Lada? RIP? - CGNorwich

According to this it looks like the end for Lada cars. Over 200,000 face losing their jobs and a fair sized city seems economically doomed. As someone who confesses to owning one back in the 70s its a bit sad. I did smile at the report on the BBC this evening though when they stated that because of parts shortages Lada had been assembling cars with components missing. I thought they always did!

Still they outlived Rover
Lada? RIP? - Armitage Shanks {p}
RIP? That'll be Rust In Peace!
Lada? RIP? - ifithelps
Bought a Samara for about £250 and ran it for a couple of years without any breakdown.

Only got rid of it because my finances improved, they could hardly have got worse, could they?
Lada? RIP? - doctorchris
Would be a shame to see the demise of the Niva 4x4 which was tough and almost unstoppable.
Lada? RIP? - GroovyMucker
Would be a shame to see the demise of the Niva 4x4 which was tough
and almost unstoppable.

Spanish police used a lot of these. I always fancied one, but never got round to it.
Lada? RIP? - bell boy
>> Would be a shame to see the demise of the Niva 4x4 which was
>> and almost unstoppable.

-i remember they had good brakes-------------

dont buy a last of the nivas with engine management they are useless

Edited by bell boy on 25/03/2009 at 20:55

Lada? RIP? - colinh
What happened to the Renault-Nissan link - Renault bought a 25% stake in AvtoVAZ last year for a $1 billion
Lada? RIP? - Chris White
From elsewhere on the 'net,

MOSCOW ? France?s Renault opposes the idea of issuing new AvtoVAZ shares because the move would dilute its 25 percent stake in the struggling carmaker, Renault?s regional chief said Friday.

The head of AvtoVAZ, Boris Alyoshin, said earlier last week that his company needed 26 billion rubles ($775 million) in financing as it battles mounting debt and a sharp drop in demand.

He said it was considering a new share issue to raise capital.

?Theoretically, it?s a great idea, but in practical terms, we as shareholders cannot welcome it, because our stake in AvtoVAZ would be diluted,? Christian Esteve, the head of Renault?s operations in Russia, told a news briefing.

Renault paid more than $1 billion last year for the stake in AvtoVAZ, which has seen demand for its vehicles fall 40 percent in recent months after Russian banks stopped giving affordable car loans to consumers.

?We would also not refuse help from Russia,? Esteve said when asked about the possibility of Renault helping Russia?s biggest automaker directly with its financial problems.

Along with Renault, state conglomerate Russian Technologies owns a 25 percent stake, as does investment bank Troika Dialog. The rest is held by smaller minority shareholders or traded on the Russian stock market.

They also have about 90,000 unsold Lada cars sitting at warehouses and dealerships.
Lada? RIP? - mss1tw
Off topic but welcome back bell boy! Good to see you about again
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
The problem is that I am sure there are much better cars on the market now so the richer Russians would buy them where as the poorer people are probably affected by the credit crunch and thos wont' have the money to buy Ladas.

Their new models always seemed to be two years ahead of what ever America is doing and 5-6 years behind what Europe was producing.
Lada? RIP? - Pugugly

Their website - an idea of what the product is all about.
Lada? RIP? - Chris White
They were floating a supercar concept at the Paris motor show last year,
Lada? RIP? - Altea Ego
Their website - an idea of what the product is all about.

Eek! they still sell the samara - and it still looks the same!

Edited by Webmaster on 26/03/2009 at 00:45

Lada? RIP? - captain chaos
You can't be serious?
So I have the Russians and Europeans to thank for my side impact bars and airbags, then?
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
I believe Merc invented the impact side impact bars? Not sure about Airbags. I was more meaning in terms of engines, in the 1970's Ladas were using modern chain driven over head cam engines, where as the Americans were still using pushrods. There is actually quite a lot of modern engineering in the Lada Riva engines if you consider what else was out there on the lower end of the market in the 70's.

I wasn't entirely being serious about the Russians being ahead of the Americans but lets put a 1970's Lada and a 1970's budget American car round a track, my money would be on the Russians.

Lada? RIP? - Pugugly
Unhamstrung by European Law, no doubt the Russians will make sure it doesn't fail by chucking money a it.
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
I doubt there is any market for them any in Europe now. Even some of their more modern looking cars are 'probably' as bad to drive as they always have been. I know they are still popular in eastern european countries but how they are supposed to compete with the likes of Dacia or even Skoda's cheaper offerings?
Lada? RIP? - bell boy
er rattle
ladas always sold in this country on price and spec not how they drove on a b road--
you wouldnt know a lada if it ran you down as they always had rust on them even from new so you would probably identify one as a 1975 fiat

it was law
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
I know my way round Ladas quite well actually :(. I even have a Lada haynes manual from 1981.

