Friday, November 6, 2015

2007 Lada 2107

"Nothing spared. Except the expense."

Ladas are omnipresent in Cuba, but few are in such a good condition as this one from Sancti Spiritus. Most Ladas are in much worse shape, as they are typically "official" vehicles, registered to the government or to state owned enterprises. Their drivers don't own these cars, and usually don't spend the same attention as a private owner would do.

Yet, our pictured Lada 2107 is in private hands and its dueƱo cherishes his possession. "Mira", he told us with a broad smile, "this is a custom car! It has custom door handles, custom mirrors and custom air condition." The rest, thankfully, looks pretty much like it did when the car left the Togliatti factory in 2007.

The Fiat origins are evident in the Lada 2107. In fact, mechanically the car is virtually identical to its predecessor Lada 2101 which itself was a close copy of the Fiat 124. The Lada 2101 had been built for about a decade, when the Russians decided that it was time for a substantial update, and presented the Lada Nova (also known as Lada Riva in Great Britain) in 1979. By adding rectangular headlights, and sharper sculpted body panels, the Russian stylists miraculously managed to make the boxy car look even more boxy. The "luxurious" top version Lada 2107 followed in 1982 and flaunted an extra-large chrome grille and seats with headrests.

The Lada Nova remained in production virtually forever. About three decades, that was. The last "classic" Lada left the Russian factory in September 2012. If you fancy a newer model year, then head to Egypt. There, the Lada 2107 was still produced by the Al-Amal Group until 2014, before the assembly line was retooled for the production of the modern Lada Granta.

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