Classic Van Auction Talk

Thursday 2 April 2015

1977 ZIL 114 - Coys Techno Classica 18-04-15

  Techno Classica, Essen  
1977 ZIL 114
 103 - 1977 ZIL 114 
Estimate: No Reserve
Registration Number: Belgian Registered
Chassis Number: 22
ZIL represented the ultimate in Soviet motoring luxury; mere money was not enough to buy one, one had also to be either a senior figure in the Soviet armed forces, or else a Politburo heavyweight in Moscow. They were to be seen lumbering around the “officials only” lanes in Moscow and occasionally in diplomatic use in the more important Embassies around the world.
Design of the 114 began in 1962 and a vast amount of improvements were introduced for this model such as its engine, which was still a ZIL designed and built pushrod V8 but was enlarged from 5,980cc to 6,959 cc. This resulted in an increase in power output by 30 percent and its maximum speed was improved from 110mph to 120mph.
The outdated styling was also modernized but more importantly its drum break systems, marking the first time ever for a Soviet Automobile to do so, were replaced by power-assisted disc brakes on all four wheels to cope with the more powerful engine. Additionally the front suspension was changed to torsion bars while the rigid rear axle retained its leaf spring mechanism.

These Presidential Limousines were used only by members of the Politburo, - the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and top leaders of the country who needed extraordinarily robust armoured vehicles that were designed to have the ability to fend off a .303 bullet at any point in the metalwork. The floor was also mine-proof, being in some places over 25mm thick, which probably did more for the occupants' sense of security than it did for the cars handling. Even so, the imposing seven litre engine produced over 300 horsepower so that the top speed of 120mph meant that the armour plating might not be put to the test.
Even though these incredible machines were produced over an eight year period lasting until 1978, only approximately 150 were ever made. This was in part because of their extremely high production costs, but for the most part because they were only allowed to be purchased and used by the highest ranking Government Officials in the Soviet Union.
One of approximately only 150 examples ever made, this 1977 ZIL is a comparatively late version of the 114 series and as a result has benefitted greatly from seven years of perfecting its modifications. Like most cars of this size and nature, they looked best and most imposing in glossy Black; in this example the chauffeurs compartment is upholstered in its original leather, with Dove Grey trim to clothe the rear passenger compartment.
Very interestingly, a note written in Russian was found in this ZIL and writes that this was the personal car of Leonid Brezhnev, sadly and quite understandably due to the delicate nature of the times in which this car was from, there is no further evidence to support this.
The vendor has stated that this incredible piece of machinery is fully operational with no reports of mechanical issues or break problems, and has mostly only been used for local events in Belgium where it currently resides. Even more impressive, the Automobiles interior is said to be all original and its bodywork in good condition. As a whole, finding another example of one of these very rare luxury armoured vehicles with so many original components and in this condition, would be very difficult indeed.
These extraordinary presidential limousines are now becoming a curiosity as the era they represented slips into history, but they represent their time and place of their origin as virtually nothing else does. 
 103 - 1977 ZIL 114
103 - 1977 ZIL 114

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