My dad had two and my grandad had two, so that is four ladas which have been in my family. They provided very reliable motoring for virtualy no money. Yes they were all rust buckets but my dads was reigstered in 1987, bought in around 1991/early 92 by my dad and we finally scrapped it in 1998 has it had done a lot of milleage without a service so the engine was dying but yep it was very badly rotton. I have a few pics of it but I can't find the final picture of it, it was cream but it ended up gray due to all that rust paint.

As as I am sure you know the Lada Riva was a FIAT 124 but with weaker brakes (drums at rear instead of discs) and a taller suspension setup to cope with the rough roads. FIAT sold Lada the design in return for discounts on russian Steal they could built the Alfasuds out of, I am not sure if this is true or just legend though.

We went all over the country in the Lada.
Lada? RIP? - bell boy
We went all over the country in the Lada.

on a search for a real car i assume?
did you ever get as far as birmingham? i hear its a mighty fine country ;-)
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
No often use go drive up the Snowdonian mountains, it was of course rear wheel drive and it was actually pretty powerful, I think the 1.2 8v engine produced 70bhp but I am not sure it certainly felt very slow up them hills.

I remember my dad always much prefering it a Marina he also had to drive at the time, but he prefered a Transit van he sometimes drove a lot more!

Every day was an event, from silencers falling off, a windscreen wiper falling of in heavy fain on the M62 towards swearwordthorpe and a tyre bursting at 60mph towards Leeds also on the M62. It was a death trap but one I will remember fondly.

Lada? RIP? - captain chaos
Every day was an event from silencers falling off a windscreen wiper falling of in
heavy fain on the M62 towards swearwordthorpe and a tyre bursting at 60mph towards Leeds
also on the M62. It was a death trap but one I will remember fondly.

This must be your dream car then...

Lada? RIP? - captain chaos
Rattle, the first side impact bars were first fitted to an American car in 1957. The first airbags were available as an option on the 1973 Chevrolet Caprice. That's right, 1973.
As for a 1970's Lada v a 1970's budget American car round a track, you really, really can't be serious!
Lada? RIP? - Pugugly
As Bellboy said the Lada Riva was a re-heated Fiat which was obsolete long before the tooling toodled east - American cars were hardly state of the art but the build quality was around three generations ahead.
Lada? RIP? - Alby Back
I drove a Lada Niva or Riva or something (4x4 jeepy thing anyway whatever it was ) in Cyprus about 19 or 20 years ago. We had it full of diving gear, air bottles and so on for a fortnight and it was ideal for getting down rough tracks and such to remote dive sites. It was fine in that context but I wouldn't have wanted one for normal use. Pretty primitive and not a pleasant thing.
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
But Lada did design its own engines, they never used FIAT engines, they used Ladas own. And these did not come from a tractor as JC would have you believe. They were modern overhead cam units which had the luxery of chain drive and not a belt.

Yes the body and chasis was obsolute but if you're going to base a car on something the FIAT 124 was a good place to start. Its not as if they used the Morris Marina platform.
Lada? RIP? - Chris White
I always thought that the Lada Riva / Fiat 124 based cars used a Fiat engine but the Samara was mostly designed in-house?
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
Nope the Riva did use its own unique engine but as far as I know the rest of it was FIAT but modified. The lada engines had a very distint rocker cover.

I an not sure who designed the engines but the ones in the Riva are unique and are not found in FIAT cars but many of the FIAT aux bits will fit on Lada engines. I know mechanics often used to moan about Lada engines because of odd ways of doing things.

FSO used pure FIAT engines in their cars until they started using Ford and PSA units.

The Samera was entirely inhouse but I think Porche designed the cumbustion chambers on the Samera engines or something.

Edit I am sure there will be people here that know more on the subject. Internet sites will tell you everything from they were FIAT engines to they came out of russian tractors, some source even said they were Moskitch(sp) engines which don't think was true as they were BMW clones.

I always believed they were Ladas own design. Have a look on ebay at any Niva or Riva and look at the engine bay you will see what I mean.

Edited by Rattle on 25/03/2009 at 23:15

Lada? RIP? - Pugugly
Moskitch(sp) engines which don't think was true as they were BMW clones.

I say steady on !
Lada? RIP? - tunacat
I've read that the Moskvich's engine was a copy of a BMW one too.

And it certainly looked like the one in my dad's 2002.

