It’s pretty cool. This medium-duty truck was produced by the Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ), famous for its Volga cars, from 1961 to 1993.

The GAZ-52 and -53 were outwardly almost indistinguishable from each other due to shared cabs and bodywork.

Heavier-duty 3.5 and 4 ton models designated 53's may have been built as early as 1960, although mass production didn’t start until 1964. These were powered by a 115hp 4.3L OHV V-8 backed by a four speed hypoid manual transmission whose top two gears were synchronized.

Mass production of the lighter duty 2.5 ton 52 began in 1966 and powered by a 75hp 3.5L inline six with a conical transmission. It can be identified by its six-hole wheels as opposed to the 53's three-holers.

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Max speed was reportedly a mere 50mph, but with four wheel drum brakes that was probably plenty.

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There were four front-end variations produced in its 30-year lifespan, laid out very nicely in Igor Denisovets’s extensive online Russian car database.

1 has high headlights and a hexagonal grille to match the badass GAZ-66. Produced until 1964.

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2 is similar, but with a slightly different, vertical spear-like corner stamping as seen below. Late 1964-1974

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3 sports lower headlights with a more aggressive hexagonal grille and extra cooling inlets. 1975-1983.

4 was adopted in 1984, featuring conservative rectangular graphics.

Now, on with the photos. This box truck appears to be a series 1 with smooth front corner stampings.

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I like the series 3's little oval turn signals, reminiscent of a ‘60-61 Chevy.

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The front-end graphics are kind of a mess with an angular grille fighting those ovals. I like it nonetheless and the off-road tires don’t hurt. Check out the heavy duty mirror stalks.

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The Series-2 reminds me of a Task Force Chevy NAPCO. This truck is not 4x4, but YouTube suggests some examples have been converted.

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Along with the ZIL-130, the GAZ-52/53 seems to be one of the most popular old medium duty trucks in the former Eastern Bloc. Many former military examples have been converted to civilian duty.

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Although some were built for civilian use from the start.

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A double cab fire truck.

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The later, series 4 trucks seem to have been popular in light blue, making them easy to confuse with ZILs. Judging by the wheels, this is a 2.5 tonner.

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I have to say, the Russians built some cool looking trucks.