“Lada”, along with the Trabant, is definitely the embodiment of the Eastern Bloc’s auto.
Behind the Iron Curtain it could take years until one was able to purchase his/her own vehicle, while in the west “Lada” was quite an affordable if rare alternative to a “Golf & Co”.
Some facts about the Soviet vehicle:
- “Lada” has Italian background: the company “AutoVAZ” was established in cooperation with “Fiat”. The Fiat 124 was a sister model of the Lada Zhiguli which was produced by “AutoVAZ” as well.
- The Russian city Tolyatti, where the “AutoVAZ” head office is
situated, was named after the Italian politician Palmiro Togliatti. Being the General Secretary of the Communist Party in Italy, he was the one who considerably contributed to the engagement of
“Fiat” in the region.
- The Lada series production was closed down just in 2012 and, thus,
lasted 33 years. In Argun, Chechen Republic, a new Lada Nova could be purchased for about 4,000 Euro in 2012.
Although Lada might have not been the most reliable car as early as in the 1980s, yet, its longevity cannot be argued. Due to their user-friendly construction and high popularity, the classic models “Zhiguli” and “Nova” will be shaping the picture of Eastern European streets for quite a long time.
Even if the young offspring of the Lada family already have an on-board computer, climate-control system, or even four-wheel drive transmission (Lada Taiga) at disposal, still, the classic models have its own charm.