1200 lada

Lada 1200

Lada 1200 (01 фото) Размер: 1527 x 1019 px

Lada 1200

#01 фото

Lada 1200 (02 фото) Размер: 1024 x 680 px

Lada 1200

#02 фото

Lada 1200 (03 фото) Размер: 510 x 350 px

Lada 1200

#03 фото

Lada 1200 (04 фото) Размер: 1280 x 960 px

Lada 1200

#04 фото

Lada 1200 (05 фото) Размер: 500 x 375 px

Lada 1200

#05 фото

Lada 1200 (06 фото) Размер: 800 x 537 px

Lada 1200

#06 фото

Lada 1200 (07 фото) Размер: 1024 x 768 px

Lada 1200

#07 фото

Lada 1200 (08 фото) Размер: 500 x 375 px

Lada 1200

#08 фото

Lada 1200 (09 фото) Размер: 1024 x 768 px

Lada 1200

#09 фото

Lada 1200 (10 фото) Размер: 800 x 600 px

Lada 1200

#10 фото

Lada 1200 (11 фото) Размер: 800 x 600 px

Lada 1200

#11 фото

Lada 1200 (12 фото) Размер: 640 x 480 px

Lada 1200

#12 фото



The VAZ-2101, commonly nicknamed "Zhiguli" and "Kopeyka" (for the smallest coin in the kopeyka), is a compact sedan car (small class, passenger car, model 1 in Soviet classification) produced by the Soviet manufacturer AvtoVAZ and introduced in 1970, the company's first product. The estate version was known as the VAZ-2102.


The lightweight Italian Fiat 124, which had won the 1967 European Car of the Year,[1] was adapted in order to survive treacherous Russian driving conditions. Among many changes, aluminium brake drums were added to the rear, and the original Fiat engine was dropped in favour of a newer design made by NAMI. This new engine had a modern overhead camshaft design but was never used in Fiat cars. The suspension was raised to clear rough Russian roads and the bodyshell was made from thicker, heavier steel. The first Lada models were equipped with a starting handle in case the battery went flat in Siberian conditions, though this was later dropped. Another feature specifically intended to help out in cold conditions was a manual auxiliary fuel pump.

Engines fitted to the original Ladas start with the 1.2 L carburetted in the original and go up to the 1.7 L export model set up with a General Motors single point fuel injection system. Diesel engines were later fitted for the domestic market only. The drivetrain is a simple rear-wheel drive setup with a live rear axle. The engine is an inline four with two valves per cylinder and a single overhead camshaft.


The 2101 is a re-engineered version of the Fiat 124 produced under licence from Fiat and tailored for the nations of the Eastern Bloc, but was widely exported to the West as an economy car. Although the facelifted and modernised VAZ-2105, 2104 & 2107 versions largely replaced it in the West in the early 1980s, it was still produced for the domestic market as late as 1988. Known as the Zhiguli (for the hills found near the plant[2]) within the Soviet Union, the main differences between the VAZ-2101 and the Fiat 124 are the use of thicker gauge steel for the bodyshell, drum brakes on the rear wheels in place of disc brakes, and a bespoke engine. Early versions of the car featured a starting handle for cranking the engine manually should the battery go flat in Siberian winter conditions, and an auxiliary fuel pump.

AvtoVAZ were forbidden from selling the car in competing markets alongside Fiat 124; however, exports to Western Europe began in 1974 when the 124 was discontinued in favour of Fiat's newer 131 Mirafiori. The 2101 was sold in export markets as the Lada 1200, Lada 1300 and Lada 1200S until 1989; it was sold in the United Kingdom from May 1974, until the arrival of the Riva in 1983. It was the first Lada to be sold in the United Kingdom.[3]

The first year, 22,000 were produced, and capacity reached 660,000 by 1973.[2] Sales reached one million on 21 December 1973, and one and a half million in 1974.[2] In May 1974, it went on sale in Britain, priced at ₤979.[4]

The 2101 was built, virtually unaltered, from 1970 until 1982.[5]


