ZAZ 966

Sunday 31 January 2016
ZAZ Zaporozhets was a series of rear-wheel-drive superminis (city cars in their first generation) designed and built from 1958 at the ZAZ factory in Soviet Ukraine (Ukrainian: Запорізький автомобільний завод Zaporizkyi Avtomobilnyi Zavod, or Zaporizhian Automobile Factory). Different models of the Zaporozhets, all of which had an air-cooled engine in the rear, were produced until 1994. Since the late 1980s, the final series, 968M, was replaced by the cardinally different ZAZ-1102 Tavria hatchback, which featured a front-wheel drive and a more powerful water-cooled engine.
The second generation of the Zaporozhets was a reverse engineered copy of the West German NSU Prinz 4, a series of subcompact cars, production starting o the 966 in November 1966, although the prototype was ready as early as 1961. It had a completely restyled bodywork (done entirely by ZAZ.), no longer resembling the Fiat 600, or the early NSU Prinz, though arguably similar to the Chevrolet Corvair as it was a copy of the NSU Prinz. It was an effort to cure some of the 965's issues, such as torsion bars that lost tension, suicide doors, and engine overheating and noise.[ The engine was the 30 hp (22 kW; 30 PS) 887 cc (54.1 cu in) MeMZ 966A. A radio was standard equipment. The price had inched up, too, from 1,800 rubles at the 965's debut to 2,200 by 1969.
While featuring a larger two-door saloon body, it still featured an air-cooled V4 engine and featured more prominent air intakes – the so-called "ears", although a decorative chrome grill was also present. The car's rear suspension was also replaced. The 966 started out as the simpler ZAZ-966V (ЗАЗ-966В in Ukrainian) with the 30 hp (22 kW; 30 PS) engine from the 965A, which was also featured on all later models. Much like the 965A, the 966V was also produced in several special variants for the disabled (VR, VB, VB2 - until January 1973). It was produced in tandem with the 965 from November 1966 to May 1969.
ZAZ launched an upgraded 966B in 1968, powered by a new 40 hp (30 kW; 41 PS) 1,197 cc (73.0 cu in) MeMZ 968 V4, while the 30 hp (22 kW; 30 PS) 966A-powered model became the 966-1 which was only ever produced in small numbers. The 966B, weighing in at 780 kg (1,720 lb), was heavier than the earlier model, but faster, reaching 75 mph (121 km/h).
The 966 was discontinued in 1972, with the introduction of the ZAZ 968.
Nicknamed "Zapo" in the Eastern Bloc, the 966 was also popular in Western Europe, including some Scandinavian countries and France. Some markets fitted a 956 cc (58.3 cu in) Renault engine.

Technical data:
- engine: V4
- capacity: 887 cc
- horsepower: 30 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 105 km/h

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