Tag Archives: Lada

Nice Niva

We often mock Communist-era Eastern European cars for being slow, highly polluting, ageing designs built for far longer than they should have been. Because we’re so much better in the West…

So here’s a Communist-era Eastern European car that’s a slow, highly polluting, ageing design that’s been built for far longer than it should have been. And we absolutely love it.

No, we’re not consistent.

Anyway, this is the Lada Niva / VAZ-2121, a wonderful compact off-roader that was not only more advanced than the famous Western offerings of the time (cough Land Rover Defender cough), it’s still in production without becoming just another enormous luxury SUV (cough Land Rover Defender cough).

This lovely Model Team recreation of the Niva captures the real car brilliantly, with opening doors, hood and tailgate, a detailed interior and engine bay, plus some suitable over-landing accompaniments mounted on the roof.

Flickr’s Legostalgie is the builder and there’s more of this superb Soviet 4×4 to see at his ‘Lada Niva / VAZ-2121’ album – take a look via the link above!

Whole Lotta Lada

We like crap cars here at TLCB. The office car park features several. OK, by ‘like’, we mean ‘own’, but we do genuinely like it when they’re built from Lego bricks.

This is one such crap car, the Lada 1200 / VAZ-2101, and whilst the car-based efforts of communism were almost uniformly terrible, there is a lot to like about the Lada 1200.

Developed from the then decade-old Fiat 124, the Lada 1200 actually had a throughly excellent base, as back in the 1960s Fiat were one of the most forward-thinking and technologically advanced manufacturers* in Europe, with the Fiat 124 winning the European Car of the Year award in 1967.

The Lada 1200 was therefore actually quite a good car when it was launched, with a strengthened chassis, more advanced overhead cam engine, and the Fiat’s one key foible – rust – almost eliminated by Lada and VAZ’s use of much thicker steel and paint.

Of course decent engineering can be very much undone by poor build quality, limited competition, and corner cutting, which sums up communistical manufacturing nicely, and thus the Lada (and Soviet cars in general) quickly became known for being total crap. And that was even when compared to rivals like the Austin Allegro.

We’ll much rather take this one then – which features build quality on a level never achieved in Lada factory – from TLCB newcomer Legostalgie.

Legostalgie’s Model Team recreation of the Lada 1200 / VAZ-2101is superb, with opening doors, hood and trunk, a detailed engine and interior, and infinitely better build quality than the real thing.

Neatly pictured on a grey sofa (we think!), Legostalgie also proves you don’t need a professional set-up to Photo like a Pro, and there’s more to see of his wonderful Lada 1200 / VAZ-2101 model on Flickr by clicking these words.

*What the hell happened?

Neat Niva

Lego Lada Niva

Lada have come in for some stick here at The Lego Car Blog. Now owned by the Renault-Nissan alliance they’ll be making good cars soon enough, but their legacy is one of reheating the leftovers from Fiat, badly. Apart that is, from one car…

The Niva was not built from bits of old Fiat, but was actually rather sophisticated. Launched in 1977 it was the world’s first mass-produced unibody car, featured independent suspension, and with permanent four-wheel-drive and locking differentials it was as good as a Land Rover off-road.

So good that the design is still being produced today, almost completely unchanged in over 40 years. Despite this it’s a car that doesn’t appear much in Lego form, so de-marco‘s brilliant 4-wide version of the iconic 4×4 makes a refreshing change from the usual Land Rovers and Jeeps. de-marco has captured the design superbly in mini-figure scale and there’s more to see of his little Lada on Flickr via the link above.

6×5(wide)

Lego Lada Niva

It’s a bumper crop today at The Lego Car Blog! Previous bloggee de-marco has been very busy of late, building a plethora of 5-wide Town-style vehicles.

Lego Pick-Up Trucks

Ranging from beautifully constructed classic pick-up trucks above, through a Humvee, an airport luggage tug, and even a Baywatch-esque coastguard vehicle (allowing us to get Pamela Anderson into the tags), de-marco’s small-scale creations are wonderfully life-like replicas of their real-world counterparts.

Lego Airport Tractor

You can view each of the 5-wide models featured here, plus lots more besides, courtesy of de-marco’s Flickr photostream. We’ll get you started with the Lada Niva pictured at the top of this post, which is our favourite – but then we’re a bit weird like that. Choose your own via the link above!

Lego Humvee & Baywatch Pick-Up

Russian Patrol

Russian Patrol

Fresh from our Flickr-feed: something from Russia. We’ve blogged a few East-European cars recently, but we haven’t seen a police car yet. This detailed car which could easily be found in LEGOland is instantly recognizable as a Lada. The fig is impressive, too. Made by Mad Physicist (Ralph S), see more of this car at Flickr.