  • VAZ-2101 (1970–1982) — first variant was equipped with a 1,198 cc (73.1 cu in) engine (a overhead valve design, never used in a Fiat)[6] producing 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) and offering a 140 km/h (87 mph) top speed and 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in about 20 seconds.[7] Compared to the Fiat 124, 800 modifications were made in all,[6] including to rear brakes (discs to drums),[6] suspension (for higher ground clearance), carburettor, and some other parts in order to satisfy a wide range of Russian climate conditions, as well as thicker-gauge steel (so the 2101 weighed 945 kg (2,083 lb), the Fiat 90 kg (200 lb) less[6]). All these models had soft suspension adapted to the local roads that provided a very comfortable ride even on tough gravel roads. Early models included a crank, in case the battery went flat (an item later dropped) and an auxiliary fuel pump.[6] In a short time Lada became a real hit in Soviet Union. The 2101 (and its first modifications) opened a new era in Russian motoring. Unfortunately, the Togliatti plant could not supply the consumer demand and people had to wait for years to get a chance to buy the car. Exports began 21 February 1971, to Yugoslavia, with 32 cars sent to Finland, Holland, and Belgium on 30 July.[6] After a competition in the Soviet automotive magazine Za Rulem (At the Wheel[8]), which drew 1,812 entries, in September 1971 the name Lada (Russian for "harmony") was chosen,[9] and the export models would be called Lada 1200s.[10] Production was always behind demand, and price crept up, but by 1980, the wait for a new 2101 was down to a year.[10] The 2102 estate version started production 27 April 1972.[10] Sales to Cuba began in 1971 (and until 2006, Raul Castro drove to work in his own saloon) and Canada in 1978, but none were exported to the U.S.[11] Angola received its first one thousand Ladas in 1977, in time becoming a significant buyer.[11]
Lada 1200 in Hunedoara, Romania
  • 21011 (1974–1981) — modified variant with a 67 hp (50 kW; 68 PS) 1,294 cc (79 cu in) engine.[11] Further changes included self-adjusting drum brakes on the rear axle, also fitted to the VAZ-2101. Flat front indicator lenses instead of the dome-shaped ones on the VAZ-2101. The "horns", or over-riders, on the bumpers were removed and replaced with a rubber strip running the whole length of the bumper. The rear lights were also smoothed in a similar manner to the indicator lenses and the passive reflector (previously a separate part underneath the main rear lights) was incorporated as a small, square-shaped part in the rear light cluster itself. The windshield pump was moved down and was operated by foot (rather than by rubber button on the dashboard VAZ 2101, which was operated with the push of a finger). The dashboard had a wood-effect plastic trim; the horn was placed on the steering wheel cover. The front and rear seats became more comfortable. Material and colouring of the instrument panel was changed from the original black on light grey to white on black, the instrument panel lighting was altered as well. On the rear pillars there were rectangular ventilation holes with grille, which were not present on the VAZ-2101. Four decorative horizontal oval holes appeared on the front panel just above the front bumper. The export series were designated the Lada 1300.
  • 21012--right hand drive saloon with the 1,198 cc (73.1 cu in) four, entered production 22 May 1973, for export to Japan, Australia, and Britain (which proved a very successful market).[11]
  • 21013 (1977–1988) — similar to VAZ-21011, 1,198 cc (73.1 cu in) engine, exported as the Lada 1200 with an upgraded version (incorporating the exterior and dashboard changes introduced with the VAZ-21011) called Lada 1200S.
  • 21014 estate, with the 1,198 cc (73.1 cu in) four, entered production 22 May 1973, for export to Japan, Australia, and Britain (which proved a very successful market).[11]
  • 21016 (1976–1981) — special modification, only available to Soviet police, 1,452 cc (89 cu in) engine (from VAZ-21011).[12]
  • 21018 (1978) — first series rotary engine modification for Soviet police & KGB with one-rotor 70 hp (52 kW; 71 PS) VAZ-311 Wankel engine with electronic ignition and twin-electrode sparking plugs.[13] It also featured a downdraft carburettor, with different jet sizes to the 2101, and two-stage aircleaner.[14] Presented to the public by 1982. Only 250 built.[14] Engine durability was an issue, wearing out at just 20,000 km (12,000 mi).[15]
  • 21019 Arkan (1983?) — second series rotary engine modification for Soviet police & KGB with two-rotor 120 hp (89 kW; 120 PS) VAZ-411 or VAZ-4132 Wankel engine.[16]


The estate version of the VAZ-2101 was known as the 2102 and was available from 1971. It was replaced by the 2104 (Lada Riva in some markets) in 1985. Over 660,000 were built by end of production in 1986.[17] In May 1974, it went on sale in Britain, priced at ₤979.[4]

  • VAZ-2102 (1971–1986) — also known as Lada 1200 Combi (1200 ES Estate).
  • VAZ-21021 (1974–1985) — equipped with 1,294 cc (79 cu in) engine. Also known as Lada 1300 Combi. Export models got a rear washer/wiper.[4]
  • VAZ-21023 (1973–1985) — equipped with 1,452 cc (89 cu in) engine. Also known as Lada 1500 Combi (1500 DL Estate). Export models got a rear washer/wiper.[4] Lada 1500 Estate sales in the UK started in October 1977 and ended in October 1985 as the Lada 1500 DL Estate.


