A wondrous white FAW Jiefang CA5020XJH ex-ambulance, seen on the streets of Wangjing District in northeast Beijing. Sadly and badly it didn’t run anymore, it was stripped of its ambulance lights and used for storage, the poor thing was loaded to the max with scrap carton and boxes.
Jiefang means Liberation, and that refers to the ‘liberation’ of China by the Communist Party in 1949.
Jiefang is a brand under First Auto Works (FAW), China’s first automaker. The brand is most famous for the 1950’s Jiefang truck, but over the years the brand has been used on everything from aerodynamic minivans to dump trucks. The brand still exists today, making mostly mid-sized and heavy trucks.
Time for a word about designations. Every Chinese car maker gets an official government designation of either two or three letters. FAW for example is CA, Beijing Auto is BJ, and Wuling Auto is LZW.
The rest of the designation depends on the kind of vehicle. An FAW sedan for example could be CA7460. A truck could be CA2012, the same truck with a longer bed could be CA2012JK, and so on and on.
Our ambulance has a very interesting designation: CA5020XJH. CA stands for FAW but 5020XJH is an official government designation for ambulances, from any brand. For example; an ambulance by Beijing Auto, designation BJ, would so become the BJ5020XJH. And that’s this one:
The Beijing Auto BJ5020XJH, an ambulance on sporty five-spoke alloys! This one was made is the late 1990’s. Okay, one more:
The Dongfeng EQ5020XJH, based on the Dongfeng V27 minivan. This one is still in production today. Well, I could talk about designations for hours, but not today, because we still have a Jiefang at hand:
The two-ton Jiefang CA6440 van debuted in 1994. I am not entirely sure when the CA5020XJH ambulance version debuted but it was likely at the same time or shortly afterwards. The CA6440 was modeled after the third generation E24 Nissan Caravan. Yez, cloning cars is a thing of all times in China.
CA6440 service manual.
The best pic I could get of the dashboard.
The CA6440/CA5020XJH was powered by the famous 2.2 liter CA488 petrol engine. This engine, including a production line, was purchased from Chrysler in the late 1980’s, and also used to power various Audi-based Hongqi limousines.
FAW literally made dozens of other variants of the Jiefang CA6440, including panel vans, mini buses, long-wheel base mini buses, fire trucks, police vehicles, our ambulance, and whatnot more. Production continued until 2000 when it was replaced by a slightly more modern van, which was again designated CA6440.
No space for the wounded.
The badge reads ‘China The First Auto Works Corporation’.
FAW logo on the mud flaps.
The beautiful FAW Jiefang CA5020XJH from China. License plate is of Hebei Province.