fsc zuk video

Learn everything about the FSC Żuk

The FSC Żuk is a Polish van that was made between 1958 and 1998. In those forty years, it received one minor facelift but many minor updates and changes. But underneath it was all based on a GAZ-M20 Pobeda, which was produced in 1946. That Soviet vehicle was surely ripped off some western design that predates even that.

The fact is that in the late 1990s Poland one could buy a new van that was based on early 1940s design, and hardly updated, was crazy even by Polish standards. It is important to note that in those times Poland has come out of communist rule and into a somewhat volatile period before a new democratic government was established. In those times the flood gates of vehicles from western Europe opened, bringing much better and newer vans to Poland. That left the Żuk as a much less desired, if cheaper, option for most poles needing such vehicles.

Watch this subtitled video by my friend Zlomink and learn more about the Żuk. He promised me that he will make more videos in English as he did about the FSO (Fiat) 125p.

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12 responses to “Learn everything about the FSC Żuk”

  1. crank_case Avatar

    Hey, you could still buy 2CVs in the early 90s too, in the same showroom where you could also pick up a futuristic XM

    1. Maymar Avatar

      It also looks like you could buy a VW Phaeton in Brazil in the mid-2000’s, from the same dealer that’d still sell you an air-cooled Type 2/Kombi.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        In 2008, one could still buy the GAZ-31105 and the cab forward Volga Siber from the same dealership. Worlds, systems, design and technology in violent collision.

        1. crank_case Avatar

          Just realized you could also buy the Citroen H Van til 1981 too.

          Not quite as archaic a design (1970s), but I seem to remember the Citroen C15 (the Peugeot based successor to the Citroen Arcadianne/2CV van) being still heavily in use by utility companies here in Ireland in the early 00s and of course the R4 van until the 90s.

          I think the late 90s was the breaking point for a lot of this stuff as Euro NCAP safety standards started become more prominent and the EURO emissions standards had come in in 92 with Euro coming in 96 followed by Euro 3 in 2000 – that’s a fair bit of progressive standards tightening and funnily enough the point where a lot of these archaic designs start to rapidly die off. The 2CV, Mini, Beetle, R4 etc. all seem to have been killed off in roughly the last decade of the 20th century.

          1. outback_ute Avatar

            Probably worth adding the Land Rover to this pile. Lots of little updates and new mechanics but no improvement to cabin space

  2. Batshitbox Avatar

    I’m seeing so many features that were found on my Scout 80s; but even in the early ’60s the Scout was considered a low-tech farm implement. Not that the late ’70s Scouts were pinnacles of modern conveniences, either, though.
    Sliding glass windows, t-handle lift gate with exposed hinges, a plastic bag and rubber bulb for the windshield washers, a four-banger that was really just a cut down version of a larger engine, engineering roots in the 1940s (military jeeps) and typically found in barns not cities. The hand-crank for the engine wasn’t available on my Scout, but my ’65 Land Rover had one.

  3. Sjalabais Avatar

    A 1:43 model of this exact van, in the same colour and configuration, was the last of this batch to sell from my collection:

    It’s a fascinating vehicle. The riding height is insane, and as he says, the van wasn’t bad when it first was presented. The motor was ancient already, but space utilization, material choices and basic design were good. Like many communist cars, they just weren’t updated enough, with time making them look bad.

    Two little gripes – he talks about how he loves the engine’s sound, but that never gets stage time. Also, when it comes to continuous production, the Buhanka sees no competition.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      That was the only time I turned the sound back on through the whole video, when he hopped in to start it up. Even though they cut to a shot of the tailpipe the sound was washed out. I imagine it sounds like my Scout 80 engines, but the video didn’t leave me much to compare to.

      Then again, there’s the exhaust noise and there’s the whole experience of the engine running inside a big hollow metal shell. The second one might be difficult to capture on an iPhone.

  4. OA5599 Avatar

    The paint looks a little flat; are you sure that’s a polish van?

  5. mdharrell Avatar

    My takeaway from this review is that I should hold out for one of the earlier examples so as to benefit from both a sidevalve engine and a column shift. Good to know.

  6. Spicoli Avatar

    When I backpacked Eastern Europe twenty years ago these things were everywhere. I started snapping pictures while my fellow travelers looked on with confused expressions. All I could think about was converting one and hitting the road.

  7. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    The external hinges, rear bench and some other details are very reminiscent of Land Rover Defenders.The Series II land Rover came out in 1958, the same year as the Zuk and while the Series III introduced more refined door hinges and the 110 introduced a new chassis and roof design in 1983 many body parts were interchangeable from 1958 all the way to 2012. Sliding windows were still standard until 1985 and military models had sliding windows into the 21st century.