Main article: VAZ-2103

The 2103 (known in export markets as the Lada 1500) was very similar to the 2101, and had many common features with the Fiat 124 Special that was developed at the same time as the 2103. It can be identified by four headlights, a squarer appearance to the front grille, and a different interior. Some markets also received the VAZ-2106, or Lada 1600.


This section contains what may be an unencyclopedic or excessive gallery of images. Galleries containing indiscriminate images of the article subject are discouraged; please improve or remove the section accordingly. (February 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
  • VAZ-2101 (Lada Zhiguli 1200)

  • Rally car

  • Lada (Zhiguli) 1200, manufactured in 1975

  • VAZ-2102 (Lada 2102 Riva Estate)

  • VAZ-2101 modified into a taxi limousine, in Trinidad, Cuba


Wikimedia Commons has media related to VAZ-2101.
  1. ^ "Previous winners". caroftheyear.org. Archived from the original on 8 August 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Thompson, Andy. Cars of the Soviet Union (Haynes Publishing, Somerset, UK, 2008), p.106.
  3. ^ Peter Rogers. "Lada Owners Club of GB UK Lada history". Lada-owners-club.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  4. ^ a b c d Thompson, p.116.
  5. ^ Thompson, p.104 caption.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Thompson, p.109.
  7. ^ Braunschweig, Robert; et al., eds. (11 March 1976). "Automobil Revue '76" (in German and French). 71. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG: 443–444. ISBN 3-444-60023-2. CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al. (link)
  8. ^ Thompson, p.16.
  9. ^ Thompson, pp.109-110.
  10. ^ a b c Thompson, p.110.
  11. ^ a b c d e Thompson, p.111.
  12. ^ Thompson, p.115.
  13. ^ Thompson, pp. 115, 235-236.
  14. ^ a b Thompson, p.235.
  15. ^ Thompson, p.236.
  16. ^ Thompson, pp.115 and 236.
  17. ^ Thompson, p.115 caption.


Lada Export: Lada in UK

АвтоВАЗ начал экспорт своих автомобилей в Великобританию в 1974 году. Сначала экспортировалась модель Lada 1200 (экспортное название “копейки”). Как известно в 74 году технологии которые применены в этом автомобиле были уже устаревшими. Сканы рекламного проспекта того времени.

Lada 1200

Рекламный буклет с изображением Lada 1200

Lada 1200 Estate

Плохая управляемость на высоких скоростях, неважные тормоза, а также простота интерьера по сравнению с зарубежными аналогами делали свое дело. Но модель неплохо продавалась в основном благодаря невысокой цене. Также в плюсы можно отнести просторный салон и простоту конструкции автомобиля. Починить его в гараже может практически любой “дядя Вася” (на сей раз английский =)). Да и стоимость запчастей невысока.

Экспортная Lada 1600 с заводским литьем и крышей черного цвета.

Lada Riva

Lada Riva 1500 Estate

С началом экспорта модели Lada Riva (экспортная вазовская “пятерка”) в 1980 продажи наших автомобилей увеличились и достигли своего пика в 1988 году (продано 33000 тысячи машин, примерно 2% от всех проданных в этом году автомобилей в Англии). В эти годы АвтоВАЗ уже создал в Ирландии и Великобритании дилерскую сеть. Наши автомобили даже рекламировались там. Все шло неплохо, но…

Lada Riva GLX

Lada 1700i

Как мы видим даже омыватели фар на ней присутствуют. В конце 80-х – начале 90-х в нашей стране условия были не совсем благоприятные. Зарубежные покупатели стали меньше покупать уже морально устаревшие автомобили. Слишком сильно наша Lada напоминала старый Fiat 124. Будучи даже обвешана пластиковыми бамперами и хромированными решетками (к примеру, Lada Riva GLX, по нашему “семерка”). Спад продаж продолжался. Затем вошли в силу новые ограничения по выбросу отходов в окружающую среду (1992 EU). АвтоВАЗ, до сих пор выпускающий автомобили с устаревшим и токсичным карбюраторным двигателем, оказался к этому не готов. Слишком медленное внедрение новых технологий и производство технически устаревших моделей вкупе с конкуренцией со стороны азиатских производителей постепенно вытеснили АвтоВАЗ их этого сектора…

