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Lada experiences
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 14251
Location: S. Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:24 pm    Post subject: Lada experiences Reply with quote

Reading this article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/classiccars/9018675/Lada-has-the-last-laugh.html got me thinking about these fine Russian creations.

Has anyone here owned one, driven one, or otherwise encountered these Fiat-derived machines?

I must confess to being mildly curious about a Lada estate for sale a few weeks back, but only mildly....

RJ
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Various 1930s-1960s relics - Austin, Morris, Bedford, Dodge etc.
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Ironhead



Joined: 28 Mar 2010
Posts: 463
Location: Leicestershire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there's a chap just around the corner from me with 2 Lada's in regular use,a saloon and an estate.
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Ellis



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
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Location: Betws y Coed, North Wales

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There used to be , shall I say, a slightly eccentric family living in my area in the 1970s/early 1980s. Their motive power reflected this in that instead of the "normal" Ford Escorts, Vauxhall Vivas or Austin 1100/1300, their cars would be Wartburgs, NSU Prinz or Skoda Estelles.

Whether their political leanings were mirrored in their car choice I don't know but I remember in the June of 1977 they took delivery of a brand new Lada 1200 - in red, predictably perhaps. An "R" registered one from a new locally opened Lada dealer.

Curiosity got the better of me one day soon afterwards and I took the dog for a walk in their home's direction one afternoon. The family was not really "car oriented" but the father was mildly enthusiastic about his new purchase and let me have a look at the Lada.
What I remember was that the car, new then of course, smelt strongly of new rubber inside - rubber flooring of course - and heavy duty adhesives. The metal felt heavy gauge and the fronts wings responded with a solid thud when tapped with a knuckled finger. There was an extensive tool kit and comprehensive instructions about self maintenance once the manufacturer's warranty expired.
I did have a sit in the driver's seat, vinyl covered, but it didn't feel like a Fiat 124 to be in. A Fiat 124, which a friend's father owned some years previously had that ethereal almost delicate feel a Fiat has about it. The Lada did not, it seemed heavy, dull and whatever Soviet Russia should feel like.

The Lada didn't last long with the family and was soon moved on for a Citroen 2CV.

As a final point of interest. Does anybody remember the Moskvitch being sold in the UK?
I do in 1973 when a fellow sixth former was given a brand new red M registered one in the August of that year for passing his "A" levels and gaining entrance to university.
He took us for a run in it one evening. We were all glad to get out of it.

I did not drive a Lada of this type but I drove a Lada Niva, a Cossack no less on several occasions and I was highly impressed with it.
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bob2



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
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Location: Malta

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a Lada but its predecessor a Fiat 124, owned by a cousin of mine with whom I hang around and talk cars!!
Purchased new by his father in 1969 and presently almost ready from a very long restoration (due to the fact it was started in around 1998 and then just forgotten about).
I used to go for rides in it when it was still used regularly and it felt quite responsive with its small 1200cc engine, steering was a bit heavy and turning circle not that good but the ride was comfortable and it had 4 disc brakes (non servoed), a novelty for me brought up in minis and drum brakes all round!!
Over here in Malta Ladas are still a regular site, there's one not far from my home belonging to a mechanic in very good condition, an estate with a nice set of compomotives 5 spokes on it and it does look good.
Might take some pics next time I see it and post here.
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Rick
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they still being shipped back to Russia, or have all the good ones already gone by now?

R
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clan chieftain



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a Lada Riva ex demonstrator in 1987 and had no bother with it. The steering was very heavy but I kept it for 2 years trouble free motoring. There was a Niva as well.
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Julian



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EWG wrote:
As a final point of interest. Does anybody remember the Moskvitch being sold in the UK?
it.


Yes, I remember seeing one regularly when I was a kid - it was owned by the boss of Nantwich fire station. He'll be in his 80's now if he's still alive.

I think these cars died off in the UK with the introduction of tighter exhaust emission regulations requiring a catalytic converter in the exhaust. Getting these things to work properly in 'closed loop' mode with the carburetter was next to impossible and they never made them with fuel injection. (I don't think?)

Julian.
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Rick
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EWG wrote:
...
As a final point of interest. Does anybody remember the Moskvitch being sold in the UK?


I vaguely remember a neighbour having a mid-grey/blue car, I think it was a Moskvitch. He sold it and bought a Marina.

RJ
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fordpop



Joined: 23 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
He sold it and bought a Marina.

RJ


That says it all really, doesn't it?

My last memorable larder experience was a bacon sandwich last Saturday morning..
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exbmc



Joined: 18 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject: fiat etc Reply with quote

I remember the Moskvitch, although most of the ones i knew were van versions, owned by local tradesmen. They used to go very well, and the engine looked like a BMW. Tony Lanfranchi used to race one in saloon clubman type races, it was so standard, it still had the 8-track and radio etc. I think tin-worm affected them quite quickly, and future emissions regs stopped the import of new models, as it did the Lada's.
I can't recall driving a Lada, but a similar make, called a Polski Fiat, was entertaining for a couple of days, while i prepped it for sale. A special inlet manifold and Weber carb gave it quite good performance.
A couple of other eastern bloc cars i recall, Yugo and Polonez.
The Polonez was just about the ugliest car ever, the girl who ran the local petfood shop had one. Troubles in the former Yugoslavia, meant no spares for Yugo models, it was common for one to be scrapped, because you could not buy an exhaust in the 80's.
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Ellis



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
EWG wrote:
...
As a final point of interest. Does anybody remember the Moskvitch being sold in the UK?




RJ


There was a then new motoring magazine in the early 1990s called Buying Used Cars or similar which had Quentin Willson as a monthly article contributor with "Dealer's Diary".
I remember one edition in about 1993, I wish I could be more precise, where it was reported that a whole warehouse full of these Mockvich's was found, all brand new and unregistered from the 1980s. If I recall they had been there since the importer had gone into receivership and their existence either withheld or kept deliberately secret.
They were offered to the general public on a "first come first served" at 500 each.

A similar cache of 1.3 (Austin?) Maestros , all brand new, was also sold in the late 1990s.
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Ellis



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: fiat etc Reply with quote

exbmc wrote:

A couple of other eastern bloc cars i recall, Yugo and Polonez.
The Polonez was just about the ugliest car ever.


I had almost forgotten about the FSO Polonez!

I recall that newspaper adverts in the 1980s had the professional wrestler Big Daddy endorsing them :

"I drive a FSO and they're great!"

In addition to exbmc's list there was also the Dacia from Roumania. There was the Dacia Duster and a Dacia pick up based on the old Renault 12.
I think the last FSO's sold in the UK was the FSO Caro, a pick up with the front of a Polonez and a "tray back" load area. Power was by an old generation Peugeot 1.9 diesel. There was a FSO dealer on Anglesey.
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exbmc



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: polonez Reply with quote

EWG, i had forgotten the FSO bit, i thought there was a bit more than just Polonez. Still, awful cars, best forgotten anyway!
Regarding the Dacia Duster, i have read that a no frills 4x4 with that name again, is to be brought into the UK. I can't just find where i read it now, but it may be this year.
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Ellis



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: polonez Reply with quote

exbmc wrote:

Regarding the Dacia Duster, i have read that a no frills 4x4 with that name again, is to be brought into the UK. I can't just find where i read it now, but it may be this year.


www.dacia.co.uk

Looks to be ok!
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Bengt Axel



Joined: 07 Sep 2008
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have around !0k to spare, you can still buy a new Lada in the UK.....

http://markkey.co.uk/
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