A-Z Of Marques No 72: Zaporozhets

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The marque: Soviet brands of the era were commonly named after the factories that built them.

The marque: Soviet brands of the era were commonly named after the factories that built them. The Zaporozhets Automotive Factory (ZAZ), based in South-eastern Ukraine, first manufactured cars in 1958 under USSR government directives.

The history: The highest profile moment for the flagship ZAZ 965, first built in 1958, was an appearance in the 1995 Bond film, Golden- eye. Driven by a Russian spy, the car soon breaks down, leaving the pair to continue, arguably faster, on foot.

The ZAZ was first seen at the London Motor Show in 1961. Promoted as the car of the people, it was expected by the heavily Stalinist influenced government to emulate the 2CV in France and VW Beetle in Germany; the ZAZ was blessed with the charm of neither. The second model, unimaginatively titled the 966, was launched in 1967. The slightly increased engine size of 900cc produced 30hp. Considering the implications of freezing conditions and reliability issues, the addition of an independent heating system was a thoughtful touch. During the 1970s, promise was shown with a selection of mini-vans and hatchbacks boasting fold down and swivel seats. In 1987 the Tavria 1102 - with its 50hp, electronic ignition and disc brakes - rolled out of the Ukrainian factory. The following year saw a bold move from ZAZ and a rally version was produced. The customised 16 valve, turbocharged Lada 2106 engine delivered 180hp.

Defining model: ZAZ 965.

They say: Our car once featured in a James Bond film.

We say: Every Bond film needs a villain.

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