Lada Niva

В 1979 году на рынок была представлена новая модель Lada Niva. Этот автомобиль. обладая приводом на все 4 колеса и несущим кузовом (тогда для внедорожников считалось нормой обладать рамной конструкцией) мог конкурировать по надежности и проходимости с малыми японскими внедорожниками типа SJ Suzuki и Daihatsu Fourtrak не уступая им по надежности и проходимости. Ну и традиционно покупателей привлекала низкая цена наших автомобилей =). Наши Нивы даже были на службе у британской полиции. Также в Англии есть клубы поклонников этой модели. После ухода АвтоВАЗа с рынка в Великобритании некоторые дилеры продолжали самостоятельно импортировать Ниву в Ирландию и Великобританию попутно заменяя двигатель на агрегат от General Motors т.к. наш мотор не соответствовал нормам токсичности.

Lada Samara

Lada Samara SLX

Фото видимо из какого-то рекламного проспекта.

Lada Samara SLX

Еще один экземпляр Lada Samara Saloon

Первая попытка продаж современных автомобилей была предпринята АвтоВАЗом в 1984 году когда они начали импортировать в Англию семейство Самар. Автомобиль обладал современным по тем временам дизайном, мощным и экономичным двигателем, а также был на треть дешевле своих ближайших конкурентов, но многие покупатели в целях экономии покупали устаревшие Ривы. Кстати поклонники Lada Samara в Англии есть до сих пор. И эти автомобили все еще колесят по дорогам Великобритании. Еще одна попытка вернуться на британский рынок была предпринята АвтоВАЗом с налом выпуска “десятого” семейства. Но его даже не стали импортировать. Виной на сей раз стала катастрофическая ненадежность первых партий автомобилей, а у завода тогда не было внушительных средств, необходимых чтобы довести эту машину до ума. АвтоВАЗ прекратил свою деятельность в Англии в 1997 году, а оставшаяся сеть дилеров переключилась на обслуживание автомобилей Lada в соседней Франции. Также многие автомобили пошли на реэкспорт и после долгих скитаний вернулись к себе на родину, в Россию. Люди, имевшие с ними дело до сих пор тепло отзываются об этих машинах. Для себя делали, как хотели, а экспортные машины были сделаны на совесть. Правда были у реэкспортных машин и проблемы связанные с кустарно перекинутым рулем на левую сторону, фарами настроенными на левостороннее движение и аналогичными дворниками. Так то =)

upd: Вид из салона праворульной Самары:

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Lada 1200

Lada 1200 (VAZ-2101)

Lada 1200 oli venälaisen AvtoVAZ:in vuosina 1970 - 1988 valmistama Lada-mallistoon kuulunut henkilöautosarja, johon kuului sedan- ja farmarimalleja, useina eri variantteina.


Lada 1200 perustui italialaiseen Fiat 124 -malliin. Alkuperäiseen konseptiin tehtiin monia muutoksia, mm. lämmityslaitteen kenno vaihdettiin suurempaan ja taakse tulivat alumiiniset jarrurummut. Moottoriksi vaihtui moderni, kannen yläpuolisella nokka-akselilla varustettu versio.[1] Se oli lähtöisin Fiatin suunnittelupöydältä, mutta yhtiö itse ei käyttänyt sitä missään mallissaan. Jousitusta korotettiin ja koripellit prässättiin paksummasta materiaalista. Alkuun Lada oli varustettu auton keulassa olevalla veivin reiällä, jolla pyrittiin takaamaan auton käynnistyminen, mikäli virta loppuu siellä, missä apua ei ole saatavissa. Samanlainen liikkumisen varmistuskeino oli käsikäyttöinen polttoainepumppu.[2]

Suomeen VAZ-2101 -mallia alettiin tuoda vuonna 1971, kauppanimellä Lada 1200.

Ensimmäisten autojen keulamerkissä oli teksti ТОЛЬЯТТИ eli Toljatti, kuten historiallisen dokumenttifilmin kohta 2.05 osoittaa. [3] Sittemmin keulamerkin tekstiksi tuli ВАЗ eli VAZ.