Lada? RIP? - Bagpuss
I've read that the Moskvich's engine was a copy of a BMW one too.
And it certainly looked like the one in my dad's 2002.

Yes, the engine in the Moskvich 412 is a copy of the engine from the BMW1502. Originally BMW supplied these engines but the relationship was not successful and the companies went their separate ways. Moskvich redesigned the engine, increased the capacity from 1500cc to 1600cc and built it out of cast iron rather than aluminium.
Lada? RIP? - 1400ted
One good thing about the Riva and the earlier 'potting shed'model were the front seats. People with back trouble found them almost a cure. A rescue company I worked for as regional supervisor had the Lada breakdown contract as well as Polski, VW, Porsche, Ferrari and others. I must have dealt with over a thousand Ladas in my time, as well as buying and selling them after being traded in for newer models. Most faults on the road were minor, plastic ball joints on carb linkages broke but metal ones were a permanent fix. Flat batteries were often caused by the poor lead quality in the terminals. A good scrape fixed that. The charging system had a fuse, owners didn't realise and expected a big bill for new alternator. Poor alloy fuses, replaced with probs. Batteries lasted years and years. heater hot water valves leaked...pain to fix but cheap.....Rivas even worse pain.
Rivas became a popular first prize in bingo halls, I once had to get one down a flight of stairs in an old cinema in Stretford.
One customer got stuck on the beach in North Wales when the tide came in, car was floating around but she got pulled out and it started and ran for a couple more years.
Another customer, an old lady locally, had a dark green one which had come over on the first boatload , an N reg. It wasn't even badged as a Lada, but a VAZ with some unintelligable script on the back panel. She ran it for 15 years or so with my help and amassed about 20.000 miles in that time.
Great cars for the money, no wonder they sold so many but you had to run them to the death to make sense economically.
Samaras were rubbish with a capital R !
I wonder if Rattle's dad bought his off me ?
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
It was off some lada dealer in Bolton my grandad knew. Funny you should mention about the fuses they were always going on my dads. It got through at least two clutchs in the 6 years or so my parents had it, one startor motor, one alternator.

I just cannot imagine a startor motor failing on a Ford but we probably have just been very lucky. It was not a reliable car as the electrics were too poor but as a cheap through away car if reliability was not crucial they made brilliant cars. If it did brake down 9/10 you could get it going again in a few mins with very limited mechnical knowledge.

In terms of reliability I doubt anything from BL was much better at the time either.

We never bought a Samera too many people warned against them, problems with gearboxes apparantly? The Riva was crude but was very tough in all the ways modern cars are not but the Samera didn't have that asset but I have never even sat in a Samera so not really qualified to say :(.

Lada? RIP? - 1400ted
Rats...Bolton Car Centre. Lada started making 5 speed boxes which were not very good. Fitted to the Riva and Samara. ( Jowett's downfall as well ) You could put an older 4 speed box in the Riva.
1600s were fairly powerful and reasonably quick. Same engine as Niva.
Stretford Car Centre used to flog cars at rock bottom prices and take anything in PX. I once went to Fleetwood to collect a Matchless combination and a '53 Morris Oxford that had been traded for a new Riva. I bought the Morris off the dealer. They would have taken an old sideboard to make a sale !
I was recently looking at some pics of the new Lada range on the net somewhere. Looked like a Riva bodyshell with jazzed up back and front ends....probably the same engine with better emissions.
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
It was some bloke called Tony who was self employed but he may have worked for them I am not sure. He was always fairly reasonable I think.

I posted a link on here to that Lada a few months back I think they have done a good job. It is not actually a Lada though as AutoVaz has sold the tooling and design to another company (forget who).

Stretford Lada centre tried to sell my dad an H reg ex Demo in 1990 for £4k my dad want as he said he could not afford it (which was true) the price ended up going down £3k by which time a little bit of rust had developed on the front wings! He bought the E reg in the end which lasted us till 1987 and we paid £850 for it, probably a far better decision than that H reg.

