Trucks of the USSR: GAZ AA. Power – 40 hp. Made in 1934. 

Moscow transport museum

The GAZ-AA, a truck produced at the Gorki Auto Plant in the Soviet Union from 1932 to 1938, was the factory’s first truck produced under the GAZ brand-name. Russian-speakers often refer to it as a polutorka (полуторка) – meaning “one-and-a halfer”, with reference to its carrying capacity of 1.5 tonnes (1500 Kilograms).

On 31 May 1929 the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy of the Soviet Union (Russian: Высший совет народного хозяйства СССР) made an agreement with the Ford Motor Company to produce Ford Model A and Model AA vehicles, and the Soviet Metallostroy organisation (Russian: Металлострой) started constructing an American-designed automotive plant in Nijni Novgorod.

Initially, 10 Ford Model AA trucks were built at the plant, under the name NAZ (for Nijni Novgorod Avtomobilni Zavod). Soviet engineers prepared their own mechanical blueprints for production, specifying a truck to be made with thicker steel and to have an upgraded suspension system. In 1932 the city of Nizhni Novgorod adopted its new name, Gorki – after Maxim Gorki (1868-1936) – and in 1933 the plant was renamed to Gorki Automobilni Zavod, and the trucks began to use the model designation GAZ-AA. By 1932 mass-production had started, with around 60 trucks were built at the plant daily from knock-down kits sent by Ford.

Soon assembly started of GAZ-A passenger vehicles, which were based on the Ford Model A and were also built from knock-down kits imported into the Soviet Union. By that time GAZ-AA trucks comprised the majority of trucks used by the Red Army. Several modifications of the GAZ-AA trucks started getting produced, including dump trucks (410), semi-trucks (MS), fire trucks (PMG-1) and tractors (905).

Read more: History of trucks with Jim Andrews ...