ZAZ Zaporozhets was a series of subcompact cars designed and built from 1958 at the ZAZ factory in Soviet Ukraine. Different types of Zaporozhets were produced until 1994.The name Zaporozhets means a Cossack of the Zaporizhian Sich. It can also mean man from Zaporizhia oblast.Zaporozhets is still warmly remembered in many ex-USSR countries. Like the Volkswagen Beetle or East Germanys Trabant, Soviet Zaporozhets was destined to become a ;peoples 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;, ;hunchback;, ;big-eared;.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 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 Moscows NAMI and Moskvitch car plant. First prototypes were designated as Moskvitch-444.It was powered by a MeMZ-965, a rear-mounted, aircooled OHV 887 cc V4 engine of partially aluminium design, giving 26 PS. A common (and false) urban legend is that the Zaporozhets engine was used as a starter motor in Soviet tanks.
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