Zaporozhets: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ZAZ Zaporozhets (Russian: Запоро́жец, About this sound (listen) , Ukrainian: Запорожець) was a series of subcompact cars designed and built from 1958 at the ZAZ factory in Soviet Ukraine ("Zaporizky Avtomobilny Zavod", or Zaporizhian Automobile Factory). Different types of Zaporozhets were produced until 1994.

The name Zaporozhets means a Cossack of the Zaporizhian Sich. It can also mean а man from Zaporizhia oblast.

Zaporozhets is still warmly remembered in many ex-USSR countries. Like the Volkswagen Beetle or East Germany's Trabant, Soviet Zaporozhets was destined to become a "people's car". It was the cheapest Soviet car and so the most affordable to common people. At the same time, it was rather sturdy and well suited to Soviet roads. The very looks of this car gave birth to several nicknames that stuck with it forever: "Zapor"[citation needed] (short for "Zaporozhets", but also means "constipation" in Russian), "hunchback" (due to ZAZ-965 insect-like form; ZAZ factory workers never used this nickname, using "Malysh" (English: Kiddy) instead [1] ), "big-eared" (the car had air intakes on its sides to cool down the engine in the rear of the vehicle).

All Zaporozhets cars featured rear wheel drive (with engine in the rear) and aircooled engines.

Special versions of Zaporozhets were equipped with additional sets of controls that allowed operating the car with a limited set of limbs or completely by hands, and were given for free to the disabled people as an alternative to SZ-series microcars.


ZAZ-965 Zaporozhets and ZAZ-965A Zaporozhets


ZAZ-965 Zaporozhets

ZAZ-965 Zaporozhets model was made between 1960 and 1969. Despite speculations that the design was copied from the Fiat 600 and has a very similar appearance to the Puch 500, ZAZ representatives say the car was an exclusively Soviet design, created by Soviet ZAZ engineers jointly with colleagues from Moscow's NAMI [1] and Moskvitch car plant. First prototypes were designated as Moskvitch-444[1].

It was powered by a MeMZ-965, a rear-mounted, aircooled OHV 887 cc V4 engine of partially aluminium design, giving 26 PS (19 kW) (27 PS (20 kW) in the ZAZ-965A). A common (and false) urban legend is that the Zaporozhets engine was used as a starter motor in Soviet tanks.

ZAZ-965A Zaporozhets

The base model was manufactured between 1960 and 1963, and the ZAZ-965A, which had the air-intake "ears" removed, between 1962 and 1969.

Interestingly, the engine looks a bit like the VW aircooled boxer four, except that the two cylinder banks are at a 45 degree angle. As Soviet car owners were expected to do much of the servicing themselves, and auto workshops were in short supply anyway, this layout was more practical especially in harsh winter conditions.

ZAZ-966 Zaporozhets, ZAZ-968 Zaporozhets and ZAZ-968M Zaporozhets

Vladimir Putin with his 1972 ZAZ-968 Zaporozhets

ZAZ-966 Zaporozhets

ZAZ-966 Zaporozhets model was made from 1967 to 1974. It had a restyled bodywork, no longer resembling the Fiat 600, but now resembling the German NSU Prinz. The engines were slightly updated as well, but the infamous "ears" were back.

ZAZ-968 Zaporozhets

ZAZ-968 Zaporozhets was produced from 1972 to 1980. It featured the newer MeMZ-968 engine, which increased the displacement to 1.2L and the power output to 42 PS (31 kW).

ZAZ-968M Zaporozhets

ZAZ-968M Zaporozhets had the ears removed and was made from 1979 to 1994. Some of the special models include the ZAZ-968B2, for drivers who have only one foot, the ZAZ-968B for drivers who have no feet, and the ZAZ-968A which had the smaller 0.7 Litre engine.

ZAZ-968 was replaced by the heavily updated ZAZ-1102 Tavria hatchback, which was radically different from the Zaporozhets, featuring front wheel drive and a watercooled engine.

Jokes about Zaporozhets

Because of the unusual motor placement, at the back of the car, minimal capacity, and low status of its make ZAZ became a very frequent object of many jokes and anecdotes. ZAZ-965 was so-called "ladybird" or "humpy" for a shape of a body, ZAZ-968— "eary" for a shape of air absorbers which are the part of a cooling system, ZAZ-968M - a soap box, for losing the "ears"

Jokes about the location of the engine

"The factory that produces Zaporozhets has started to produce Televisions. The TV's are fine, work like normal ones, yet their screens are at the back." a reference to the rear mounted engine of the Zaporozhets.

Jokes about American man

An American man comes to Russia to visit his friend. They go to a food store to buy some drinks & snacks and the American talks about how many thieves are there in America. "You, say, return from a shop and all four wheels of your car are stolen in this time!" The two friends then sit in their Zaporozhets, start the engine and begin their way home. Suddenly, the engine stops and fails to restart. The American goes to look under the hood to check the engine and is shocked: "Oh my God, it's far worse here! Somebody stole the engine while driving!"

Jokes about the type

This joke is between 2 Top Gear presenters, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on a documentary on communist built cars:

Clarkson: "This is the standard 968. What do you suppose the 968B2 was?"

May: "Was it an estate version?"

Clarkson: "No, it was for people who had the use of only one foot. 968B?"

May: "Twin carb?"

Clarkson: "No, that was for people who didn't have the use of either foot. 968A?"

May: "People with... one foot, two hands but, one of them is frozen."

Clarkson: "No, that was the one with the 0.7 litre engine."

May: "Wow!"


  1. ^ a b FIAT begins to produce Zaporozhets (Russian)

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address