The next piece of diecast awesomeness we’re going to ogle this week is this ZiL 164 by AIST, which came out just a few weeks ago. If you’ve never seen one of these, that’s quite understandable, as the Internet Movie Cars Database shows the ZiL 164 appearing only in hard-to-pronounce films that even I haven’t seen. The 164 was essentially a facelift of the earlier ZiS 150, which was one of the staple trucks of Eastern Bloc countries. The 164 was produced from 1957 till 1964, till it was replaced by the ZiL 130 which we saw in diecast form just a couple weeks ago.
The 164 came out at a time when the ZiL factory was rapidly modernizing, and releasing new types of trucks almost every year. As the 164 was just going into production, ZiL 130 prototypes were already being tested. The 164 didn’t stay in production for very long, but one of its claims to (very very relative) fame is that it served as the basis for the Chinese Jiefang line of trucks. Let’s take a closer look at this thing.
Contrary to what one might expect, there weren’t too many 164s in use among Warsaw Pact armies, as these simply didn’t have all wheel drive. That role fell to the 6×6 ZiS 150, which was later updated into the ZiL 157, a truck that stayed in use well into the 1990s. The 164 can be viewed as a placeholder of sorts, till the 130 entered full production. Dozens upon dozens of different versions of the 164 were made by various factories, including some versions that we probably don’t even know about. The model seen here is the basic short-bed 164, which was pretty common around the Eastern Bloc states in the late 1950s and 1960s.
I hear that there are fewer and fewer remaining ZiL 164s out there, as a lot of them have been recycled within the last 20 years. Even though production ceased in 1964, these remained in service with some agricultural organizations well into the 1980s.
This truck is pretty sturdy, and comes with a cardboard box though no jewel box or display stand. Which is not a bad thing by any means, as that tends to make the model itself more expensive. I think manufacturers are finally figuring out that in this price category the buyers of these trucks either give these to their kids or put these into a display case with 200 other scale models, and thus don’t care whether it comes with a display box of its own or not. As usual, the Electro-Bays are your best source for these, though watch out for arbitrary shipping fees which can almost double the price of the scale model itself.
This 164 by AutoIstoriya, or AIST, retails for about $35.00. The cab of this 164 is metal, and the bed is made out of plastic. Once again, I can’t even imagine how much one of these would cost if Minichamps or AutoArt manufactured these. And I’d rather not think about that.