Moskvitch 402

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Moskvitch 402/403/407
Brno, 140 let MHD (57).jpg
Manufacturer MZMA
Production 1956—1965
Body and chassis
Class Compact car
Body style
Layout FR layout
Related Moskvitch 410
  • 1.2L MZMA-402 I4 (402)
  • 1.3L MZMA-407 I4 (403 and 407)
  • 3-speed manual (1956-1960)
  • 4-speed manual (1960-1965)
Wheelbase 2,370 mm (93.3 in)
Length 4,055 mm (159.6 in)
Width 1,540 mm (60.6 in)
Curb weight 910 kg (2,006 lb)
Predecessor Moskvitch 400-420
Moskvitch 423

The Moskvitch 402 is a compact car manufactured by the former Soviet automobile maker MZMA, first time introduced in 1956 as a second generation of the Moskvitch series. Unlike its predecessor, which was based on the Opel Kadett, the 402 featured many improvements such as a standard car radio.

With designers taking inspiration from the contemporary Hillman Minx, FIAT 1100, Ford Prefect 100E and Ford Consul Mk1 (1951–1956),and Jowett Javelin (with the Prefect and Consul being the models they choose to copy from without buying a license.[1] the Moskvitch 402 utilized 35 hp (26 kW; 35 PS) 1,222 cc (74.6 cu in) inline 4-cylinder flathead engine (derived from the 1,074 cc (65.5 cu in) of its predecessors).[2] The top speed was 88–90 kilometres per hour (55–56 mph), no more than a slight increase over the 401 series (mostly due to considerable reductions in body weight); it could achieve 9 L/100 km (26 mpg-US; 31 mpg-imp) It was not until 1958 that the engine was replaced with MZMA's OHV development (among other changes) which allowed to obtain a maximum speed increase up to 115 kilometres per hour (71 mph) and a much less noisy drive. At 4,055 mm (159.6 in) overall, it was200 mm (7.9 in) longer than the 401.[3] Though the gearchange had moved to the steering column, the gearbox was the same three-speed manual.[4] Electrics changed from six volt to twelve[5] (a change already being made in the U.S.). Radio, cigarette lighter, and demister were standard, at a time when the demister was not in the UK.[6]

The estate (402-423) appeared in 1957, with folding rear seats and a 250 kg (550 lb) payload.[7] (Proposed three-door and sedan delivery models were not produced.[8])

Exported to several Western countries, the 402 in Norway had an advantage over the Ford Anglia or Prefect, being both more available and less subject to import duty.[9]

Limited production of four-wheel drive variants of the 402 (the 410 saloon) was built in 1957-8, using transfer case and axles of the GAZ-69 and Pobeda steering.[10] Its performance was good: ground clearance was the same as the GAZ-69's, 220 mm (8.7 in); it could cross water 300 mm (12 in) deep; climb a 33° slope; and reach 56 kilometres per hour (35 mph).[11]

The final Moskvitch 402 was produced in July 1957; there were 94,080 in all (including 18,019 for export).[12]

With the new 407-series 45 hp (34 kW; 46 PS) 1,358 cc (82.9 cu in) overhead valve engine, in 1958, the 402 became the Moskvitch 407.[13] A four-speed transmission with synchromesh appeared in December 1959, in place of the three-speed.[14]

The 407 was offered as an estate (407-423N), delivery (407-430), medical team model (407B), and taxi (407T).[15] The delivery simply had the rear windows of the estate not cut out and the rear doors welded shut; it was only available to official groups.[16]

A 407 came third in class at the 1000 Lakes Rally in 1957[17]

Like the 402, there were four-wheel drive 407s, too, beginning with the 407-410N in June 1958 and the 407-411N estate in August.[18] At first, these had the three-speed, changing to the four-speed in 1960.[19] A total of 11,890 four-wheel drive 402s and 407s were built by end of production in January 1961,[20] a result of Moskvitch being unable to keep up with demand for its mainstream 407s.[21]

In 1961, the 407 was further upgraded with an even more powerful M-407D1-D2 engine (allowing to handle the fourth speed on a manual transmission), self-adjusting brake cylinders and hydraulic clutch drive, improved front suspension for easier driving,[22] and a completely restructured dashboard. This model, manufactured as the Moskvitch 403, served as a transition between the second and the third generation Moskvitches, debuting in 1964, with the mechanical components of the Moskvitch 408 (which had not yet appeared) and the body of a 402.[23] The 403E and 403IE were for export.[24] In 1963, an estate variant, the 424, appeared (with the 424E the export model).[25] The 403 lasted only until July 1965, with 133,523 built (50,612 for export).[26]

