four Cities of Ukraine, who took the European Football Championship EURO-2012. It seemed that the plant would venture and continue the production of modern models of buses and trolley buses. But, unfortunately, the situation turned out to be fatal. Laz was still trying to take part in contests, so, in 2013, the plant undertook a non-successful attempt to receive a contract for the delivery of buses for the Sochi Winter Olympiad.
At the end of 2018, the territory of the LAZ plant passed the city council, after which an inventory of the property of the enterprise was appointed. As the Ukrainian press reports, at the next session of the Lviv city council, it was decided to dismantle the buildings of the Lviv bus factory. The site of the bus factory will be transferred to create an IT Park.
This ended the life path of one of the largest bus companies of the former USSR. Goodbye bus from Lviv.