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A GAZ-53-12 truck in Ihawka, Belarus
|Also called||Madara 400-series|
GAZ-53 is a 3.5 tonne 4x2 truck from GAZ, introduced first as GAZ-53F in 1961. Powered by old 75 hp (56 kW) 6-cylinder engine from the GAZ-51 it was joined in 1962 by the virtually identical 2.5 ton GAZ-52, produced until 1997. In 1964 there appeared main variant (with no suffix letter), manufactured until 1993. It featured a brand-new 4254 cc light-alloy V8 ZMZ-53 engine producing 120 hp (89 kW)@ 3200 rpm giving a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph). Payload was increased to 4 tons in later model, called GAZ-53A. All variants use four speed gearbox, synchronised on third and fourth.
Giving the long production run variants of GAZ-52/53 family are commonly spotted in eastern Europe, although they shouldn't be mistaken for broadly similar 5-6 ton ZIL-130, usually also painted light blue with white front. GAZ grille is fluted vertically and the direction indicators are located above the headlamps. ZIL has flashers below the headlamps and its grille is horizontally slated.
The GAZ-53A was also license-built by KTA Madara in Shumen, Bulgaria beginning in 1967. They were called the Madara 400 series (the "4" representing its four-tonne payload) and were fitted with locally built four-cylinder 3.9 liter Perkins diesel or turbodiesel engines. These engines had either 80 or 100 PS (59 or 74 kW).
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A destroyed wrecker version of the Gaz-53 has been seen several times in Valve Software's Half Life 2.
- Rex, Rainer, ed. (July 1989), Lastauto Omnibus Katalog 1990 [Truck and bus catalog] (in German) 19, Motor-Presse-Verlag GmbH und Co. KG, p. 50, 81531/89001
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