In the famous Kininomedy Leonid Gaidai «Caucasian captive» there is a funny episode. According to the plot of the film, Extravagant Trinity: Coward, Balbes and Chattering Chase Beyond the main heroine who escaped from them, use a car refrigerator. Today, if you hold a survey among our readers, it is unlikely that anyone can name the brand and the model of this tractor.
Recall that the Czech truck Skoda 706 acted as a car that participates in an exciting pursuit. He also starred in another popular Soviet film «Man-Amphibian».
He was produced since 1957 at the automotive factory in the Liberec region of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Within the framework of the Council of Economic Mutual Assistance (CEV), these trucks besides the domestic Czechoslovakia market went to export to the socialist country. The main buyer, of course, became the USSR. The truck was supplied as a saddle tractor. The semi-trailer-refrigerator trailed to it: first Czech production, and then Bulgarian Alka CH13. Also supplied dump trucks and chassis with various superstructures. It is noteworthy that under the license such trucks were produced in Bulgaria. They were also copied to the PRC.
The design of the car was at the time of the advanced (50-60s of the last century), the cabin was located above the engine. Baby-blind layout of the truck allowed to increase the cargo platform, gain easier access to the engine, due to the increase in the height and width of the cabin. This is an important point, because the straight competitor Skoda Czech Tatra truck had another concept.
Diesel engines have been established on Skoda 706, developing power 160, 180 and 210 hp. The last for the 60s was very powerful and treated. Notice, which emerged significantly later, the Soviet truck from Naberezhnye Chelny was equipped with the engine of the same power (KAMAZ-740).
In 1973, the production of trucks under the Skoda brand stops and the production of trucks begins under the Liaz brand. Liaz brand debut took place at the World Fair in the Czech city of Brno in 1973. Interestingly, and someone in Czech Republic heard that Liaz (Liberec Automobile Plant) has a namesake in the USSR — Liaz (Likinsky Bus)?
The novelty received the Liaz-100 index, a hundredth series. «Seven hundred and sixth» no matter how progressive was still obsoletely outdated over the years, although it lasted on the conveyor until 1985. But at the end of the 60s it was decided to start project work on creating a new cargo car. Czechs hoped with his help to reach not only on the markets of CEA member countries, but also to start earning a solid currency, supplying trucks to the countries of Western Europe. This example, they taught the light Skoda, which was successfully sold in neighboring Austria, and in Belgium, and even in the British Islands.
The first trucks are now under the Liaz brand appeared in 1973, these were models 100.05 and 100.45. But in the USSR Liaz (Models 100 and 110) got only at the beginning of the 80s. They were used in domestic ATPs as well as predecessors, mainly as long-range truck tractors for refrigerated trains. The cars also used the drivers a good reputation as comfortable, maintainable, powerful and dynamic.
The full mass of the road train reached 38 tons. The truck was completed with a diesel engine with a capacity of 210 hp, due to which the road train could develop speeds up to 98 km / h. Fuel consumption per 100 km amounted to about 37 liters, which in those days was considered quite economical. The gear shift box was a simple but reliable 5-step mechanism.
But when a «velvet revolution» occurred in Czech Republic in 1989. The government of the country headed by Reformer Wencesla Klaus, took the course to privatize state assets. As you know, for the car concern Skoda in Mlada Boleslav, as a valuable passenger auto-building asset, Volkswagen and Renault fought. In the end, the Czech plant went to the Germans.
But cargo plants have developed differently. Tatra passed the thorny path and today releases its cars with a ridge construction. But Liaz tried to survive in a cruel market field. True, the collapse of the USSR deprived the enterprise of the huge market.
In September 1995, Liaz was included in the Concern of Heavy Engineering ŠKODA. Buying stocks of the enterprise and closing a number of unprofitable seams plants, a new joint-stock company was formed — Skoda-Liaz A.S, at the disposal of which only 4 enterprises in the cities of Jablonec Nuza, Liberec, Mnikhovo Gradiste and Melnik. The production program included the previously produced models that received the new trademark «ŠKODA-LIAZ» and the modified indexation of models. It seemed that the company fits into a new market environment.
In 1996, Škoda-Liaz released a new truck to the market — the main tractor «HECE 19.47TBV» (for road trains with a complete weight of up to 44 tons), to the world a new series «400». Tractored 6-cylinder Detroit Diesel engine with turbocharging (12 l, with a capacity of 437 or 477 hp), 16-bubble Eaton box, import bridges, ABS, rear pneumatic suspension with electronic control, new spacious cabin made of multilayer fiberglass on aluminum frame. In 2003, the production of HEC trucks ceased.
Liaz became part of the tedom concern. In the same year, TEDOM began a Liaz bankruptcy procedure, and in 2002, the engines plant in the city of Jablonec were insolvent — the main provider of power units for the conveyors of the former Giant Skoda-Liaz. That’s how the half-century history of the Czech brand thesis of our Liaza was completed.
By the way, in the market ocean and our Likinsky bus factory in the suburbs could comprehend the same fate. But today, domestic Liaz enters the gas division of the GAZ and works consistently.