Lada 1200, Lada 1300, Lada 1200 L

Vuosiluvut tarkoittavat Suomen maahantuontivuosia, eivät mallin valmistusvuosia.

VAZ-2101 (Lada 1200) (1971 – 1982)

Alkuperäinen perusmalli, kaksikurkkuisella DAAZ-Weber-kaasuttimella (ДААЗ-2101) varustettu, 62 hv:n 1,2-litrainen moottori.[4]

VAZ-21011 (Lada 1300) (1974 – 1980)

Lada 1300 perustuu perusmallin koriin, mutta siinä on uudistetut istuimet, verhoilut, kojelautan sävytys, puskurit, maski ja takavalot, lisäksi varusteluun kuuluu peruutusvalo ja läpivirtaustuuletus. Iskutilavuudeltaan 1,3-litrainen, 67 hv:n moottori oli muokattu perusversion porausta kasvattamalla.[5]

VAZ-21013 (Lada 1200 L) (1977 – 1989)

Lada 1200 L tuli myyntiin loppuvuodesta 1977. Varustukseltaan malli oli samanlainen kuin Lada 1300 (VAZ-21011) , mutta siinä oli 1200-mallin (VAZ-2101) 1,2-litrainen, 60 hv:n moottori.[6] Joillain markkina-alueilla tämän mallin nimenä oli 1200 S, kuten oheinen kuva osoittaa.

VAZ-2101-02 (Lada 1200) (1978 – 1982)

Vuonna 1978 Lada 1200 -mallista tuli myyntiin paremmin varusteltu versio VAZ-2101-02, jonka vakiovarusteena on mm. peruutusvalo, takalasinlämmitin, niskatuet etuistuimissa, kangaspäällysteiset istuimet ja kojelauta mallista Lada 1300 (VAZ-21011). 02-versio korvaa alkuperäisen version, mallin kauppanimen pysyessä samana, versio on myynnissä vuosina 1978 – 1982. Tässä yhteydessä kaikkien Lada-mallien vakiovarusteeksi tulee jarrutehostin.[1]

  • Lada 1300 (VAZ-21011)

  • Lada 1200 S -emblemmi

Tekniset tiedot

VAZ-2101:n Suomessa tarjolla olleet vaihtoehdot:

Malli Rakenne Iskutilavuus Teho Vääntö Huippunopeus Kiihtyvyys 0–100 km/h Vetotapa Vaihteisto Polttoaineenkulutus (yhdistetty)
VAZ-2101 VAZ-21011 VAZ-21013 VAZ-2101-02
R4-ottomoottori, 8V-SOHC, kaasutin
1197 cm³ 1294 cm³ 1197 cm³
62 hv DIN @ 5600 r/min 67 hv DIN @ 5600 r/min 59 hv DIN @ 5600 r/min 62 hv DIN @ 5600 r/min
87 Nm @ 3400 r/min 94 Nm @ 3400 r/min 87 Nm @ 3400 r/min
142 km/h 145 km/h 140 km/h 142 km/h
19 s 18 s 19 s
4-portainen manuaali
8,9 l/100 km 11,1 l/100 km 8,9 l/100 km

Lada 1200 Combi / 1500 Combi

VAZ-2102, tässä nimellä Žhiguli (Жигули)

Vuosiluvut tarkoittavat Suomen maahantuontivuosia, eivät mallin valmistusvuosia.

VAZ-2102 (Lada 1200 Combi) (1972 – 1978)

VAZ-2102 on Fiat 124 Familiareen ja VAZ-2101:een perustuva farmarimalli, jonka kauppanimi Suomessa oli Lada Combi. Sitä myytiin vuosina 1972 – 1985. Perusmallista poiketen farmarimallissa oli vahvempi takajousitus, 165-13 renkaat 5" leveällä vanteella ja vetopyörästön välityssuhde 4,44.[1]

VAZ-2102-02 (Lada 1200 Combi) (1978 – 1982)

Combi-mallin parnneltu versio tuli sedan-mallin tavoin myyntiin vuonna 1978. Mallissa on 2101-02:n tavoin peruutusvalo, takalasinlämmitin, niskatuet etuistuimissa, kangaspäällysteiset istuimet ja kojelauta mallista Lada 1300.[1]

VAZ-21023-02 (Lada 1500 Combi) (1979 – 1985)

