That PAZ-652 bus was produced in 1963. After the collapse of the Soviet Union bus was bought by a private carrier. It was used on routes in Karelia, Russia. It belonged to Evgeny Afanasyevich – a private carrier from Petrozavodsk (Russia) who served rural bus lines in the region
At the beginning of the 2000s, the bus was forever parked in front of the village house of his owner.
Pavlovo Bus Factory managers found out information about that bus and even tried to buy out the bus in order to restore it as a museum exhibit. It would seem that it went well: the plant gave a discount on a brand new bus model from the assembly line, and the happy owner prepared to transfer the bus to a native plant, removing it from the bus register for a sale… He bought a new 4234 with a discount from the plant, but after that nobody came to take the old PAZ-652.
In 2009 the PAZ-652 bus owner stopped his transportation businesses.
In June 2020 a group of enthusiasts bought the bus and transported it to St. Petersburg (Russia). Now it belongs to the “RetroBus” Company, which organizes trips on retro cars and retro buses.
PAZ-652B (1963-1968) – a modification in which the identified shortcomings of the original model were corrected, and the side windows with vents were replaced by sliding ones. In 1964, the bus received a reinforced front axle.
During Russia’s Soviet-era 60 thousand PAZ-652 buses were produced.
The predecessor of the PAZ-652, the GZA-651 bus, was the essence of a GAZ-51 truck with a wood-metal bus body instead of an onboard platform. This left its mark on the comfort of passengers: it was almost impossible to get a comfortable bus on a truck chassis. And the already existing design solutions of the truck significantly limited the possibilities of engineers when it came to creating a bus on its basis – well, frankly speaking, a rural truck from the 1940s was so-so suitable as a basis for a passenger bus.
Also, compared to the GAZ-51, the PAZ-652 bus received improved brakes with hydraulic vacuum boosters – the same vacuum system was used to control automatic doors. The cooling system has been equipped so as to be able to heat the interior.
PAZ-652 has become one of the most beautiful buses of its era, and the main ideas inherent in its design have lived for more than 30 years – and not only at PAZ.
The bus with rounded, “aerospace” shapes, with a huge glass area (in comparison with its predecessors), panoramic windows on both sides and on the roof. PAZ-652 had a bright and comfortable interior.
In 1968, as soon as the reconstruction of production was completed at the Pavlovo Bus Factory, PAZ-652B left the stage, giving way to the familiar PAZ-672. PAZ-672 carried a more powerful V8 under the hood – and although it was stylistically similar, it had a completely different body, made of stamped elements, and not on a welded frame.
From 1958 to 1968 only 62,121 units of PAZ-652 were produced. The successor model of PAZ-672 has become much more circulated: 190,150 buses of the “first generation”, model 672, were made. All together with the “second generation” PAZ-672M – 288,688 buses were produced in the Soviet Union.