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.
Max speed was reportedly a mere 50mph, but with four wheel drum brakes that was probably plenty.
1 has high headlights and a hexagonal grille to match the badass GAZ-66. Produced until 1964.
2 is similar, but with a slightly different, vertical spear-like corner stamping as seen below. Late 1964-1974
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.
I like the series 3's little oval turn signals, reminiscent of a ‘60-61 Chevy.
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.
The Series-2 reminds me of a Task Force Chevy NAPCO. This truck is not 4x4, but YouTube suggests some examples have been converted.
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.
Although some were built for civilian use from the start.
A double cab fire truck.
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.
I have to say, the Russians built some cool looking trucks.