On 31 May 1929, Henry Ford and the Ford Corporation signed a contract allowing the Soviet Union to construct licensed copies of Ford-A passenger cars and Ford-AA trucks.
In 1931-32, the plant was erected in Nishny-Novgrod on the Volga shores with massive American assistance and given the name of Molotov (ZIM – Zavod Imeny Molotov).
With the renaming of Nishny-Novgrod to Gorkiy in 1932, the plant’s name changed to the well-known »Gorkiy Auto Zavod« accordingly.
Compared to the Ford Model “A”, the GAZ-A received a strengthened clutch housing, spring and steering gear, a more powerful air filter, and slightly larger 5.50-19 tires.
The interchangeability of many parts with those of the 1.5-ton GAZ-AA »Polutorka« truck (engine, front axle, fenders, cowling, instrument panel, front seats, steering gear) largely simplified logistics and repair.
Both vehicles impressingly proved their reliability under fierce conditions during the famous ten-thousand-mile »Karakum« trip in 1933.
In 1936, when the production line switched to the more powerful GAZ-M1 »Emka«, some 42,000 »Russki-Ford« had been assembled, among them the GAZ-4 pickup (with the sparewheel moving to the front) and the 6-wheel triaxal GAZ-TK.
It comes as no surprise that the Red Army used the workhorse well into the Great Patriotic War.
Source Engines of the Red Army which is a fantastic site!