An American in Ulyanovsk | Приключения в России (Adventues in Russia) | Page 8

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An American in Ulyanovsk

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UAZ Anniversary

Posted: September 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

A Brief(ish) History of UAZ

Prior to 1929, the Soviet automotive industry was almost non-existent. One #8220;auto manufacturer#8221; was the Russo-Balt Waggon Works, located in Riga. Russo-Balt did not design their own vehicles, instead they assembled vehicles from parts purchased abroad. Most notably, Russo-Balt produced a light truck through an agreement with the Fiat Motor Company of Italy. The only other producer of vehicles in the Soviet Union until 1930 was AMO, located in Moscow.

The Avtomobilnoe Moskovskoe Obshchestvo (AMO), or Moscow Automobile Society, was opened in 1917, just prior to the Revolution. Until 1924, however, the plant only engaged in repair work. Then, AMO assembled trucks under license through Fiat.

Truck assembly at AMO in 1927.

70 Years of UAZ

On September 17, 2011, the city of Ulyanovsk celebrated the 70th anniversary of UAZ. In the center of the city, on Lenin Square, there was a display of UAZ products and various other festivities. Except for the UAZ-469, all of the major models of UAZ vehicles were represented in the display.

There was a ZIS-5 from the time period of the Second World War, or Great Patriotic War as it is known in Russia.

Sitting in a ZIS-5. Life is good in Ulyanovsk.

The example of the UAZ-452 was painted and equipped for one of its more common roles, an ambulance.

Despite the side of the vehicle saying, Quick Medical Help, these vehicles always move at a snail#039;s pace.

Of the modern, civilian models, the UAZ-Hunter and UAZ-Pickup were present.

UAZ-Pickup.

Inside, the UAZ-Pickup was a comfortable and reasonably well-equipped vehicle, even though it lacked a radio.

Heat, AC, cup-holder, and a cigarette lighter – yes. Sadly there was no radio, or attempt to hide where it should go.

It also appears to be a promising off-road vehicle. It comes with a 5-speed manual transmission. Showing its true off road-characteristics, it has a selection of 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive options usually only found on true off-road vehicles such as Jeeps, Land Rovers, Range Rovers, and the Mercedes G-Klasse.

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