What is it?
Say “hello” to the third best-selling automobile platform in the history of the industry – the Lada Classic, consisting of the Lada 2105, 2104, and 2107 (from 1982). Collectively known as the Lada Riva (UK) or Lada Nova (Europe), this family of models is one of the most popular in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and was also sold in Canada, Ecuador, France, Germany, UK, Cuba, and many more. It’s still quite popular on the second-hand market in Russia.
Where and when was it made?
Introduced in 1980, the series was manufactured in Tolyatti and Izhevsk (Russia), Zaporizhia, Kherson, Cherkasy, and Kremenchuk (Ukraine), and in Egypt and Kazakhstan. Production started in 1980 and was over in September 2012, when the last 2104 came off the IzhAvto assembly lines. This marked the end of the production of the Fiat 124-derived models after 41 years on the assembly lines.
Being based on the Fiat 124, the 2104/2105/2107 family featured a front engine and a rear-wheel drive and was available as a base saloon (2105), estate (2104), and deluxe version of the saloon (2107). Power comes from a range of gasoline engines with displacement ranging from 1.2 liters to 1.7 liters, all mated to 5-speed manual gearboxes.
What’s so special about it?
Well, nothing, actually. But in our eyes, being just an everyday car for the masses is making you special in a very… let’s say, special way.
It featured an “impressive list of standard equipment”, as Autocar noted in a review, including “height-adjustable headlamps, internally adjustable driver's door mirror, velour-covered seats, heated rear window, illumination lights for bonnet and boot.” Don’t forget the boxy exterior design and the spartan interior.
It’s also cute, because when all manufacturers started producing fuel injection systems in the early 90s, VAZ just decided to put a catalytic converter on cars equipped with carburetors to meet emission restrictions. And it didn't work well...
But what’s not to love about a car that’s based on an Italian RWD platform, which won the 1967 European Car of the Year? And, hey – a limited run of cars powered by 150-hp Wankel engine and a pair of Weber twin-choke carburetors was even produced!