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"Zaporozhets" ZAZ-965 ("Запорожец" ЗАЗ-965)

 

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 Manufacturer ZAZ (Zaporizhian Automobile Plant)
 Model name "Zaporozhets" ZAZ-965 ("Запорожец" ЗАЗ-965)
 Years of production  1960 - 1969
 Body style  2 door coupe, 4 passengers
 Car layout 4 × 2. Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive
 Engine

MeMZ-965, 4 cyl. 0.75 L. 23 hp.

MeMZ-966, 4 cyl. 0.89 L. 27 hp.

 Transmission  4-speed manual
 Max speed 90 km/h
 Fuel tank capacity 30 L
 Fuel consumption 5.5 - 6.5 L / 100 km.
 Dimensions 3330x1395x1450 mm.
 Cargo capacity 300 kg.
 Curb weight 665 kg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ZAZ 965 was a city car produced from 1960 to 1963. Design of a car accessible to the public, and one in part taking the place of the soon to be discontinued Moskvitch 401, began in 1956. Following the growing trend of city cars (then accounting for between 25% and 40% of all European car sales), the minister in charge of Minavtroprom (the Soviet automotive ministry) Nikolay Strokin selected the new Fiat 600 as the model to follow. However, despite being visually similar to the Fiat, the ZAZ was in fact a completely different car.

The first prototype, the Moskvich-444, was designed by MZMA in October 1957; it used the same glass for front and rear windows. Its ground clearance, on 13 in (330 mm) wheels, was 200 mm (7.9 in). The prototype was first powered by a flat twin-cylinder MD-65 engine provided by the Irbitskiy Motorcycle Plant, which was "totally unsuited": it produced only 17.5 hp (13.0 kW; 17.7 PS) and lasted only 30,000 km (19,000 mi) between major overhauls. As a result, a search for another engine was begun, and the success of the VW Type 1's boxer led to a preference for an air-cooled engine, which NAMI (the National Automobile Institute) had on the drawing board. Minavtroprom, however, preferred a 23 hp (17 kW; 23 PS) rear-mounted 746 cc (45.5 cu in) V4, the NAMI-G, which had the additional advantage of being developed for the LuAZ-967. As a result, it had characteristics not common for automobile engines, including a magnesium alloy engine block. (This engine, the MeMZ 965, would be built by the Melitopolski Motor Plant, MeMZ.) It had the drawback of needing to have the rear of the car redesigned to fit, as well as needing a new rear suspension. The influence of the LuAZ designers led to the introduction of independent suspension on all four wheels. Its front doors open in a manner like suicide doors, partly to make it more accessible to the disabled.

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One of the primary differences was that the engine, which featured a V4 layout in place of the Fiat's inline-four, was air-cooled. The Zaporozhets also featured bigger wheels and front suspension on torsion bars. In 1958, the government ordered production of the car in the reformed ZAZ factory, under its final designation ZAZ-965.[5] All further production of the car was carried out there.

The new car was approved for production at the MeMZ factory 28 November 1958,[8] changing the name to ZAZ (Zaporizhia Automobile Building Plant) to reflect the new profile. The Zaporizhia factory was supplemented with the Mikoyan Diesel-Building Factory in Melitopol, which was part of the Soyuzdiesel combinat.

The first car, dubbed the ZAZ-965 Zaporozhets, was delivered 12 June 1959, was approved 25 July 1960, and entered production 25 October. The Zaporozhets was priced at 1,800 rubles. There was also a car-derived van model for the Soviet post office, the 965S, with right-hand drive and blanked-off windows.

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The 965A was an improvement on the 965 and was produced from November 1962 to May 1969. In total, 322,106 units of the 965 were produced. It was powered by a MeMZ 965 rear-mounted, air-cooled OHV 887 cc (54.1 cu in) V4 engine, partially of aluminium design, producing 27 PS (20 kW). From November 1966 some cars were fitted with the slightly more powerful 30 PS (22 kW) MeMZ-965A engine. The 965's modest engine output has given ground to an urban joke that it was used as a starter motor in Soviet tanks.

As Soviet drivers were expected to do much of the servicing themselves, and auto workshops were in short supply anyway, the engine's 90° V4 layout proved more practical, especially in harsh winter conditions. The higher centre of gravity of the engine also provided superior traction on steep slopes, though this advantage, which was also continued in later models, came at the expense of the car's infamous cornering stability.

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The 965A also had its versions for the disabled (ZAZ-965B, AB, AR), as well as a more luxurious export variant ZAZ-965AE Yalta.

Despite low prestige of those cars, they have shown an unbeaten accessibility and popularity among the Soviets, becoming the "car for pensioners and intellectuals". They were the cheapest Soviet-made cars. Quite a large number of them was produced in variants for disabled people, with modified steering.

Between November 1966 and May 1969 the 965A and its successor, the ZAZ966, were produced concurrently. When production of the 965 ended, 322,116 had been built.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

 

 

© Tbilisi Automuseum. 2019

 

 

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