ZAZ 965: Peculiarities, Specs, History

ZAZ 965 is a truly legendary Soviet small car, which almost every motorist knows. The famous “Zaporozhets” has become a real hallmark of the Zaporizhzhia Automobile Building Plant. This tiny vehicle won the hearts of Soviet citizens from its very first appearance on the roads. The auto was produced from 1960 to 1969, and during this time, about 350 thousand cars rolled off the assembly line, which explains the popularity of the vehicle.

A Bit of History

The ZAZ 965 sedan was produced in the period from 1960 to 1970. This model was popularly nicknamed “humped” and has become the legend of the Soviet automobile industry. When creating this auto, the FIAT 500 was used as a prototype. Yet, developers changed both the appearance and the technical side of the car compared to its prototype.


The first engine of the car is a 0.7-liter engine, which produces 23 hp. and 45 Nm. Such parameters are not an indicator of low performance, since the car is capable of speeds up to 90 km/h. An improved version of the engine for ZAZ 965 is a 0.9-liter gasoline unit that has a power of 27 hp. and 52 Nm. Such parameters can compete with some full-fledged modern models. For convenience, the drive is located at the rear. The vehicle is equipped with a 4-speed mechanical transmission. The auto consumes 5.5 liters, although, in practice, the consumption is a little more.


The design of the “Zaporozhets” is the main advantage of the car. Rounded edges decorate the body. The “pop-eyed” headlights, which are in harmony with a small long grille, serve as another striking feature of the exterior.

In front of the sloping hood of the ZAZ 965, there is a “fin” of the brand name. The front wings in their upper part are shaped as cylinders; large round headlights are built into their end part, enclosed in a light metal frame. Direction indicators are installed on the side surfaces of the wings, and compact round dimensions are mounted under the headlights. The wide front of the vehicle is used to accommodate a metal bumper made of polished metal.

The body has 2 doors that open towards the movement. Ventilation grilles are mounted on the side surfaces of the rear fenders. Voluminous rear lights have the shape of an elongated narrow oval decorated with chrome frames. There are branded attributes on the convex back cover.


Compactness is the main feature of the car. The dimensions of the “Zaporozhets” are so small that there were even disputes about what type of vehicle it should be classified as, a motorized stroller or a small car. The dimensions of the tiny sedan were as follows:

  • length – 3.33 m;
  • width – 1.4 m;
  • height – 1.45 m;
  • wheelbase – 2.02 m.


Despite the extremely compact overall dimensions of the ZAZ 965 body, five people can be accommodated in its cab without any difficulty, although four people will feel most comfortable in the cabin. 

Seats are quite neat, comfortable, and upholstered in soft, pleasant leather. There is little free space behind the back of the rear sofa. The front seats can be adjusted in the longitudinal direction. 

The front panel is made of metal. Several light bulbs are built into its center; under them, there are several buttons for turning on service systems. The dashboard looks like a compact plastic overlay, the speedometer scale is placed in its center, and arrow indicators are located on the sides of it. A stylish slim two-spoke steering wheel of a big diameter allows a driver to reliably control the road.

The trunk is located in the front of the vehicle, while the rear side is designed for a motor compartment.


The advantages of the “humpback” include:

  • the high reliability of parts and assemblies;
  • a compact body;
  • cost-effectiveness in operation.

The sedan is not picky about parking spaces, has high maneuverability, and is easy to drive and operate. In the event of a malfunction, it can be eliminated with only a universal key, a hammer, pliers, and a screwdriver. At the time of manufacturing, the cost of consumables and components was at a very low level, as well as the cost of the vehicle itself.

The famous ZAZ 965 is an excellent subcompact model of the Zaporizhzhia Automobile Building Plant, which will always remain popular. Despite the fact that the model is discontinued, owners of this legendary model still take care of autos, drive them, and enjoy the soul of old times.

It is evident that any mechanism tends to break and depreciate over time. To keep your vehicle in order and use for driving, it is enough to do timely maintenance work and replace deteriorated components. Owners of ZAZ 965 can find all the necessary convertibles and spare parts on the Avtoclassika website. There, a wide assortment of components for ZAZ models is provided. Experienced technicians will help choose the best parts, advice on repair works, and deliver parcels safe and sound.