Meet the Zaporozhets

Larry C. Went shopping again recently. As you may know, he has a strange predilection for odd little cars from Europe (especially Eastern Europe, it would seem).
Here's his newest purchase (as of Sept. 28, 1999). Not one but two Zaporozhets. Here's pictures of the first, along with one Mr. Cole Claypool:

This is a 1967 ZAZ-965a.  Quoth MaryBeth: "Zaporozhets. Mark I model. Looks like a Fiat 600. Air-Cooled V-4, rear mounted. 4 speed transaxle, synchro on 2, 3, & 4. Suicide doors. Gas heater."

When Larry sent the interior shot, he added, "Check out the dash mounted a/c in the interior shot...." I'll note that it seems to have lost a blade between Germany and here. Note also the interesting turn signal switch mounting.

Larry on the drivetrain and such:

In the engine shot, a few things are of note. The device at the left lower corner is the gas heater and related fuel pump, hoses, etc. The engine cooling fan is a sucker, not a pusher, and it exhausts the spent air out the slot behind the license plate on the deck lid. It has separate cast iron cylinders, 1 head per bank with a separate oil drain tube, 1 rocker arm shaft per bank. Alternator is behind fan, with a separate air cooling hose feeding it (visible at about 10 o'clock from the upper shroud). Single barrel downdraft carb, manual choke. Cast aluminum oil pan with electric oil temp gauge on dash. [Idiot] lights for oil and alt. Currently running on about 3 1/2 (burned exhaust valve on #3), but remains best zaz in town anyway....

So just what is this little wonder of Sovietsky engineering? Here's a clipping from a Russian Car page about it:

ZAZ-965 "Zaporozhets"
(Different data for 965A are in parentheses)
Years of production: 1960-1963 (1962-1969 ZAZ-965A)
Engine: MeMZ-965(966), 26(27)hp/4000rpm, air cooling V4-cyl, 4-stroke OHV, 887cc [54 Cu. In.]
Bore x Stroke: 72 x 54.5 mm [2.84 x 2.15 in.]
Length: 3330mm, width: 1395mm, height: 1450mm [131.1" L x 54.9" W x 57.1" H]
Wheelbase: 2023mm [79.7 in.]
Gearbox: 4 speeds + reverse
Weight: 650 kg [1430 lb.]br> Top speed: 80(90) km/h [50(56) mph]
Tyres: 5.20-13 in.
Fuel capacity: 30 L [7.93 US gal.]
Fuel consumption: 5.5 L/100km [42.8 miles/US gal.]

The "company" name (cars in the Soviet Union were named by the factory in which they were produced):

Zaporozhskiy Avtomobilnyi Zavod which translates roughly as:
Auto Works of Zaporozhye (now you see why the Sovs quickly abbreviated this to ZAZ)

And where do Zaporozhets come from? Present-day Ukraine, it turns out:

ZAPORIZHZHYE --- {zah-pah-roh'-zhuh}

The city of Zaporozhye is on the eastern bank of the Dnepr River in southeastern Ukraine; its population is 896,600 (1991 est.).

Zaporozhye is the capital of Zaporozhye oblast (1990 est. pop.: 2,092,000). A major railroad junction, the city of Zaporozhye is one of Ukraine's most important industrial centers, with iron and steel, ferroalloy, aluminum, and magnesium plants. An automobile factory produces the Zaporozhets car. Much of the industry is based on cheap electric power from the Dneproges Dam complex. The dam, completed in 1932, was rebuilt after damage in World War II and was further expanded during the 1970s.

Founded in 1770 as a southern Russian fortress at the site of a Cossack encampment, Zaporozhye was called Aleksandrovsk until 1921, when its original name was restored. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Zaporozhye Sich (camp), located on nearby Khortitsa Island, was the center of Cossack resistance to Polish rule.

Separated at birth? You be the judge...

More Zaz!

Meet the the newest Claypool SovAuto:  The 1973 Zaz 966:
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Note the Corvair good looks.  They actually come by way of the NSUs of that era
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Apparently control marking is not regarded as an important part of vehicle design in Zaporozhye, but slick chrome dashboard emblems are (at least on the 966).
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...but they're obviously pretty optimistic about top speed:  The 965a  has a 120 kM/hr speedometer (75 mph) and a stated top speed of 90 kM/hr (56 mph).  The 966 has a breathtaking 140 kM/hr maximum indication (88 mph).  I imagine that little V4 makes quite a racket above 100 kM/hr.
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The powerplant appears identical to that of the 965a.

Other Ex-Soviet vehicle company name meanings are here:

For that matter, this site is chock-full of vehicles from behind the Iron Curtain. Be sure and check out the Stretch Limo Zaz on this site.

Here's another (commoner) product of the Workers' Paradise that is Marxism-Leninism:

This is a Trabant -- A product of much-touted (East) German Engineering. Who would want a Plymouth-Mercedes, A Rolls-BMW, or a Porsche when such wonders were available to the proles through the joys of Socialism? If you think the Zaporozhets is bad--at least it's made of metal! The Trabant body work is supposed to be a plastic/wool or plastic/cotton composite. It's powered by a noisy, smelly 2-cyl 2-stroke of about 25 HP. Cortney Claypool seems to recognize that it's really just a toy.

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