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Moskvitch 408 (Москвич 408)


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 Manufacturer МЗМА (MZMA, Moscow Plant of Small Cars, AZLK since 1968)
 Model name Moskvitch 408 (Москвич 408)
 Years of production  1964 - 1976
 Body style  4 door sedan, 5 passengers
 Car layout 4 × 2, rear-wheel drive
 Engine М-408, 1,36 L, 50 hp. (60 hp. export)
 Transmission  4-speed manual
 Max speed 120 km/h
 Fuel tank capacity 46 L
 Fuel consumption 8.5-10 L / 100 km.
 Dimensions 4090x1550x1480 mm.
 Cargo capacity 430 kg.
 Curb weight 900 kg.











The Moskvitch-408 (also referred to as the Moskvich-408, and M-408) series is a small family car produced by the Soviet car manufacturer MZMA/AZLK between 1964 and 1975. The first prototype was made in 1960.

The M-408, the first of the series, replaced the second generation Moskvitch 407 as the main production model; it had a longer wheelbase than the 407. Design work started in 1959, and the first prototype appeared in March 1961. The first production 408 was built 1 August 1964, and the 408 was given its official debut on October 21. First marketed body styles of the main version were a four-door saloon (base), five-door estate (the model M-426, an upgrade of second generation M-423 and M-424), and a three-door sedan delivery (the M-433, an upgrade of the second generation M-432 delivery pick-up).

The IZh-408 was a duplicate version of the car made by IZh factory in Izhevsk from 1966 to 1967. It was then replaced in production by the M-412.
In 1976, alongside the M-412, the series were succeeded by the third generation M-2140 series.

There were two distinct series of the M-408, which both used the same name. On 20 August 1966, Moskvitch produced its 100,000th M-408.

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The first series of cars were produced between 1964 and 1969 in Moscow. These automobiles had vertical rear lights, two or four round headlights, a front bench seat, and a 4-speed manual transmission with column mounted gear lever. The length of the standard model was 4,090 mm (161.0 in).

The second series was produced between 1969 and 1976. It had the same engine and transmission as its predecessor, but an updated body fitted with rectangular headlights and horizontal rear lights, with triangular turn signal markers mounted on tailfins. Also it had separated bucket seats and the transmission used a floor-mounted gear lever.

Between 1966 and 1967, the car was also produced by the IZh military factory in the city of Izhevsk, carrying the IZh-Moskvitch-408 name — though usually called simply "IZh". This car was a rebadged version of the MZMA Moskvitch-408. It was replaced in production with the IZh-412, a copy of the M-412, starting in 1967 and up to 1976.

In 1967, the M-408 models were facelifted with a different grille and logo design, also featured on the co-produced Moskvitch 412 model. Both cars shared similar exterior design, with a slightly modified interior. In 1969, after a complete revamp of the body design occurred, the company introduced new taillights, tailfins and somewhat thicker interior dashboards.

The car had modern features for 1964: squared-off body with flat roof panel and sharp tailfins, panoramic rear window and semi-panoramic windshield. Deluxe versions had then-fashionable quad headlights and (some series) two-tone paint. Since the layout of the first prototypes was created on the basis of the preceding M-407, the rear end design of the pre-facelift models inherited such characteristic features of the previous Moskvitch series as tailfins decorated with chrome trims, narrow taillights, a recognisable trunk handle, and a fuel tank flap in the middle, behind the number plate.

The interior featured a stylish trapezoidal instrument cluster, column-mounted gear shift lever (until 1973), effective heater and had a then-common practical artificial leather (vinyl) upholstery (colour-coded).

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The M-408 was a conventional rear-wheel drive economy car powered by a 1357 cc OHV straight-four, producing 50 hp (37 kW) at 4750 rpm (60.5 SAE hp). After 1967, the assembly of the engines was done by UZAM in Ufa. One two-barrel down-draft carburettor was used. Export versions had a slight increase in power, up to 54 hp(40 KW) , slightly reduced emisissions and slightly higher top speed. The car was initially equipped with self-adjusting manual drum brakes, then from 1969 with power brakes with a hydrovacuum servo and a split circuit braking system.

This Moskvitch was the first Soviet-built car to have deliberate safety equipment (since 1969): crumple zones, a safer steering column, a soft grip steering wheel cover, soft interior parts, seat belts, a padded dashboard, and a split circuit braking system.

The car sold well in both the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries and was sold for export. In the USSR, the M-408/412 was the second best selling Moskvitch for the whole 1970s decade, bested only by its successor, the M-2140. In order to make it more competitive, the car was often upgraded during the time of its production and equipped with better gearboxes, more powerful 75 h.p. motors, hydrovacuum brake boosters, etc.

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Export models (408E) had quadruple headlights. The car was sold in France as the Moskvitch 1300, as the Moskvitsh Elite (408)/Elite De Luxe (408E)/Elite 1300 in Finland and as the Moskvich Carat in Norway. It was powered by 1,357 cc (82.8 cu in) straight four petrol engine, producing 54 hp (40 kW). It had a top speed of 80 mph (130 km/h), which was faster than the contemporary Volga. "More worth than its price", was its slogan for export sales. It proved a good value in Britain, Finland, and Norway, for instance, and in 1968, 55% of production was for export.

It was also assembled by Scaldia-Volga SA in Brussels, Belgium. In Belgium the car was sold as the Scaldia 1300/1400, although Scaldia also installed Perkins' 1.8-litre 4.108 engine in the Scaldia Diesel beginning in 1968. This model offered 52 PS (38 kW) SAE but lacked the twin headlamps of the petrol-engined export 408. Some sources also list the 1.6-litre Perkins 4.99 as having been available earlier.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)




 © Tbilisi Automuseum. 2019


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