This beautiful blue creation is a Lada 1200 Combi / VAZ-2102, one of the defining cars of the communist-era Soviet Union and – in it’s earlier years at least – not actually a bad one.
Produced from 1970 until 1988, the Lada 1200 / VAZ-2102 was based on the Fiat 124, itself still in production and rather good too.
For the licensed version the Soviet engineers raised the Fiat’s ride height, strengthened the chassis, and increased the thickness of the bodywork steel to ensure the car could cope with Russian roads and winters, and replaced the rear disc brakes with aluminium drums, because… er, we don’t know. They were worse.
Anyway, the car was a success, with a million built in the the first three years alone, and exported to many markets where the Fiat version wasn’t already on sale (Fiat didn’t permit Lada/VAZ to compete directly with its own product).
TLCB’s home nation got the Lada 1200 in 1974, when the Fiat 124 was replaced by the newer 131, becoming the first Lada on sale in the market, and likely a brave purchase by consumers during the Cold War.
A thousand Lada jokes would follow, which was a bit unfair as the 1200 was fine, but many were probably as much to do with anti-communist sentiment as they were with automotive quality.
This lovely Model Team recreation of the Lada 1200 Combi / VAZ-2102 comes from Flickr’s Legostalgie, whose wonderful Lego replicas of Communist cars have appeared here numerous times so far. His latest captures the Lada brilliantly, with superbly accurate bodywork, opening doors, hood and tailgate, a life-like interior and engine, and even a trunk on the roof-rack.
There’s lots more to see Legostalgie’s ‘Lada 1200 Combi / VAZ-2102’ album on Flickr, and you can head to the Communist-era Soviet Union (or the United Kingdom) c1974 via the link in the text above.