My sister’s first car was a little blue, Russian built Lada. She bought it from a family friend. It was boxy, utilitarian, simple and odd. It stood out from the rest of the cars on the road, and attracted notes under the wiper blades from Lada admirers looking to buy it. She took that car down rough and rocky Northern Ontario back roads to go hiking and kayaking and the old thing never failed her. The Lada was part of our family, and I have to say it was a pretty cool little car.
I love Lada’s. They are so darn Soviet, and very much reflect a communist ideal of being a car for the people. The old ones were cheap and easy to work on. My dad used to work on my sister’s Lada in the backyard all the time. The problem is, when you have a Lada in Canada, getting parts from Russia is a slow and costly venture. In Russia and other Eastern Bloc countries where these cars are a dime a dozen, parts are also a dime a dozen. And people keep them going for years and years. I can’t imagine places like Russia, Bulgaria or the Ukraine without the Lada.
And with that, here is visual ode to the Lada! Long live the Lada.