Wagon Wednesday: The Lada Wagon that conquered USA

A Lada station wagon is pretty awesome by itself. Especially the round-headlight 2102 ones, as they have the most simple and classic appearance of them all.
But one of the most significant ones, at least with Finnish plates, is this exact ochre one I photographed at the Classic Motorshow last weekend. The 2102 wagon, originally bought for two packets of coffee and driven by a brave team called The Hoponderos made it through the United States in one piece, and back to Finland. No mean feat.

In case you’re not familiar with the Hoponderos US Tour 2014, I recommend you check out their Facebook page, which is stocked full of excellent photos from their voyage from California to Texas to Louisiana to New York. The Lada held up well, with a little nut-tightening needed every now and then, and some sheetmetal getting crumpled. But it’s been in some 20 countries already, as the team has driven it around Europe earlier, and it’s proven itself to be a tough thing. The guys were also featured on Jalopnik when they made it to New York.
The steering started acting up a little during their trip, and it’s now been repaired for that undiluted Lada handling feel. And they did mount a tow bar on it when they got home, so the wagon is now even better than on the cross-country trip. The quote picked up from a forum, “It’s easier to drive a Lada across USA than a Corvette across Russia” must hold true.
Not the worst place to sit on a 10,000 km trip, huh? There’s even a Blaupunkt stereo.
The brave team member, Jori Kymäläinen says they’ll get the wagon to Vladivostok next. If it runs, it might as well run all the way.
Here’s video from New York:
[youtube width=”720″ height=”480″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5JnIKDRUR0[/youtube]
[Source: Flaiman/Youtube]

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  1. Taylor Nelson Avatar
    Taylor Nelson

    Love it! I’ve been into old VWs my whole life, but I’ve really come to want a Lada 2102!

  2. Batshitbox Avatar

    K&N is getting a lot of free advertising this week…
    What I really want to know is, how many ‘Muricans asked them, “Finland? Was that part of Russia?”

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Yes, between 1809 and 1917, for some definitions of “part of” and “Russia.”

  3. Sjalabais Avatar

    Brave indeed! I wonder what was in the market for three packets of coffee then?

  4. dukeisduke Avatar

    Dang, they came through Dallas, and didn’t call me? I’m bummed. Oh well, maybe I can catch them on their next go-round.