Daily demonstrations at 11am, free with admission!

SZD SD3 “Invalidka” Car- 1980


In 1952, disabled Russian veterans of World War II (or the “Great Patriotic War” as it was called in the USSR) received their long overdue motorized transportation in the form of an open three-wheeler, the SL1. Built by a motorbike company in Serpukhov, the light vehicle (eventually powered by a 346cc engine) proved that 3 wheels was an impractical choice in the Russian snow, sleet, and mud. Therefore, in 1958, the 4-wheeled, open-topped SZA appeared. It could do 25 mph instead of the previous model’s 12.4 mph, and featured front torsion bar suspension attached to a tubular frame. Two different models were manufactured: the SZA for driving with two hands and the SZB for driving with one hand and one leg. In the Soviet Union, they were commonly called “motor-wheelchairs” (or invalidka in Russian) and were freely available through the social care system, leased for up to 5 years.

The SZA was manufactured until 1970, when it was replaced with the SZD seen here. This was a modernized version, with an enclosed, squared-off body, lots of glass, and powered by an IZH-3 air-cooled two-stroke engine, producing 17.5 hp. In 1990, the company was renamed SeAZ and began modifying the VAZ 1111 Oka hatchback for the needs of the disabled citizenry, who preferred a more conventional car. The SZD ceased production in 1997.

Manufacturer: Serpukhov Motor Works, now SeAZ
Country of Origin: Soviet Union
Drivetrain Configuration: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: Air-cooled, two stroke (18 DIN HP)
Transmission: 4 speed
Top Speed: Approx. 30 mph
Years of Production: 1970-1997
Number Produced: Unknown