The GAZ-51 is the best known, most popular, and longest produced Soviet truck. Its first prototypes were produced before the end of World War II, and mass production started in 1946.

A 2.5 ton 4x2 standard variant was joined in 1947 by almost identical 2 ton 4x4 GAZ-63. Both variants were powered by 70 hp (52 kW) 6-cylinder 3485 cc engine. GAZ-63s was manufactured with some changes until 1968 and production of GAZ-51 continued until 1975. The trucks were so popular. that they were also manufactured under the Soviet license in Poland (as the Lublin-51), North Korea (as the Sungri-58) and China (as the Yuejin NJ-130).