Meet the sky blue ZAZ 965A V4 887 Pumpkin Special LE – IB Translations’ race car
Restored at the Micron repair shop in 2011, the car is completely true to the original ZAZ-965A model launched at the Zaporozhye Automobile Plant (ZAZ) in 1967 to honour the 50th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. The car itself was refurbished using parts from a donor vehicle of the same model. The original 1960s-made MeMZ-96 engine came from the ZAZ production facility in Melitopol, where it had been stored for many years. The car features a V4, 27 HP strong motor (30 HP when going downhill!) with 0.887 litres displacement and 4,000 rpm.
The dashboard includes a speedometer and fuel and oil gauges, which helpfully guide the crew through races. The car lacks anything resembling an air-conditioning system.
But, it does have a heater. The air-cooled engine is not powerful enough to warm up the passenger compartment and, if it gets a bit chilly, the driver can switch the stove on. The heat is generated by the combustion of fuel in the gas tank underneath the trunk.
The absence of side mirrors ensures great aerodynamics. The lack of seat belts fits well with the adventurous spirit of racing, and any danger is offset by the driver’s experience.
The automatic prop rod triggered by the opening of the hood helps save time at pit stops.
The ZAZ 965A V4 887 Pumpkin Special LE is a comfortable and spacious vehicle. A record (of sorts) was set in 2016 when seven adults plus the driver piled into the car (proof). Normally, of course, the number of passengers is in line with the rules of the road. In any case, the crew is always happy to see family, friends, photographers and fans on-board. Even taller than average passengers enjoy the speed and thrill of the race, the vintage chic of the car, and the air of nostalgia, despite the need to tuck their legs under their chin during the ride.
Even basketball players are welcome!
Rodion Tatarinov, IB editor, comments: "Surprisingly, even though I’m over 2 m tall and about 100 kg, I was able to fit comfortably into this gorgeous blue chariot. We need to run some additional tests to figure out if a body with similar dimensions can be stuffed into the trunk."
Time Machine, photo: Alexander Usoltsev,
The Pumpkin’s key advantage is its light weight. If it stalls near the finish line, it only takes four people (albeit very determined people) to lift it up. In the absence of any unforeseen obstacles, it takes the Pumpkin no longer than 10 minutes to hit 120 km/h on a straight road. And staying under the speed limit is the car’s forte, giving it an upper hand in urban rallies.