The UAZ 469 is one of those classics that just keeps rolling on and on. Originally designed and built in Russia, derived from the GAZ 69, the UAZ or the “goat” as it is affectionately nicknamed, is still in production in the Ukraine, Vietnam, Cuba and Russia.
Introduced in 1971 as a light off road military vehicle the Goat built its reputation serving Soviet and Warsaw pact Eastern bloc countries. The standard military version seated seven, but many variations were produced for state organisations such as Police, Fire, Ambulance and Security departments. There was an amphibian derivative and a Nuclear, Biological & Chemical attack proof unit developed.
The UAZ-469 presented two great advantages: It was able to drive in virtually any terrain and it was very easy to repair. The vehicle was originally not available for purchase by the public, but many were sold as surplus to private owners.
Later modifications included a basic UAZ 469B (civilian version) with ground clearance of 220 mm (8.7 in), and a specialised military UAZ-469, with ground clearance increased to 300 mm (12 in). After slight modernisation in 1985, due to new industry designation standards, they were renamed: the UAZ-469 became the UAZ-3151, while the UAZ-469B became the UAZ-31512. Manufacture of the UAZ-31512 continues today for the Soviet Army, but the civilian version ceased due to emission standards. However UAZ came back with a new re-vamped civilian version renamed the “Hunter”, which is still currently in production.
Although the UAZ has proven to be a reliable off-road vehicle, there have been a few problems with the car’s reliability that have slightly dented its reputation.
The transmission of the original 469 has been known to have problems when not maintained properly (as the owners manual dictates). Another major problem within Russia has been the production of counterfeit parts made out of cheap metals. Furthermore, the 1990s (after the fall of the Soviet Union) saw a significant decline in the manufacturing quality of UAZ vehicles as the company struggled to survive and could not afford to pay the salaries of its employees.
Other problems have been encountered with the modernisation of the vehicle as many of the new electrical and cosmetic parts have been of poor quality. To combat these problems and restore the reliability of UAZ vehicles to their former standards, the UAZ Company has recently introduced a new quality control system that has reduced the number of vehicles with defects arriving in showrooms around the world.
The UAZ has a cult following in many countries world wide with owner groups and clubs enjoying the basics of 4x4ing in their old Goats.
2.45 ltr petrol, in-line 4-cylinder, water cooled, 75 hp
4-speed 2-speed transfer box, constant four wheel drive.
Both front and rear beam, leaf springs and drum brakes.