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Truck Thursday: FSC Nysa and FSC Żuk

Kamil Kaluski October 27, 2011 Redusernab Truck Thursday 16 Comments


Based on the Polish Warszwa car, which itself was based on the Russian GAZ, were the siblings of Nysa and Żuk. The angular Żuk was seen more as a cargo van while the bubbly Nysa was more of a passenger van. Like any utility vehicle, however, both were converted into pickups, ambulances, tow trucks, fire trucks, and others.

Mechanically similar, they used the same crappy four-cylinder gasoline engines. Those engines could be started by a hand-crank when the starter or battery failed, which probably happened often. Opening for the crank is above the front license plate on both vehicles. Rear-wheel-drive only, manual transmission, live axle, but interestingly the front suspension was independent.


Much like all other communist cars, Nysa and Żuk became obsolete in the mid 1990s. Vehicles imported from Western Europe, even used ones, were much more reliable and efficient. The FSC (loosely translated to Factory of Heavy Vehicles) did come out with a replacement for the Żuk and Nysa but the factory was eventually bought out by Daewoo and started producing small shitty cars based on the old Opel Kadett. After Daewoo went belly up the factory went back to making vans and a military vehicle known as the Honker, which s based on the old Tarpan pickup truck, but that’s a story for another day.


Currently, the few Nysas and Żuks I saw were either dying off, being used as storage, or as promotional vehicles. While all these vehicles which I have been mentioning in these posts were some of the worst vehicles ever produced I can’t help but feel nostalgic. For better or worse, this is the end of some kind of an automotive era and I am glad that I was a part of it. More commie cars to come in upcoming days.

  • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    My god father had a Żuk with a stake bed, it was big and slow. Incidentally the second result for 'stake bed' with strict search on made me stop looking for pic here at work. Imagine a long wooden floor with stakes after the doors and tool storage hanging on the sides under the bed.

    • Kamil_K

      I will google that as soon as I get home… sounds relevant to my interests!

  • fodder650

    Just curious about the one on the right. Did the corrugated steel contribute to it rusting worse then the other one? I ask because it would seem to create more flat spaces for water to settle when they are sitting idle.

    • Kamil_K

      No idea.

    • Van Sarockin

      Corrugation is often used to increase panel stiffness, so it will be better able to resist deformation. Renault used to dote on this, but many styling lines on various manufacturers hoods and fenders make use of this property. Greater resistance to deformation means that that thinner sheetmetal can be used for a given specification.

      Rusting is a function of the quality of the steel and its painting and rustproofing. Moisture which is trapped or dammed is much more likely to cause rust than moisture which can rapidly drain or evaporate. I'm not sure what's causing the rust on the tailgate of that orange van, but it does seem pronounced around the hinges and latch, which may suggest weather sealing, assembly and workmanship.

  • Van sarockin

    Sign me up, they look awfully good!

  • The Nysa kinda looks like an old Commer.

    • FЯeeMan

      The Nysa looks like it just rolled off the set of Bob the Builder.

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      I suppose 'an old Commie' is close enough.

  • dukeisduke

    I'll take one of each.

  • Vavon

    Did they also have the East-German Barkas vans in Poland?
    I remember seeing quite a few of them when I was in Romania 10 years ago.

    <img src=";

    • Kamil_K

      Very few and far between, but I do recall them from childhood Eastern Euro travels to Bulgaria, always thought they looked cool.

    • Ghostbusters 3: Transylvania Vacation

  • Kamil

    My Dad had a Zuk pick up truck back in the 80's with a MB diesel engine. It was an easy conversion done at a local shop. The tranny was an originial 4 speed.

  • Nigel Bickle

    I collect Eastern trucks & would love a Zuk or Nyssa. If you know of one, do please get in touch.

    Nigel.Bickle 'at' fsmail.net


    • jay

      Hey if you look for it allegro.pl there hundres for the picking and all for under a tbousand euros!


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