“Where is this damn disabled person?”: Myths and facts about the legendary “invalidka”

At the end of the last century, the characteristic sound of this unusual vehicle could be heard in the most remote corners of a vast country. “Disabled person” - this is exactly the nickname that literally stuck to the motorized lap made by the Cerpukhovsky motozavod. The tiny machine really liked the boys, because in physical dimensions it seemed to them almost an ideal children's car. However, SMZ-S3D, despite its modest size and unpretentious appearance, performed a much more important task, being a vehicle for the movement of people with disabilities.

Perhaps for this reason, ordinary motorists were not very aware of the technical intricacies of this "car", and other nuances for many people in the USSR were left behind the scenes. That is why healthy citizens are often mistaken about the device,real disadvantages and features of exploitation of the "invalidka". Recall the facts and dispel the myths associated with SMZ-S3D.

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Source: kolesa.ru

From 1952 to 1958, a three-wheeled S-1L motor-cart was produced in Serpukhov, which received the designation S3L at the end of production. Then the three-wheeled microcar was replaced by the C3A model - the same famous “morgunovka” with an open body and a canvas top, which differed from its predecessor by the presence of four wheels.

SZD-S3A - the famous "morgunovka."

Nevertheless, in a number of parameters, C3A did not meet the requirements for such vehicles, primarily due to the lack of a rigid roof. That is why in the early 60s in Serpukhov they started designing a new generation car, and at the early stages, specialists from NAMI, ZIL and MZMA joined the work. However, the conceptual prototype "Sputnik" with the SMZ-NAMI-086 index was not launched into the series, and in Serpukhov they still produced a four-wheel "morgunovka".

Only at the end of the 60s the department of the chief designer of the SMZ began working on a new generation of the motor-wheeled carriage, which in 1970 stood on the conveyor under the symbol SMZ-S3D.

In the USSR, many models of cars appeared in an evolutionary way - for example, the VAZ "six" grew out of the VAZ-2103, and the "fortieth" "Muscovite" was created on the basis of AZLK M-412.

However, the third generation of Serpukhov motor-wheeled carriages differed significantly from the previous “microbes”. First, the impetus to the creation of SMZ-S3D served as a new motorcycle power unit IZH-P2 of Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant, around which they began to "build" a new model. Secondly, the car finally got a closed body, which in addition was all-metal, although in the early stages fiberglass was considered as a material for its manufacture. Finally, instead of springs in the rear suspension, as in the front, torsion bars with trailing arms were used.

That is why SMZ-S3D should be considered an independent design, which, with its predecessor, unites perhaps the concept - a two-wheeled four-wheeled microcar.

Most Soviet-era motorists perceived the "disability" as a wretched and technically backward product. Of course, a single-cylinder two-stroke engine, an extremely simplified but functional design of the body with flat panes,overhead door hinges and a virtually absent interior did not allow to treat the motorized wheel as a modern and perfect product of the Soviet automobile industry. However, for a number of constructive decisions, the SMZ-S3D was a very progressive vehicle.

In terms of dimensions, the SMZ-S3D was inferior to any Soviet automobile. But at the same time, the body length exceeded the dimensions of the Smart City Coupe by 30 centimeters.

That is why SMZ-S3D should be considered an independent design, which, with its predecessor, unites perhaps the concept - a two-wheeled four-wheeled microcar.

The plane-parallel design by the standards of its time was very relevant.

Independent front suspension was combined with a rack and pinion steering mechanism in a single node. In addition, the microcar received a hydraulic drive of the brakes on all wheels, 12-volt electrical equipment and "car" optics.

Soviet drivers disliked the “handicapped people” on the road, because a motorized car with a leisurely disabled person behind the wheel slowed down even a rare stream of cars by today's standards.

