Tschaika / Sil / Zil
The name CHAIKA (seagull) or GAZ M-13 was introduced in 1958 and was built by Zavod Imieni Molotova, which translates as 'Works named for Molotov' in Gorky. It was a direct replacement for the ZIM GAZ-12.


Very obviously American influenced, it bore a striking resemblance to both the 1955 Packard 'Patrician' and the robust, well known, Checker taxicab. Other notable features were the two prominent 'spinner' shaped over-riders on the bumper that emulate the 'spinner' design on the grille of the 1951 American Ford range and the Cadillac type flat 'V' set in the centre of the grille.  It had a luxuriously appointed interior.

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As with previous cars of this type, it was not on sale to the general public and was only made available to professional people and lesser state officials who didn't qualify for the more prestigious ZIL limousines that travel on special roads not open for public use.  The engine was a push rod operated 5.5 litre V8 developing 195bhp.

Production of the CHAIKA stopped in 1965 and it was twelve years before the name was resurrected for a very much updated seven seater limousine of similar size, but with much squarer lines than the original. 

It was fitted with the same V8 engine and was designed to be chauffeur driven, having a retractable glass partition dividing the front driver's seat and the rear passenger compartment. Folding occasional seats were fitted and the air conditioning and a stereo/audio system could be controlled from the rear compartment. Suspension was by coil springs and wishbones at the front and a rigid rear axle was fitted. 

This limousine was offered for export. 

At 20 feet long, it was slightly smaller than the ZIL limousines and it was capable of 108mph. 

Source: Motorbase Manufacturer Directory

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