Edited by Rattle on 25/03/2009 at 23:52

Lada? RIP? - madux
Actually, a lot of the engineering in the Samara was by Lotus!
Lada? RIP? - Lud
We had a seventies Lada 1200. Pretty awful car, crude and a rustbucket. Bad design and workmanship in many areas. Easy to dismantle to individual parts with a big hammer and three spanners, but never nice however hard you tried... Sad contrast with the svelte Skoda Estelle which was willing and efficient and had character.
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
Argh yes one major thing my dad moaned about, his 1.2 produced about 20mpg!
Lada? RIP? - Lud
Mine was in as near good tune as I could get it Rattle - it had to be fiddled with all the time to keep it there too - and it did about 28mpg, damn disgraceful actually. Low geared too, raucous at 75. Estelle I.2 could do 50 mpg, 1.3 better than 40 and no slouch either driven with verve.
Lada? RIP? - Armitage Shanks {p}
Flicking thru Sports Channels on Sat last night saw a LADA team in a World Touring Car race in Mexico. It wasn't a re-run from an earlier year so how does running a team like that fit in with being in financial difficulty?
Lada? RIP? - oilrag
I remember being somewhere on the south coast, west of Bournemouth about 20+ years ago - where a smallish old eastern block cargo ship was loaded with around 6 as deck cargo. They were being crammed anywhere on deck where they could be fitted in - with two on a small upper deck on the crew superstructure.

They looked surreal fitted in like that. Not sure if the hold was full of them too, or whether they were just the Captains `perks` for the return home.
Lada? RIP? - Bagpuss
The problem for Lada is that, despite protectionist measures from the Russian government, russians not only won't buy Ladas but they actually have a huge amount of contempt for their domestic products.

Russian comedians make jokes about Ladas in the same way Jasper Carrott used to make jokes about Skodas and even the new models have a reputation for being dreadful, especially the Kalina which failed an NCAP crash test in spectacular fashion.

Ladas are now cheaper in Russia than foreign competitors, due largely to the recently imposed import tarifs. The russians I know would still rather buy a 5 year old VW than a new Lada for the same money. Actually they would rather have a 20 year old VW than a new Lada.
Lada? RIP? - CGNorwich
Still have the the hand tyre pump supplied with the Lada - crude but more efficient than most footpumps together with the Indian tyre pressure gauge that came with it in the toolkit. As basic family transport when money was tight it served me well. One of the good things about the Lada was the truly amazing heater designed for Moscow winters. We used to put it on to maximum and see how long we could endure the heat.
Lada? RIP? - Stuartli
IIRC the Samaras, at least, used to have their interiors stripped out and replaced by the UK importer when they were brought into one of the East Coast ports (Immington?)

The Ladas were actually quite tough cars, built to stand up to Russian winters (thicker steel body panels, heavy duty battery and starter motor) and were generally more reliable than memory would make you believe.

I had a pal who owned several Ladas and Skoda Estelles and none of them ever let him down despite the fact he travelled all over the UK.

The same couldn't be said for the Maxi, Austin Princess and one or two other British cars he owned...:-)
Lada? RIP? - Bagpuss
The Ladas were actually quite tough cars built to stand up to Russian winters (thicker
steel body panels heavy duty battery and starter motor) and were generally more reliable than
memory would make you believe.

No they weren't!

They were just very easy to fix with a big hammer when they did go wrong. Dead battery or seized starter? No problem, just use the starting handle - supplied IIRC until around the late 80s. Ladas also rusted like hell, but that kept the welders in jobs in the days before capitalism. These are just some of the reasons why modern russians prefer western cars.
Lada? RIP? - Stuartli
>>No they weren't!>>

I drove enough of them in the mid-1980s to early 1990s to have a good idea...:-)

The one thing that was always terrible was the quality of the plastics - the dashboard, for instance, used to creak like mad and could never be cured.

To be honest the Samara was quite stylish for its time, but was let down by overall quality levels, as has been stated, to western vehicles. That's why the importers used to refurbish the interiors when they arrived from Russia.
Lada? RIP? - Armitage Shanks {p}
LADAs used to come in thru Immingham where they had a PDI and stuff put on that the Brits wanted and the Russians didn't (alloy wheels etc). Looking at Google Earth there are still a lot of cars coming thru Immingham and this must include BMWs as they have a huge distribution depot where the A614 crosses the M18
Lada? RIP? - Another John H
>>Still have the the hand tyre pump supplied with the Lada - crude but more efficient
>>than most footpumps together with the Indian tyre pressure gauge that came with it
in the toolkit. As basic family transport when money was tight it served me well.

That's a hell of a way to travel ;-)

I'll get me coat.
Lada? RIP? - Alanovich
It wasn't even badged as a Lada but
a VAZ with some unintelligable script on the back panel.

That would have been "Zhiguli", one of the many names Russians have for these brilliant cars. It's the name of an obscure mountain range in Russia.

A popular nickname for them is "Kopeika", a diminutive and affectionate word for "kopek", or penny (100 kopeks make 1 rouble). No idea why this is though, never thought to ask.

So many happy memories of these sturdy little cars. Apart from nearly being killed in the back of one in Belgrade, when an articulated lorry's parking brake failed and it carreered backwards in to us.
Lada? RIP? - Kevin
>1970's Ladas were using modern chain driven over head cam engines, where as the Americans were still using pushrods.


what's wrong with pushrods?

