History of UAZ vehicles
Company UAZ that celebrated 60 years of its existence this year is thankful the Second World War for its
establishment even though it is a paradox. In May 1941 the war came closer to the boarders of Moscow and the "Gosudarstvennyj
komitět oborony" (GKO - State defense committee ) decided about the evacuation of main production plants to Siberia, to Ural
and beyond the river Volga. The transport lasted for 2 months and the beginning of production on two places.
From the beginning of 1942 in Uljanovsk started a new production of bombs for airplanes. In May 1942 was
produced first 5 pieces of vehicles ZiS-5. In July the plants was producing from 20-30 vehicles daily and the plant originally
called as the 4th subsidiary of Moscow company ZiS (Závod imeni Stalina) obtained its own name UASZiS - "Uljanovskyj AvtoSboročnyj
Závod imeni Stalina". The main focus of UASZiS was to produce vehicles ZiS-5 under the name UASZiS-5 (see photo).
In spring 1943 the main constructor of the plant UASZiS got a task to invent a new truck with a diesel engine.
On the 22nd June 1943 GKO decided to build a new vehicle plant. The board of committee of the town Uljanovsk located 2000 hectares
of a land beyond the river Svijag. At the beginning of spring 1944 the whole team of constructors moved to a new location. The
company got a new name UlZiS - "Uljanovskyj Závod imeni Stalina" . In autumn 1944 a truck with own diesel engine construction was
introduced called UlZiS - 253 (see photo). Unfortunately its own series production did not happen…
In 1945 a production of personal vehicles KIM-10-50 was moved to Uljanovs (see photo). From the end of 1944 was
slowly moving the production of legendary truck GAZ - AA and its war version GAZ - MM from GAZ to Uljanovsk.
On 26th October 1947 was the first vehicle of this series made in Uljanovsk under the name UAZ - AA (see photo).
From 1947 until now the company has not changed its name UAZ - "Uljanovskyj Avtomobilnyj Závod". However the name was obtained
till 1947. Officially the year 1944 is considered to be the date of establishment where the company gained mark "závod" " plant"
In 1950 a new low tonnage vehicle UAZ-300 (see photo) with engine from GAZ M20 POBĚDA vehicle was invented
and made. It had 4-grade gear box. However this vehicle was not implemented into series production.
In summer 1955 the Minister of vehicle industry of SSSR ordered UAZ to be in charge of the production of
vehicles GAZ 69, GAZ 69A and trailers GAZ-704 (see photo). The vehicles whose constructor was a genius G. Vasserman was being
produced (since already 1953)by Gorkovskij Avtomobilnyj Závod (Plant) thus GAZ.
First "kids" (that is a nickname that received all terrain vehicles UAZ, author's remark) were produced from
parts delivered from Gork.
Since 1956 UAZ started to export these vehicle into the whole world. In 1959 was possible to find vehicles
marked GAZ 69 or UAZ 69 in 22 countries. GAZ 69 lasted in the production programme of the company until 1972.
Two years later, in 1958, company UAZ started to produce vehicles of its own production with four wheel drive:
low tonnage UAZ 450D, ambulance UAZ 450A and UAZ 451 with rear axle drive. Al of these vehicles characterized "microbus" body of
round shapes with turned windscreen allowing good view from the vehicle. Thanks to the drive on all wheels and good driving
characteristics the vehicle did not have in those day and competitors.
In January 1961 UAZ prepared a new modification with a lorry superstructure.
In 1965 UAZ expanded its model series in UAZ 452A and UAZ 451D a vehicle with a chassis full of snow, with
skies instead of wheel on the front axle and with belts on the rear axle under the name UAZ 451S (see photo).
After 6 years of work on a new body version a new vehicle UAZ 469 was officially introduced. Unfortunately
former Ministry of vehicle industry did not want to hear about any chance on production belt of still favorite and well-introduced
vehicle GAZ 69. Not-till 1972 and model UAZ 469 (see photo) tried to have go at model GAZ 69.
In 1974 UAZ 469 went up to the peak of the mountain ELBRUS, up to 4.000 m above sea level in 25 minutes
(this performance was repeated till the end of 90s by a group of fan on vehicles LAND ROVER DEFENDER).
In 1983 a group of UAZ constructers invented a new model of a floating terrain vehicle - amfibie under the
mark UAZ 3907 "JAGUAR" (see photo). That vehicle came from UAZ 469 could reach 10 kmh in water and up to 100 kmh on shore.
Unfortunately was not accepted for series production. The team of its constructers was honored and obtained a special bonus for
its technical solution.
In 1985 was a reindexation of the whole model serie and from that year until now there is a new marking
of UAZ vehicle:
- UAZ 469 (army version) - UAZ 3151-01
- UAZ 469B (commercial ver.) - UAZ 31512-01
- UAZ 469B (commercial ver.) - UAZ 31512-01
- UAZ 469BG (ambulance ver.) - UAZ 3152-01
- UAZ 452 - UAZ 3741
- UAZ 452A (ambulance) - UAZ 3962
In the year 1992 there was another interesting make with a mark UAZ 3171 respectively UAZ 3171 (see photo).
The vehicle had clearance height 330 mm above the road; there was possibility of three differential blockages, steering booster
and many others. It was maybe the possible successor of the make UAZ 3151 but according to the high popularity of the original
make it did not succeed to take part in the series production.
On the 13th February 1997 a new guild was opened to produce a new make UAZ 3160 and a quild for a
small-scale production was introduced. The first piece of this production was a make UAZ 3153 so the extended version of vehicle 3151.
On the 5th August 1997 a new testing series of a new vehicle UAZ 3160 rolled off in a new modernized and extended
design is being produced under marking UAZ 3162 until now.
Present annual production of the company UAZ is ca 60.000 pcs of new vehicles.
Michal ICE Hodík © 2004