The BA-64 armoured car was a construction initiative of GAZ chief designer V. A. Grachev. Design work started on July 17, 1941. The designer's team also included F. A. Lependin (general layout), G. M. Wassermann (leading engineer), Yu. N. Sorochkin, B. T. Komarevskiy, V. F. Samoilov (armoured hull) and others. On April 10, 1942, Grachev was awarded the Third Grade Stalin Prize for creation of the BA-64 armoured car and GAZ-61 light utility vehicle.
The initial BA-64 model was based upon the GAZ-64 and fitted with sloped armour that had some similarities to the German Sd kfz 222 design. One captured Sd Kfz 222 was transferred to GAZ for examination and analysis on September 7, 1941. The first prototype was tested on January 9, 1942. The hull had many resemblances with sdkfz-234 basic shape, and it had an open roof, with a pintle-mounted 7.62mm DT machine gun. The vehicle was operated by a crew of two. The next day the BA-64 prototype was shown to Kliment Voroshilov. The official presentation was in the Kremlin on March 3, 1942. The State Defence Committee adopted the BA-64 for Red Army service on March 14, 1942. It was top-heavy and could easily overturn on rough terrain.
The improved BA-64B model was introduced in 1943, based on the GAZ-67B, with a wider wheelbase. This model also had a small machine-gun turret added. The mass production of BA-64Bs continued through the rest of the Second World War and ceased in 1946. The last 62 vehicles were completed in that year.
BA-64Bs were also used by Polish and Czech units, raised in Soviet Union. After the end of the war, some BA-64Bs were transferred to the police of the GDR. There were other post-war transfers of BA-64Bs to North Korea, China and Yugoslavia.
- BA-64, initial open-topped production, based on GAZ-64
- BA-64B, main production with turret, based on GAZ-67B
- BASh-64, staff vehicle with a variety of armoured compartments
- BA-64DShK (1944), armed with 12.7mm DShK heavy machine gun
- BA-64D (desantniy, prototype only), personnel carrier for six men
- BA-64ZhD (prototype only), two different railcar versions with flanged wheels, developed at GAZ and the Vyksunskiy Factory
- BA-64SKh (prototype only), half-track with front skis for travel in snow, based on experimental GAZ-60