Is the UAZ-452 line the oldest vehicle in continuous production? It started life in 1958 as the UAZ-450, and it wasn’t exactly all that new under the skin then as its bread loaf body sat on the chassis of the venerable GAZ-69 four wheel drive truck. In 1965 a slightly revised version arrived, dubbed the -452, which you see here as shot by Roshake77 in Budapest, Hungary. The engine is the UMZ452MI 2.4 L four, rated at 75 hp, and was able to run on gas as low as 72 octane, although it preferred at least 76 octane.
Let’s call it the Soviet Econoline, although it beat it to the market by two years.
I have no idea what year this one is. In 1985, the model line was revised and spun off into separate submodels: 39625, 3962, 3303, 3909 and 2206. The main changes included lighting that met modern international requirements, alarms, a new instrument panel, and a new speedometer. The brakes were redesigned. The engine was also upgraded, and its power output increased to 99 hp.
In the early 2000’s, there were further revisions, including headrests for the seats. And the engine was updated to meet whatever emission standards were in effect at the time. And as a concession to improved safety, the steel steering wheel was replaced by a modern plastic one.
In 2011, another round of improvements ensued, including ABS brakes, power steering, seat belts and Euro-4 emission controls as standard equipment.
Numerous body styles and applications were available, including ambulance, minibus, single and double-cab pickups. Obviously all of these are adapted to the more remote parts of Russia, where they still meet a demand for a highly rugged and capable 4×4 vehicle for a variety of uses.
Here’s a link to their current website, if you’d like to mull over ordering one up for yourself.
Will it make it to 100 years? Only 37 more years to go.