Vuonna 1979 markkinoille tuotiin malli Lada 1500 Combi (VAZ-21023-02 / 1979 - 1980), jossa oli 1200 Combin kori ja varusteet yhdessä 1500 S:n moottorin ja voimansiirron kanssa. Uutta Combissa oli myös takalasin pyyhin ja pesulaite.[1]

Vuonna 1980 markkinoille tuotiin Lada 1500 Combi DL (VAZ-21023-01 / 1980-1985), joka on muuten kuin edellisenä vuonna esitelty malli, mutta pyöreillä mittareilla varustettu kojelauta on peräisin mallista 1500 S.[1]

Tekniset tiedot

VAZ-2102:n, ja sen muunnosten, Suomessa tarjolla olleet vaihtoehdot:

Malli Rakenne Iskutilavuus Teho Vääntö Huippunopeus Kiihtyvyys 0–100 km/h Vetotapa Vaihteisto Polttoaineenkulutus (yhdistetty)
VAZ-2102 VAZ-21023
R4-ottomoottori, 8V-SOHC, kaasutin
1198 cm³ 1452 cm³
62 hv DIN @ 5600 r/min 75 hv DIN @ 5600 r/min
87 Nm @ 3400 r/min 106 Nm @ 3400 r/min
135 km/h 147 km/h
20 s [8] 17 s
4-portainen manuaali
10 l/100 km 8,9 l/100 km


  1. ↑ a b c d e f Ladakerho - Ladainfo, takavetomallit
  2. ↑ LADA models & brand history - autoevolution
  3. ↑ VAZ-2101-dokumentti
  4. ↑ a b 1970 VAZ 2101 Lada 1200 (model since mid-year 1970 for Europe) specifications & performance data review
  5. ↑ 1974 VAZ 21011 Lada 1300 (model since mid-year 1974 for Europe ) specifications & performance data review
  6. ↑ Ladakerho - LADA 1300 (VAZ-21011) ja sen muunnokset
  7. ↑ a b c d e LADA 1200 Combi (VAZ-2102) ja sen muunnokset
  8. ↑ VAZ 2102 Lada 1200 (1971) detailed performance and fuel economy data factory claim and ProfessCars™ estimation

Aiheesta muualla

  • Lada 1200 -videoita
  • Lada 1200 Combi -videoita
Wikimedia Commonsissa on kuvia tai muita tiedostoja aiheesta Lada 1200. Wikimedia Commonsissa on kuvia tai muita tiedostoja aiheesta Lada 1200.


1980 Lada 1200

The 1980 Lada carried a sticker price of $4,288 f.o.b. Halifax. It weighed in at 1 060 kilos (2,337 pounds) and rode a trim 2 424-millimetre (95.4-inch) wheelbase.

Canada has long been fertile ground for small cars, whether domestic or sourced from abroad. If the pint-sized cars were tough enough to hold up in our extreme climate and on our roads, we bought them. If they held up for a long time, we bought a lot of 'em. 

AutoVAZ of the Soviet Union began exporting its cars to Canada in 1978. The product was badged as Zhugili in the USSR but export models were sold as Lada, the Russian word for 'ship.' Lada was sold in New Zealand, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Britain and France. The sturdy little four-door sedans arrived in Canada on ocean liners that docked in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and were unloaded by employees of the newly organized Lada Cars of Canada, Inc. with headquarters in Ajax, Ontario. That first year, a modest 1,000 units were sold. Records show 5,649 more Ladas were sold in 1979.:

Whether Zhugili or Lada, the car with the funny sounding name was actually the recycled Fiat 124 series that had debuted in 1966. About to be deleted in Italy because it was obsolete, the dies were sold to AutoVAZ. Fiat even helped build a new factory on the Volga River.  Soviet engineers tinkered with the no-nonsense Italian econo-box, made it suitable for abominable Soviet roads and brought it onto the market in 1970.

Lada was advertised as having an unusual “wide stance” among small cars. The front track measured 1 365 millimetres (53.7 inches).
The car was a solid hit with Soviet consumers because of its fuel economy and tank-like ability to hold the road. Sexy it wasn’t but Russian drivers found its cavernous trunk, spacious cabin and  seemingly inexhaustible ruggedness more than made up for its lack of looks. The car didn’t cost much, either.  Visit my old car website at http://www.theoilspoteh.ca

This cutaway drawing of the 1980 Lada reveals how simple the car really was. 

