You’re Putin Me On: 1980 ZAZ-968A

Back in 1980 if you were a new hire at the CIA, you had numerous choices for your First Real Car.  However, if you were a young KGB Officer, your choices consisted of some warmed over Fiats and strange indigenous People’s Cars.  Find this 1980 ZAZ-968A for sale in Issaquah, WA for $9,750 via craigslist.

The ZAZ-968 was also known as the Zaporozhets or “Cossack of the Zaporizhian Sichs”.  The average Soviet called it “Horbatyi” or hunchback.  Developed to be A Car Of The People, it was sturdy, simple to maintain and was able to cope with the poor state of Soviet roads.  It was Vladimir Putin’s first car, and that very car was restored and presented to him from the KGB.  Vlad’s model, the 968A was the end of the line for the Horbatyi, with production ending in 1980.  His model was powered by a air cooled 1.2 liter MeMZ V-4 wheezing out producing around 40hp.

The 968A featured such improvements as a ‘Safety’ steering wheel, energy absorbing steering column and padded plastic dash instead of the previous all metal one.

Some variants of the 968 were produced for Hero’s of the Great War that had only one foot or no feet at all.

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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.