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Red GAZ-53.jpg
GAZ-53 truck
Also calledMadara 400-series
Body and chassis
LayoutFront engine layout
  • 3.5L GAZ-51 I6 (1961-1964)
  • 4.3L ZMZ-53 V8 (1964-1993)
Transmission4-speed manual
Steering wheel of a GAZ-52 GAZ-53 truck.JPG

GAZ-53 is a 3.5 tonne 4x2 truck produced by GAZ between 1961 and 1993. Introduced first as GAZ-53F, it was joined by the virtually identical 2.5-ton GAZ-52 in 1962, which was produced until 1989.

The GAZ-52 and GAZ-53 trucks are distinguished by different lighting systems, wheel rims and tonnage (payload): the GAZ-52 was able to carry up to 2.5 tonnes of cargo, whereas the GAZ-53A could carry up to 4 tonnes.

Pre-1984 grille

Given the long production run of GAZ-52/53 and their variants, the series is a common sight in Eastern Europe, although they shouldn't be mistaken for the broadly similar 5-6 ton ZIL-130, which is usually also painted light blue with white on the front. The GAZ grille is fluted vertically, and the direction indicators are located above the headlamps. The ZIL has flashers below the headlamps and its grille is horizontally slated.


The main (or basic) variant of GAZ-53 with no suffix letter was released in 1964, which was manufactured until 1993. It featured a brand-new 4254 cc light-alloy V8 ZMZ-53 engine, producing 120 hp SAE Gross @ 3200 rpm, giving a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph).

Early versions of GAZ-53 were powered by an old 75-hp SAE Gross 6-cylinder engine from the GAZ-51 truck; but since 1964, GAZ-53 was equipped with a 4.3L ZMZ-53 V8 engine.

Payload was increased to 4 tons in a later model, called GAZ-53A. All variants use a four-speed gearbox, synchronised on third and fourth.


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).[1]


  1. ^ 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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