Canadians were equally impressed when they were introduced to the practical, low-priced, four-door sedan. The Lada represented the very core basic values of durability, performance, comfort and safety, all cherished hallmarks of thrift that were second nature to shoppers skilled at making the beaver on the back of a nickel howl in pain as it got pinched one more time.  

 It didn’t bother prospective buyers that Lada dealerships weren’t always big and glitzy like the ones in urban centres; it was not uncommon for farm equipment dealers or even well-established hardware stores to take on the Lada in small towns. This writer test drove his first Lada at a tractor dealership in the bucolic village of  Perth-Andover, New Brunswick.

Even Lada's advertising appealed to the uber thrifty. “The Lada is built to last. It’s built with an extra thickness of metal so it stands up to the rigours of Canadian winters. It can take anything that our roads can throw at it, winter or summer, from the rough back tracks of cottage country to prolonged highway driving. The electrostatic primer dip, that all body panels go through and the Tectyl anti-corrosion treatment means it stands up to the salt and slush of downtown driving. And that means you’re buying a car that has resale value built in.”  Visit my old car website at http://www.theoilspoteh.ca The powerful police-pursuit 1.5-litre, four-cylinder engine was coupled to a four-speed manual transmission for the Canadian market. The mechanical team worked smoothly to zip occupants from zero to 100 kph in 14 seconds. Advertising boasted, “You’ll feel a little sporty and like putting a car through its paces. Let the Lada show you what it can do. You’ll notice a responsiveness you usually associate with higher priced sports cars.” 

Under the Lada's front-hinged  hood lurked the tried and true 1.5-litre Fiat engine. 

Advertising pushed the envelope even further. “You don’t get a high powered European sports car. The Lada isn’t priced that way. But then you don’t get a suburban 2-door either, although the Lada’s price might suggest that. What you get is a tough basic car that manages to combine durability and comfort with a touch of the excitement and responsiveness of a much higher priced sports car. What it all adds up to is a sensible car which performs like a lot more than a sensible car.”

The instrument panel layout was typically European. Annoying to some Canadian drivers was ignition positions marked in Cyrillic script.

Wordsmiths waxed ecstatic about the Lada's vast interior space. It claimed the cabin was roomy enough to hold five adults in comfort and offer plenty of legroom space.  The car featured a continuous loop, buckle-less self-adjusting seatbelt setup in front; one so easy it could be operated with just one hand.

Visit my old car website at http://www.theoilspoteh.ca

Inexpensive Lada carried thoughtful touches such as safety lights to warn oncoming traffic the door was open.

Lada was laden with a lot of standard equipment features for such a low-bucks vehicle. Front seats were reclining buckets with adjustable headrests. Upholstery was velour. The centre armrest--located in the rear--was retractable. Courtesy lights all around, a day/night mirror, carpeting, electric clock, a tachometer, a full compliment of idiot lights, an oil pressure gauge, ashtrays fore and aft, a two-speed heater with dash vents, a rear window defroster, inertia-reel seatbelts (nothing to buckle!) were all on the list. Then there was an oversized glove box, a generous under-the-dash parcel tray, two-speed electric windshield wipers and washers, front disc brakes a trunk liner, a 21-piece tool kit--complete with tire gauge and an air pump. Undercoating rounded out the package nicely.

 The list of extra-cost goodies was as short as a December day on Baffin Island. A leather-covered steering wheel, a wood or leather-wrapped gearshift knob, an AM/FM radio, mag wheels and coco mats made the list and that was it.

Typical of European automobiles, one could buy extra parts kits, useful for quick, emergency repairs alongside the road. The Tourist Travel Kit included a fan belt, spark plugs, rotor, condenser and other goodies. The Handyman’s Tune-up Kit included oil and air filters. The Cooling System Travel Kit included hoses. In case of defective parts or workmanship at the factory, the whole car was covered by a 12-month or 20,000-kilometre warranty.

Lada dealers also sold the Niva 4x4. It developed a cult following as the only off-road vehicle in the under $10,000 segment of the market.

Lada might offer few frills and a minimum of thrills but consumers loved the cheap wheels offered in a half-dozen bright, cheery colours. Lada would shoot up to 9,300 sales for 1980 and rise to 12,900 units delivered to Canadians in 1981.

Visit my old car website at http://www.theoilspoteh.ca

Copyright James C. Mays 2006

All rights reserved.


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