Zaporogets is an unusual car made in the Ukraine. The name Zaporogets is a rough rendition of the Ukrainian/Russion name and other spellings are common (eg. Zaporojetz), also the cars are often refered to by the initials of the car plant where they are built, ZAZ.
The first ZAZ cars were built in 1960 when the Ukraine was still part of the USSR and production started with the ZAZ 965. This car featured a rear mounted, air cooled, V4 engine of 748 cc and the styling was a little like the contempary Fiat 600. The general construction made it more like a miniature Tatra.
The ZAZ 965 was imported into the UK in 1961 and 1962 and appeared at the London Motor Show both of these years. The importers were Thomson & Taylor (Brooklands) Ltd. It is not known how many were imported, and no surviving UK specification cars are known.
In 1967 the engine of the ZAZ 965 grew to 887 cc, and this engine was also used in a new model, the ZAZ 966 which was introduced that year. The ZAZ 966 was very different in appearance to the old ZAZ 965, and followed a similar format to many contempary rear engined cars such as NSU, Renault, and Simca, but unlike those cars continued to use an air cooled V4 engine.
In 1971 the ZAZ 968 was introduced. This was a revised version of the ZAZ 966 with some detail changes to the car and a bigger 1197 cc engine.
The ZAZ 968 continued in production for some years with detail changes from time to time such as the small round rear lights were changed to large rectanguler items.
1987 saw a departure from the air cooled rear engine format with the introduction of a new, much more conventional, front wheel drive hatchback fitted with a 1091cc water cooled engine. This was the ZAZ 1102 'Tavria'