Hongqi CA72: the first Chinese "member"
The name Hongqi translates as "red flag." And, of course, at that time no one wrote it in Latin letters - export of this model was not supposed. The FAW plant itself was founded in 1953, two years before that, with the support of the USSR and at first it was producing only trucks for the needs of a growing socialist power. Only by 1958 did the first passenger "Chinese" appear, the Dongfeng CA71, completely copied from the French Simca Vedette.
The "Member" was developed for three years by Mao's personal order. In 1958, the first Hongqi prototype released by FAW appeared. That copy did not survive, but the pictures show that it differs mainly from the production version that arrived at the assembly a year later. The serial machine was named Hongqi CA72 and was produced in a number of modifications until 1965, when it was replaced by Hongqi CA770 (slightly, however, differing in appearance).
The design of Hongqi CA72 was its own (not completely stolen), but quite typical and with a lot of borrowing from foreign models. The influence of Chrysler and, in general, the work of Virgil Exner as a whole, is most noticeable; details of Packard Patrician and ZIL-111 are also traced. Initially, the machine was equipped with a 5.6-liter engine with 220 hp. and weighed 2800 kg.
Hongqi CA72 had three types of bodywork - a four-door sedan with a long base, a four-door convertible designed specifically for parades, as well as a long limousine with three rows of seats. For 7 years, 198 sedans, 2 convertibles and 3 limousines were made, a total of 203 cars. The car was shown at international motor shows in Berlin and Paris, several copies were handed over to the North Korean government, but at this the international career of the 72nd model ended.
Today, Hongqi CA72 is a museum piece. Although since 2014, the Hongqi L5 model has been produced under this brand, designed in retro styling that imitates the classic 72nd.