Moskvitch 412 Reviews

1972 Moskvitch 412 Base 1.5litre from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1972
First year of ownership1977
Most recent year of ownership1978
Engine and transmission 1.5litre Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired47000 miles
Most recent distance56000 miles
Previous carDatsun 240Z

Summary:

Ugly, much better than they looked

Faults:

Minor problems, you could adjust everything on this car!!

I replaced the brake shoes soon after I bought it, probably the simplest, most effective self-adjusting brake system ever.

I had a little trouble with steering-wheel play, adjusted out nicely. My dad had another Mosky, his steering box died, but I rebuilt it for peanuts with new bearings from the dealership.

I got stopped by the cops one night for "showing a white light at the rear of the car". Some idiot had fitted high-power bulbs in the rear lamps which burned through the plastic lenses. Very cheap replacement, like all parts for these cars, they were built to last forever with only limited attention from Boris the blacksmith.

General Comments:

These cars were full of character. Surprisingly quick for their size, the engine was a bulletproof hybrid OHC/OHV.

Great little touches like the venetian blind in front of the radiator and the umbrella-handle handbrake that could lock the rear wheels.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st July, 2003

15th Nov 2004, 14:37

I remember looking a one of these when I was young. It was £450 new and looked like something from the 50's. I finally didn't buy one when I read a road test which basically said they were unsafe. I wish I had sometimes it was certainly different!

21st Jan 2009, 11:19

My Dad was given one of these for free by my uncle in 1981. I think it was a 1972 L reg model. My dad decided he would hand paint it pillar box red for some reason and I was 10 years old at the time and thought it was a great idea! It also had a crank handle to start the engine if required... I'd never seen a car before with one of those other than in old movies.

Unfortunately it became clear why my uncle gave it away for free as the steering was completely shot and it was not guaranteed it would always go around corners. My dad never ended up driving it as it was so dangerous my brother in law decided to drive it to the scrappers... and said it was the scariest drive he'd ever had to make. The car was built like a tank though and weighed as much as the moon. I don't think I've seen one on UK roads for about 25 years. Are any left now?

1989 Moskvitch 412 1.5 carburetor (petrol) from Lithuania

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.5 carburetor (petrol) Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.0 / 10
Distance when acquired59000 kilometres
Most recent distance75000 kilometres

Summary:

Impossible to kill, impossible to drive

Faults:

Clutch replaced two times in 65 000 kilometers.

Lots of small problems starting with high voltage system, not working inside light, worn out glands in hydraulic brake system.

Hundreds of other nagging not so serious problems.

General Comments:

Comfort not found, but it doesn't mind the quality of the road or off-road :).

No electronics at all, so nothing can fail there :). Though its small things are not reliable, this car has a simple and unbreakable chassis. All repair work can be carried by yourself - everything is so simple. It feels that this car was created for transporting loads, but not people, and in that case this car can be quite good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th February, 2003

25th Jun 2005, 21:29

This is one funny car!

Did you know that in Estonia there is a special hobby-rally league with only Moscvitch cars? It is very popular and they (mosseliiga.ee) claim the idea behind it is that cars have:

* Non-existent reliability

* Non-predictable handling (at high speeds)

* Near-zero costs for participation

They also claim that the first and most effective tuning, one can do, is to fix factory faults.

4th Dec 2005, 22:56

They sound like a pretty intelligent bunch over there in Estonia.

19th May 2006, 06:52

Moscvich 412 is best Soviet auto.

13th Jul 2006, 05:19

Moskvitch is a part of history and there are no many left of them in this world, but anyway - if you wanna pimp up your Moskvitch ride, use 98 gasoline, take off the mufler and wear Nike sneakers.

5th Oct 2006, 02:58

Moskvich driving Lithuanian? You sound pretty cool to me, whoever you are...

22nd Nov 2006, 12:20

I am from Estonia and yes, we have a special Moskvitch Rally League...It`s very fun, believe me, i`ve been there.

12th Aug 2008, 17:55

You can still spot some on Lithuanian roads. But most of them are killed by the rust.

18th Dec 2008, 03:39

My Moskvitch 412 saloon car withstood a severe side on collision to the driver’s door area extremely well. I walked away unscathed.

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 2 reviews