In 1969 both the 412 and the related Moskvitch 408 were facelifted. These were notable for being the first Moskvitch models to feature square headlights and vertical rear lights. The 412 was also famous for its fast speed, tailfins and its triangular turn signal lamps. The facelifted 408 and 412 (as well as some 412-based pickup versions from IZH) are probably the only examples of cars having triangular turn signals at the back. Another notable (but not unique, since it was used in other Russian cars at the time) feature were the so-called side lamps, mounted on the C-pillars on some vehicles (something like the American "opera lights").
However, the cars looked somewhat old-fashioned in the mid 1970s and 1980s, because their design matches the design of Western automobiles from the 1960s and the early 1970s. Nevertheless, both the 408 and 412 are now considered old-timer classics and they deserve at least a small page in the history of the Russian automobile industry.
In 1975, the 412 was facelifted and renamed Moskvitch 2140; the 408 was renamed Moskvitch 2138. Both 2138 and 2140 later underwent a small facelift: A logo with the letters AZLK replaced the previous Moskvitch logo (which was also different from the one used on the 408 and 412). Some chromed elements on the grille became black and the front side mirrors were changed.
Production at the Moskvitch plant ended in 1986, but continued to be built by IZH into the 1990s, at Izhevsk.
The original 412 of 1967-69 had a chassis identical to that of the Moskvitch 408, which had been launched 3 years earlier in 1964. The only differences between 408 and 412 were the engines and the interior. This can be confusing, because there are no external differences between the two cars.
Here are the main differences between the Moskvitch 412 and the Moskvitch 408:
The differences between the 412 and the 408 chassis: