7th Mar 2015, 08:21

What is technology? A car is a car. It gets you from A to B. It needs to be reliable and simple. Can you fix a car with a computer in it? No you can't. If it dies, the car is going nowhere.

We have made the world too complex for ourselves. Ladas were built for the soviets. A massive vast remote country full of people that are self reliant, capable and creative, not mollycoddled babies like the western world, wrapped up in cotton wool. Ladas were built to be tough. Look at a tie rod on a Lada. They are built like tanks.

7th Mar 2015, 18:49

I used to work in the service department of a Vauxhall main dealer, and we occasionally get Ladas in for servicing. In general the mechanical components on them are no heavier or stronger than on Western vehicles. The interior quality I would rate as extremely poor, with switches being a particular weak spot.

As regards body strength, the spot welding was so inferior that the heavier body panels would make no difference to crashworthiness. I never saw any really rusty ones, but being worth so little, any significant corrosion would result in the car being scrapped.

27th Apr 2016, 18:50

In mid 1990s the Lada Samara was assembled even in Finland at Nystad - Uusikaupunki plant. Balticum version. The workmanship was excellent, but it was a plant used to assemble Saabs and Porsche. I have had 7 Ladas and only once been left on the road. It was with a 1972 model in 1984, Finland.

16th Mar 2017, 03:14


This time it is Sweden calling...

I have owned a few cars in my life, purchased secondhand or new. The last car I bought new and still own is the Lada Niva. Love it. Yes it is noisy and all, but it has never failed me yet. Winters can be tough. In the summer I have owned it for four years, no regrets.

Now, one day as I entered a barn, what do I see? A blocked up '88 Samara with no rust except a "thumbnail' on the rear right wheel opening.

Only 7700 km on it. I bought it from the old man, 2nd owner for a little less than 200€. It came with aluminium rims, but the rubber was cracking up. All rubber.

Put some brand new tires on it and brake and fuel hoses. I am getting it ready for an inspection so it can be "street legal' again. Is it as fun of a drive as the Niva? No. Not by far. However, next year it becomes classed as a veteran and therefore not taxed.

I like that. And yes I do consider myself lucky especially after reading previous comments, to own and drive this almost forgotten piece of car history.

Wish me luck folks and thanks for sharing.