The dynamic indices of SMZ-S3D turned out to be non-existent, since they were deformed to 12 hp.the IZH-P2 motor for a 500-pound microcar turned out to be frankly weak. That is why in the autumn of 1971 - that is, one and a half years after the start of production of the new model - they began to install a more powerful version of the engine with the IL-P3 index on the motor-car. But even 14 “horses” did not solve the problem - even the serviceable “invalid” was loud, but at the same time extremely slow. With a driver and a passenger on board and 10 kilograms of "cargo", she was able to accelerate to only 55 kilometers per hour - and in addition she did it very slowly. Of course, in Soviet times, a different drunken owner of a Serpukhov car could boast that he had gained all 70 kilometers on the speedometer, but, alas, the options for installing a more powerful engine (for example, from IL-PS) were not considered.

In the early versions, round "UAZ" lanterns were used.

SMZ-S3D at the end of the eighties cost 1,100 rubles. Motokolyaski spread through social security agencies among people with disabilities of various categories, with the option of partial and even full payment. It was given free of charge to people with disabilities of the first group - primarily to veterans of the Great Patriotic War, pensioners, and also thosewho received a disability at work or while serving in the armed forces. The third group of disabled people could buy it for about 20 percent of the price (220 rubles), but for this it was necessary to wait in the queue for about 5-7 years.

In later models used larger optics from trucks and agricultural equipment.

They issued a motor-car for five years with one free overhaul two and a half years after the start of operation. Then the disabled person had to hand over the motor-car to the bodies of the Sobes, and after that he could claim to receive a new copy. In practice, certain disabled people “rolled back” 2-3 cars each.

Often, the received car was not exploited at all or went to it only a couple of times a year, not experiencing a special need for a “handicapped”, because during times of shortages the USSR never refused people with such “gifts” from the state.

Management was carried out by a whole system of levers. The gear shift is sequential.

If, prior to the injury or leg disease, the driver drove the car, but the state of health did not allow him to continue to drive a regular car, they removed all categories in his rights and marked the “motocar”.People with disabilities who did not previously have a driver's license completed special courses for driving a Moto-Polska, and they received a certificate of a separate category (not A, as for motorcycles, and not B, as for passenger cars), which allowed them to be managed exclusively by a “invalid.” In practice, the traffic police almost did not stop such transport to verify documents.

SMZ-S3D was equipped with a motorcycle engine. As you know, he did not have a liquid cooling system, so the usual “stove” for a conventional car was absent in a motor-car. However, as on the “Zaporozhtsy”, which had air-cooled motors, the designers provided an autonomous gasoline heater for driving in the cold season. He was quite capricious, but allowed to create in the cabin "wheelchair" acceptable air temperature - at least, positive.

Salon SMZ-S3D 1982 release.

In addition, the lack of a traditional cooling system was not a disadvantage, but an advantage of the car, because the owners of the microcars were spared from the painful daily procedure for pouring and draining water.Indeed, in the 70s rare lucky people who owned “Zhiguli” drove on the usual antifreeze for us, and the rest of the Soviet equipment used ordinary water as a coolant, which in winter, as we know, froze.

In addition, the "Planet" engine was easy to start even in the cold, so potentially the "invalid" was suitable for operation in the winter even better than the "Muscovites" and the "Volga". But in practice, during the freezing season, condensate settled inside the diaphragm fuel pump, which immediately froze, after which the engine stalled on the move and refused to start. That is why the majority of people with disabilities (especially the elderly) during the frosty period preferred not to use their own transport.

As in the rest of the Soviet factories, in the 70s in Serpukhov they increased the pace of production, improved quantitative indicators and overfulfilled the plan. That is why the plant soon reached a new level for itself, producing more than 10,000 motorized carriages annually, and during peak periods (mid-70s), over 20,000 “disabled women” were produced annually. In total for 27 years of production, from 1970 to 1997, about 230 thousand SMZ-S3D and SMZ-S3E were released (one-handed and one-foot control version).

Neither before, nor after in the CIS in the same quantities was not made a single car for people with disabilities. And thanks to a tiny and funny typewriter from Serpukhov, hundreds of thousands of Soviet and Russian disabled people acquired one of the most important freedoms - the possibility of movement.

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