Shame there aren`t more unique and unusual cars like the little "Zapo" in the world today. Modern cars have become predictable, dull and boring. Driving used to be an art and an adventure!
I live in the United States.
I have never even heard of this vehicle, but I found that reading your review was enlightening.
I have been able to take so much for granted, and other peoples perspectives are amazing and eye opening.
My first car at 16 years old was a $25,000 dollar (in 1984), 300 horsepower sports car. I complained every time I had to repair anything. I was the reason for most of the repairs as I routinely abused this car.
I am much older now, and I realize that I have been quite selfish and unappreciative of all the things I have been able to take for granted in my life.
I appreciate your review.
In 1992 I bought this car (it was just from the ZAZ plant). I was a novice driver. When the car stopped (in 30 minutes) in the middle of the street, I was ready to blame myself for buying it... The car simply ran out of fuel :)
I brought this car to my friend who is an awesome technical master. He checked and fixed the usual "bugs". Moisted the bottom of the car with special liquid against corrosion and it ran fine. In two years I sold it for much more money than I paid for it (because of hyperinflation in Ukraine.. Reaching over 120 000% in 1993 or 1994)... Sometimes I was meeting with the buyer and looked the car... He had no problems with it and was very happy. In 1999 he sold it to another person (he didn't lose much on the transaction... Inflation :) And he was quite unhappy of his new Lada (he missed "zhuzhik" much). The new owner was very happy (since the car was in perfect condition) until... until somebody has stolen that car in 2000...
As a conclusion... Soviet cars needed some post-purchase refinment. That would guarantee a long life of the vehicle. Btw, the plant in Zaporozhye stopped manufacturing that car just few years ago.
And, as an anecdote... One of the first models of Zaporozhets was known as "fire breathing". On early versions, when someone switched on the heating, then the car was starting to... not burn, but firing (oil system failure... Oil was coming to the hot parts of an engine and from fire could enter the tubes which were going to the cockpit)...
Once again, thank you for a great review. It revived the memories of that years...
Thanks for perfect reviews! It was real fun to read it! My father bought ZAZ965 in 1966 (if I remember right) and it still runs today! We hardly can evaluate mileage, but it should be close to 1.000.000 km!! Of cause engine was renovated many times. Car body also was renovated many times, but all parts are still original. Today car is without registration plates and used for firewood transportation from the forest. All the seats are removed (except drivers) and there's a plenty of space inside.
I also was driving this car for some years during my studies in university - I loved it a lot and my mates loved it too. That's really exceptional car and worth of respect!
I used to live in Ukraine, so I know well what are you talking about. It is still mystery to me why everybody was making jokes out of this great vehicle.yes, it wasn't top of reliability and performance, but normally this car was bought by do-it-yourself guys or at least mechanically inclined people.
Now I live in Canada and drive 95 Suzuki Swift-car about the same size, and I proudly call it Zapor, but only friends from ex-USSR can get it.
I looked at pictures It is not possible to see such an exotic, way different car aroud here, in Toronto. It is more eye catching than my new Caddy. I will try to get import one here to Canada.
Best regards to all folks,
Guys, there is a ZAZ with "ears" (air-intakes) on the sides, parked outside of my house. Just to put this comment into perspective - I live in Munich, Germany, this is where BMWs are made. VW and Merc plants are all in 200-400 km radius. My 1992 VW Passat looks ancient, but this car looks like a beauty!
If you`re lucky enough to own a ZAZ in reasonably good condition - hang on to it! In time, these unique and beautiful cars will be sought- after collector items, and worth an absolute fortune. I used to own a 1962 Skoda Octavia sedan in pristine condition. Yes, the one with the little fins on the back guards, and the motor in the front. I should have hung on to it. I sold it many many years ago. Today this model, in showroom condition, is worth many 10`s of thousands of dollars! They are just so rare.