A four-cylinder engine with a working volume of 3.3 liters was installed on it, developing 40 hp. (later - 42 hp) and a four-speed gearbox. The truck, reaching a speed of 70 km / h, was reputed to be very unpretentious, easy to maintain and repair. After another modernization in 1938 (small changes to the truck design were made all the time), when the engine power increased to 50 liters. with., the car received the GAZ-MM index.

However, "in everyday life" and even in police documents, the car was usually called as before; and often called simply a lorry, that is, a carrying capacity of 1.5 tons. In the 1930s, GAZ was the most common car in the USSR. In the Red Army in June 1941, there were more than 151 thousand vehicles.

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On the basis of the lorry made many modifications: GAZ-410 dump trucks (formerly GAZ-C1), 17-seater GAZ-03-30 buses, GAZ-55 ambulance vans, and gas-generating vans. They worked on wood chocks. As a rule, they chose birch or aspen - they gave a lot of heat and little resin. After ignition, the “stove” waited for the gas pressure to rise, then they started the engine. Stock chocks lacked a maximum of 80 km. And the speed of the GAZ-42 did not exceed 40 km / h. Half-tracked vehicles were made on the basis of GAZ-MM (until 1942), the three-axle GAZ-AAA and the staff bus based on it - GAZ-05-193.

During the war, one and a half cars were released with a simplified cabin made of plywood, with one headlight, and part of the cars even without doors.