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ZAZ-970 car: history, photos, specifications

ZAZ-970 car: history, photos, specifications
ZAZ-970 car: history, photos, specifications

Zaporozhye Automobile Plant was established in the early 60s of the last century. The main direction of his activity was the production of small cars, which were in great demand in the USSR. And a large number of ZAZ vehicles were supplied to social services to provide for war invalids.

The design office set up at the plant, which consisted of quite experienced specialists, willingly took on new machine projects. It was this project that became the beginning of the history of ZAZ-970.

First prototype

The development of a small-capacity truck based on existing and promising models began in Zaporozhye already in 1961. The ZAZ-966 car, which was being prepared for production, was chosen as a platform for the car. It allowed more flexible use of available opportunities.

The project was named "Tochilo" and was developed under the leadership of Yuri Sorchkin. After some time, a promising truck with a tonnage of 0.35 tons was given the factory index ZAZ-970.

ZAZ 970

Truck family

A year later, cars of the new Tselina family were presented,the development of which took into account the experience of designing a truck of the first model. The family included the following modifications:

  • 970B - with an all-metal van-type body;
  • 970G - pickup style;
  • 970В - with a cargo-passenger body.

The external design of the new machines was created by Yu. V. Danilov, and L. P. Murashov was responsible for the mechanical part, who, working at the MZMA plant, was directly involved in the creation of Moskvich-444.

When creating running prototypes, a method was used that significantly accelerated the production of body panels. To do this, life-size drawings of parts were created and wooden blanks were made from them, which acted as improvised molds. Body panels were also knocked out by hand.

For the manufacture of these parts, a special steel sheet was used, only 0.7 mm thick. Since errors are inevitable with this method, the shape and cross section of many power elements (for example, spars of a load-bearing body) were selected experimentally.

Power plant

The ZAZ-970 car was equipped with a standard four-cylinder 887 cc MeMZ-966 engine, borrowed from the humpbacked ZAZ-965A. The motor had two rows of cylinders placed on a common crankcase at a right angle. A four-speed gearbox, completely borrowed from the passenger model, was docked to the rear of the engine. The use of a standard passenger platform adversely affected the performance of the ZAZ-970, since the rear-mounted engine createda large hump on the floor of the loading platform.

For the suspension, a scheme similar to the 966th model was used - torsion bar in front and spring in the back. Due to the increased maximum permissible weight of the ZAZ-970, a number of reinforced elements were used in the suspension. Wheels and tires remained similar to ZAZ passenger products. But special gearboxes were installed in the drive of the rear drive wheels, which lowered the speed of the output shafts.

Thanks to a well-designed transmission, it was possible to provide good technical characteristics of the ZAZ-970. Such an important parameter as fuel consumption did not exceed 7.5 liters of gasoline type A76 for every hundred kilometers. At the same time, the truck could accelerate to 70 km / h, which was quite enough for the urban pace of movement of those years.

Van Features

On the described machines, it was supposed to install a blank partition directly behind the driver and passenger seats. The enclosed cargo compartment had a useful volume of about 2500 liters. At the same time, it was supposed to produce two variants of vans:

  • With rear doors of two symmetrical halves and blind sides.
  • With a blank back wall and single-leaf doors in the sidewalls.

You can see a variant of the van based on the ZAZ-970 in the photo in the article.

ZAZ 970 photo

Community vehicle

This variant was basically the same as the van, but there were four additional passenger seats in the back. Thus, the total capacity of the car was six people (including the driver).

The last row of seats was a significant distance from the middle one, since that was where the bulging engine cover was located.

ZAZ 970 characteristic

The seats could be folded in rows, which made it possible to place from 175 to 350 kg of various types of cargo. A distinctive feature of the body was a single door for access to the rear of the cabin, cut into the right sidewall. For additional ventilation, there was a rectangular hatch on the roof panel.

Zaporozhye pickup truck

The last version of the ZAZ-970 was equipped with an open rectangular platform located behind a double closed cabin. On the floor, the dimensions of the platform were 1.4 m long and 1.24 m wide. When the load was located above the engine hood, the length of the platform increased to 1.84 m, with a width of 1.4 m. Due to the reduced weight of the body, the pickup truck's load capacity increased by 50 kg.

ZAZ 970 history

Loading was carried out through folding doors located on the left side of the body. The door leaves were symmetrical. A big plus of the cargo options was the low loading height, which was only half a meter from the road level.

With all the hosts

Since in the same years active work was carried out on all-terrain versions of ZAZ cars, Tselina did not remain deprived of this version either. To drive the front wheels, an additional pipe was introduced into the transmission design, inside which was placed a shaft with a spline connection. The upper part of the ZAZ-971D car (this is the name the car got) was covered with canvasawning on a rigid tubular frame.

Car ZAZ 970

This truck, with a carrying capacity of about 0.4 tons, showed very good off-road performance. The main disadvantage was the monstrous fuel consumption, which has exactly doubled - up to 15 liters.


Tests of machines were carried out on the territory of the then Ukrainian SSR, including in the Crimea. At the same time, representatives of a number of trade organizations were invited as spectators to such tests, to meet the needs of which the ZAZ-970 truck was created. In addition to Soviet cars, foreign samples also participated in the tests (for example, Renault Relay, similar in design and purpose). During the tests, the cars covered more than 20 thousand km, but breakdowns were recorded:

  • jamming of gears and shafts of the box;
  • ripped engine mounts;
  • breakdown of the pendulum steering assembly;
  • destruction of suspension arm brackets;
  • cracks on side members and other body parts.

All these defects were carefully analyzed by the specialists of the plant and numerous improvements and changes were introduced into the design. After all the adjustments, another short run (5 thousand km) was carried out, which did not reveal any breakdowns.

ZAZ 970 specifications

For 1963, state tests of a batch of cars were appointed and carried out (two copies with a van body and two with a cargo-passenger body). At the same time, the cars had full and rear-wheel drive. After testing carsreceived additional tests in Moscow and the region. During these tests, complaints were caused by the ventilation system, overheating of the cargo compartment from the engine and deformation of the floor panels.

But the process of development of ZAZ-970 "Tselina" did not advance further than testing, since the Kommunar plant was already overloaded with existing orders for cars. In addition, ZAZ received an order for the revision and serial protrusion of the TPK army vehicle, so the plant could not cope with the production of another line of vehicles. Not a single copy of "Vselina" has survived to this day.

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