If you are getting serious about owning a Gaz 66 you have some choices:
1. Wait for one
to come up for sale in the UK - It will probably be road registered and
be in regular use so most of the problems should be sorted out.
2. Contact a trader that brings in vehicles from the Eastern block - There are a few of them in the UK:
Tanksforsale.co.uk - Duncan Nicholson in the North West (Leyland) - Link
Russiantruck.com - Richard Moore in Cambridgeshire. - Link
If you want advice about dealing with these companies
or other elements of purchasing then join up on the Russian Truck forum
and you will get some good quality advice from owners at www. russianmilitarytrucks.com.
3. Travel abroad, buy one and bring it back.
Gaz 66s are available for sale in the Czech Republic, the Ukraine,
Germany, Finland, Poland and plenty of other eastern block countries from dealers and private sales.
A few things to think about when buying a Gaz 66:
- It is a tinkerers vehicle. Don't expect to get away with 100% reliability and no repairs.
- It will attract a lot of attention.
- It will be cheap to own (free road tax, mot exempt, cheap classic insurance)
- Basic but good design. Very easy to work
on. Some components are heavy but access is excellent.
- Metric threads. Lots of flat blade screws.
- Your local garage may be freaked out by the fact it's Russian but will be
able to work on any problems.
- They will have stood for most of
their life so condition is mostly dependant on storage rather than use. Mileage will probably be low.
- The internet is your best friend. Vehicle sales, parts, advice. Ebay.de
and ebay.pl are worth looking at. Much easier to pay for parts if seller has paypal.
- Parts are available and cheap but may take time to arrive depending who you order from.
- If it looks OK and
hasn't been painted you can be fairly sure that the mechanics are OK and there
will be minimal rust.
- You may have to buy from a set of photos as the vehicle may be abroad.
equipment in the photos (lockers, worktops, radio gear) may not be fitted when it arrives. Get an agreement.
- The truck
will need a full service. Replace parts on age rather than condition.
- Rubber parts will have perished. This is the reason for most early problems.
- Battery will probably be knackered.
- You WILL have fuel blockage problems unless you sort them out straight away. Wash out tanks, clean lines and filters.
- Tyres have a limited life regardless
of tread. CIS may be disconnected.
- Spares are pretty much the same for the
whole production duration.
- WD40 is your friend.
- Fuel pumps are a bit
of a weak spot. Rubber parts fail. Replacing with a modern electric type works well.
- Speed on the road is sometimes limited
to the balance of the tyres and the shafts. Getting them balanced smoothes