Lada? RIP? - stan10
Some time ago i watched a programme on Sky about one (the first?) of those charity banger rallies to Africa (£250 max car purchase price etc.. )

Finding it very interesting i looked for, and found a website, where, under the heading "cars" discussing the suitability of different cars, i found the info that "every Lada" that had been entered in the previous four rallies had finished - something that no other make/model could match.
Lada? RIP? - 1400ted
Rattle....Interesting, my pal, who sold Ladas with me was called Tony and was a self employed private hire owner. I sorted out the mechanics and MOTs and he did the polish/valet and marketing,. He wasn't a Bolton lad tho'.
I remember being booked by Stretford Cars to collect a Lada estate and deliver it for them. When I arrived, it turned out the new owner was Latvian and had bought the car and filled it to the brim with spares, leaving enough room to sit and drive it. It wasn't road legal, tax, Ins etc. I delivered it to the dockside at Ellesmere Port where a ramp led into the bowels of a ship called the 'Ingineer Vanya' a sailor stood at the top of the ramp holding a Kalashnikov. This was in Iron Curtain time, I suppose it was to keep the crew on rather than us off !
Lada? RIP? - uk_in_usa
If you think Tolyatti is not very Russian sounding that's because the town was named after an Italian communist party boss in the 1970s!
Lada? RIP? - Lud

Lada? RIP? - krs one
There was a programme on the Russia Today channel a couple of weeks ago regarding the trouble that Lada was in.

They were saying that most people in Russia, especially the younger ones, would rather have anything except a Lada. There was far more status to be gained from owning a 20 year old Golf than you would ever get from a new Lada. The company was viewed as a bad joke by most people they spoke to.

My uncle had one in about 1980, it was a rather funky special edition. Brown vinyl roof, lime green paint and alloys. He didn't keep it long.

Edited by krs one on 26/03/2009 at 17:25

Lada? RIP? - bristol01
Drove a Lada Riva once - absolutely terrifying. Would do no more than 40. Good job. Bits were falling off it at that speed.
Lada? RIP? - CGNorwich
"Drove a Lada Riva once - absolutely terrifying"

You obviously did not read the owners manual wherein it states:

"We should like to recommend the owner of the car not to make haste in utilising fully the dynamic qualities of this automobile until he becomes skilled in its driving and gets familiar with the peculiarities of its behaviour". Sound advice :-)

Lada? RIP? - Rattle
My dad still mentions when doing high speed corning say 60mph on a motorway slip road you couldn't do this in the Lada! I really want to drive a Lada Riva just so I know for certain if they were as bad to drive as people made out. My dad never saw what the fuss was until he bought a MK1 Punto in 1998 and then he realised how bad the Lada was.
Lada? RIP? - 1400ted
Rattle...had a trip up your road by Streetview the other evening,.......couldn't see any rusty Fiestas parked up...where does Dad hide it ?
Have a look on the Lada website, they've got a stunning sports car on it...hope it's not on a Samara 1300 floorpan though !
Lada? RIP? - Rattle
Ted its on streetview you can clearly see my dads car and it its parked on the wrong side of the road - something he rarely does. Its a green with those four spoke Ghia wheels.

are you sure you have the right road?

That car does about 12k a year mainly in our area so you've probably seen it about but there is loads of Fiesta Ghias in that colour.
Lada? RIP? - 1400ted
Ah, It must have looked too shiny to be a Rattle shed ! My old red Escort is outside my hovel and the C3 is in the drive. I went round the corner into St Ws Road and there are my son and SIL in the driveway of a house they were working face blurring ! First person to see a Lada on Streetview wins a bun ( virtual of course ).

Lada? RIP? - Rattle
Ted my dads car is in very good condition apart from a little bit of buddeling on one of the rear arches.

How bad did you think my old car was? Was it Lada rusty? :p

Also I have a good idea where I ca find a Lada on google street view but sadly Didsbury is not included :(
Lada? RIP? - mattbod
Bit of a shame really as I had a soft spot for the cars but can't really comment as I have not driven one. I used to like the Niva a lot as a kid though, espcially the specced up Cossack version.

It is a shame that Renault/Nissan can't take a bigger stake and turn around the company like VW did with Skoda and SEAT. We live in in different times sadly and 200,000 jobs at risk is terrible. I really feel for those workers.
Lada? RIP? - CGNorwich

Looks like Putin is looking to bail out the company to the tune of 20 billion roubles.