This is the best a VAZ-2103 has ever looked

Built between 1972 and 1984, the VAZ-2103 Zhiguli is best know to us western devils as the Lada 1500. A “luxury” compact sedan, the 2103 is built on the bones of the Fiat 124 and featured parts from the newer Fiat 125 as well. However, due to its far thicker steel, the VAZ is heavier. It also features worse braking technology.
Despite that, it’s remained a symbolic workhorse that shrugs off the harsh cold arriving with a Siberian winter. Eventually, the 2103 was phased out so that VAZ could bring in the less decadent 2106. Seriously. VAZ used too much chrome on the 2103, and that needed to be scaled way back for cost reasons.
And, you know, chrome is for capitalist pigs.
This specific car looks to be beautifully maintained. And after it’s received the Petrolicious video treatment, it’s likely that this could be the prettiest video ever to feature a VAZ-2103. 

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10 responses to “This is the best a VAZ-2103 has ever looked”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    Gorgeously filmed…an original car with only 148km? Wonder what the back story is? I am currently watching the latest season of “The Americans” and they seem to be putting more and more effort into the carscapes. For road scenes from Moscow, they have managed to assemble a lot of Soviet machinery, a pretty nice 2103 among them.

  2. Alff Avatar

    Sadly chrome is no longer the preferred adornment of capitalist pigs. I guess I ain’t one.

  3. mseoul Avatar

    I like how he crossed the rather busy highway from parking on the opposite berm near the end of the film. I hope he can keep the car safe for his children.

  4. pj134 Avatar

    Somewhat related, a little used car lot by me had multiple Lada Niva’s on their lot when I drove by it the other day. One is on their site. This is a very Russian part of Philadelphia if anyone was interested.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Yowza…great shape, but the price? The Niva btw is their 4×4.

      1. pj134 Avatar

        I’m going to go with wishful thinking or freudian slip on the Niva part. Hopefully I can redeem myself with this mobile sauna that they also have.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Wow. The odd-o-meter is through the roof.

  5. hogymástnemondjak Avatar

    nice car, but why white wall tires? WHY?

    1. mseoul Avatar

      watch an old Soviet military parade: they had white walls on tanks and rocket launchers. Apparently loved them.

  6. Synchromesh Avatar

    Nostalgia mixed with car enthusiasm is a funny thing. My father owned several Ladas back in the old country before we moved to US in the early 90s. I can recall a 21063 (2106 with 1.3L motor), a blue 2106 and the last one – a beige 2104 station wagon with a 1.3L again I believe. He’s very happy that he never has to drive these things again and owned a few cars eventually turning to vans for his electrical work. I, on the other hand, love old cars, own a ’72 Super Beetle, an ’84 Fancy Beetle and one day aspire to own a proper Lada. He thinks I’m crazy. 🙂