ZAZ-970: history, photos, specifications


2018-03-22 20:47:24




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The Zaporizhia automobile plant was created in the early 60-ies of the last century. The main focus of his activities was the production of midget cars that were very popular in the USSR. And a large number of cars ZAZ delivered social services to ensure disabled veterans.

Created in the factory design Bureau, which consisted of fairly experienced specialists willingly undertook new projects machines. Such a project was the beginning of history ZAZ-970.

First placeholder

Development of the truck of small capacity on the basis of existing and promising models began in Zaporizhia already in 1961. Platform for machine picked preparing for the production of the ZAZ-966. It allowed more flexible use of available opportunities.

The Project received the name of “Knife” and was developed under the leadership of Yuri Sorochkina. After some time, promising truck with tonnage of 0.35 tons gave factory index ZAZ-970.

ZAZ 970

Family of trucks

A year was submitted to the machine of a new family of “Virgin”, the development of which took into account the experience in the design of the truck the first model. The family consisted of the following modifications:

  • 970Б - all-metal body of type box;
  • 970Г - with the body of a pickup type;
  • 970В with utility body.

The Exterior design of the new machines was created V. Danilov, and for the mechanical part answered L. P. Murashov, who was working at the plant MZMA was directly involved in the creation of “Moskvich-444”.

When you create running prototypes used method that greatly accelerate the production of body panels. This was created part drawings in natural size and were made of wooden discs that acted as makeshift molds. Them manually to extort and body panels.


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To make these parts using a special steel sheet with a thickness of only 0.7 mm. Because with this method, errors are inevitable, the shape and cross-section of many force elements (for example, the side members of the carrier body) is picked up experimentally.

Power plant

ZAZ-970 was mated to a standard four-887-CC engine MeMZ-966, borrowed from the "humpback" ZAZ-965A. The engine had two rows of cylinders placed on a common crankcase at a right angle. To the rear of the engine attaches a four-speed transmission, completely borrowed from passenger cars. The use of standard passenger platforms had a negative impact on the characteristics of ZAZ-970 because the rear mounted engine has created a large hump on the floor of the loading platform.

For the suspension used a scheme similar to the 966-th model, - a torsion spring front and rear. Due to the increased maximum permissible mass ZAZ-970 in the suspension incorporated a number of enhanced elements. Wheels and tires remained the same automobile products ZAZ. But the rear wheels were equipped with special reducer, which lowered the frequency of rotation of the output shafts.

Thanks to well-designed powertrain, able to provide good technical characteristics of ZAZ-970. Such an important parameter as fuel consumption does not exceed 7.5 liters of gasoline type A76 for every hundred kilometers. The truck would accelerate to 70 km/h, which was sufficient for the city's rate of movement of those years.


The listed cars involves the installation of a remote partition directly behind the driver's seat and the passenger. Separated compartment for cargo had a useful volume of approximately 2500 liters. It was supposed to release two versions of the vans:

  • Rear doors of two symmetrical halves and solid sidewalls.
  • With a blind rear wall and single door to the side.

You can see the variant wagon, based on ZAZ-970 in the photo in the article.

ZAZ 970 photo

Passenger car

This option in General, repeating the van, but in the back there were four additional passenger seat. Thus, the full capacity of the machine was six people (including the driver).

The Last row of seats stood at a marked distance from the average, since there is a convex engine cowling.

ZAZ 970 feature

The Seats could be folded in rows that could accommodate from 175 to 350 kg of cargo. A distinctive feature of the body was the only door to access the rear compartment carved in the right side. For added ventilation, roof panel had a folding hatch rectangular shape.

Zaporizhia pickup

The Last option ZAZ-970 equipped with an open rectangular platform, located behind the double closed cabin. On the floor of the platform was 1.4 m long and 1.24 m wide. When the load on the engine hood, platform length was increased to 1.84 m, with a width of 1.4 m. because Of the reduced weight of the body capacity of a pickup truck increased by 50 kg.

ZAZ 970 history

The Loading was performed through a hinged door located in the left side of the body. Door wing had a symmetrical form. A great advantage of freight options was low loading height, which stood just half a meter from the road level.

From all major

Because in those years there were active work on the all-terrain versions of the machine, ZAZ, this version is not left out and “Virgin”. For front wheel drive drivetrain design, introduced additional tube, inside which is housed a shaft with a splined connection. The top of the machine ZAZ-971Д (which is the name given to the car) closed tent on a rigid tubular frame.

ZAZ 970

This truck when capacity is about 0.4 tons, showed a very good off-road performance. The main downside was the terrible fuel consumption, which grew twice-up to 15 litres.


Tests of machines were conducted on territory of the Ukrainian SSR, including Crimea. While such tests were invited as spectators, representatives of several trade organizations, to meet the needs which it was created and a truck ZAZ-970. In addition to Soviet cars participated in the trials and foreign models (e.g., similar in design and purpose "Reno Estafette”). During the tests, the machines were more than 20 thousand km, but it was recorded breakdowns:

  • Jamming gears and shafts boxes;
  • Failure of engine mountings;
  • Breaking the pendulum node steering;
  • The destruction of the control arm brackets;
  • Cracks in the spars and other body components.

All of these defects were carefully analyzed by the plant and the design introduced numerous improvements and changes. After all the adjustments were carried out one run short haul (5 thousand km), which revealed no damage.

ZAZ 970 specifications

In 1963 was appointed and held public trials of party machines (two copies with the back of a van and two – with cargo). The car had a full and rear wheel drive. After testing, the cars went for additional tests in Moscow and the Moscow region. In these tests, complaints caused by ventilation, overheating of the cargo compartment from the engine and deformation of the floor panel.

But further testing is the process of development ZAZ-970 “Virgin” not moved, because the plant is “www” were already overwhelmed existing orders for cars. In addition, ZAZ received an order for revision and serial projection army vehicle TPK, so another production line machinery factory could not handle. No instance of the “Virgin” is not reached until our days.

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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