The 402 was discontinued by August 1959, with 407 production ending in October 1963 (with 359,980 built, 120,903 for export).[27]

The 407 was the first Soviet automotive export to be truly successful in the West.[28] Up to half of all 407 production was exported for a number of years, mainly to the Eastern Bloc countries, Norway, Finland, and France.[29] In parts of Western Europe, it was rebranded the Elite, to avoid conflict with Peugeot, which had trademarked names with middle "0"s.[30]

The Moskvitch 402 and 407 could be considered as the first step in USSR/Russia's automotive history towards producing customer-adapted trim levels for various uses. While the 407 provided greater driving comfort at bigger expenses, other trim levels included the 407-424 station wagon available for the general public, 431 delivery pick-up/ambulance van and even the 410/411 attempt of creating an SUV-based sedan/station wagon.

Trims and body styles[edit]

  • Moskvitch 402 — the original series, produced from 1956 to 1958.
  • Moskvitch 407 — same series with modified engine and frontal grille, produced from 1958 to 1964.
  • Moskvitch 403 — improved version of 407, with notable interior accommodations. Produced from 1961 to 1965.
    • Moskvitch 403E — export version of 403, produced from 1962 to 1965.
  • Moskvitch 423 — second generation station wagon (after Moskvitch 422-422K), produced between 1957 and 1958.
    • Moskvitch 423H — its upgraded version (407 engine featured), produced 1958 through 1963.
  • Moskvitch 410 — first Soviet crossover, briefly produced between 1957 and 1958.
    • Moskvitch 410H — an upgrade on the 410 model (similar to the 403 upgrade of 407) featuring, however, a lesser drivetrain. Produced 1961 through 1964.
  • Moskvitch 411 — a station wagon crossover, produced between 1959 and 1961.
  • Moskvitch 415 — a four-wheel drive prototype.
  • Moskvitch 416 — a four-wheel drive prototype.
  • Moskvitch 430 and 430H — both two-door delivery pick-ups, with H being its crossover variant. The H was never released, however, due to increasing production costs, while 430 itself was briefly manufactured in 1958.
  • Moskvitch 424 — the 423 model redesigned to feature a convertible passengers/cargo rear compartment, possible unification of 423 and 430 models released from 1963 to 1965.
    • Moskvitch 424E — export version of 424, produced from 1962 to 1965.
  • Moskvitch 432 — delivery pick-up variant based on 403 model, produced and discontinued in 1964 in favor of Moskvitch 433.
  • Moskvitch 407 coupe (Moskvitch 409) — a 407-based sports car, produced in 1962.
  • Moskvitch 429 — a delivery pick-up prototype based on the 402, cancelled in favor of the 430.
  • Moskvitch 431 — the prototype crossover variant of the 430, produced in 1960.
  • Moskvitch A9 — a 402-based minivan prototype, produced in 1957.


  1. ^ Thompson, Andy. Cars of the Soviet Union (Haynes Publishing, Somerset, UK, 2008), p.81.
  2. ^ Thompson, p.81.
  3. ^ Thompson, p.81.
  4. ^ Thompson, p.83.
  5. ^ Thompson, p.81.
  6. ^ Thompson, p.81.
  7. ^ Thompson, p.83.
  8. ^ Thompson, p.83.
  9. ^ Thompson, p.83.
  10. ^ Thompson, p.83.
  11. ^ Thompson, p.83.
  12. ^ Thompson, p.84.
  13. ^ Thompson, pp.83-84.
  14. ^ Thompson, p.85.
  15. ^ Thompson, p.84.
  16. ^ Thompson, p.84.
  17. ^ Thompson, p.84.
  18. ^ Thompson, p.85.
  19. ^ Thompson, p.85.
  20. ^ Thompson, p.85
  21. ^ Thompson, p.87.
  22. ^ Thompson, p.136.
  23. ^ Thompson, p.137.
  24. ^ Thompson, p.137.
  25. ^ Thompson, p.137.
  26. ^ Thompson, p.137.
  27. ^ Thompson, p.136.
  28. ^ Thompson, p.87.
  29. ^ Thompson, p.87.
  30. ^ Thompson, p.87.


  • Thompson, Andy. Cars of the Soviet Union. Somerset, UK: Haynes Publishing, 2008.
  • Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1946-1959. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2008.