nostalgia. Lada Samara: This Russian car that inspired Dacia

We are in the late 1970s. The Soviet state-owned company Avtovaz produces 700,000 cars per year at the world’s largest automobile plant in Togliatti, near the Volga. Vehicles exported worldwide, including Europe, despite the Cold War Hundreds of Lada 2101, 2103 or 2106 produced on an old-fashioned Fiat 124 in the 1960s are eventually sold by capitalist dealerships in Europe. But events will change everything. The launch of the Lada Niva, the first accessible modern 4X4, will make Lada a major player in the European market at the end of the decade. Success was immediate. Niva became the best-selling franchise in France and a delight for the company Poch SA and importers of Russian brands from Argenteuil. But at the dawn of a decade of change, Russians know they have to change everything to up the gears. First, Lada refers to Porsche in Germany to imagine the modernization of the current range. A prototype of the Lada 2107, reviewed by the German design office, is emerging, but we have to face the facts. Lada can’t repaint Fiat 124 indefinitely. The Russian Minister, who is still the party that validates industrial projects in the country, said that the of Industry has not yet stamped his stamp on car projects with all-wheel drive! A real revolution! With the tailgate, the Lada Samara finally becomes practical. Photo Lada Traction or Propulsion To get there, the engineer must use all his diplomacy. No one believes in the ministry and the traction of the party. The Russian automobile industry has always been creating momentum, but why has it changed? One day, during a project delay, Lada’s chief engineer Georgy Mirzoev visits the Minister of Automotive Industry Polyakov in person. He agrees to design Lada traction and changes everything. Lada changes everything. In the humble Lada design office, Russian designers Viktor Kryazhev and Vladislav Pashko start working and envision an aerodynamic compact with a CX of 0.36 and modern volume. The front incorporates a very ingenious grille made from a gravel-resistant composite material. Lada Samara’s official name, the VAZ-2108, is a 4 meter sedan with tailgate and is available in several body styles. You can imagine 3-door and 5-door, targa, van and station wagon versions, but not all versions will see the light of day. Once the style is fixed quickly, Lada develops a future bestseller. Samara is a Russian weapon to conquer Europe. Rescuing the Photo Lada Porsche If you look closely at the Lada Samara, you can see several details reminiscent of a Porsche. Even a small bump on the exterior door handle, front seat reclining pull tab or roof acts as a spoiler and loads the rear axle at high speed to improve stability. Returning to the meeting in 1975 between Porsche coach Ernst F├╝rmann and Russian Minister of Industry Victor Polyakov, Germany offered Russia cooperation as compensation for war damage. But it’s not free, but Lada has to pay a German engineer. Thus, a group of Russian engineers arrives at Porsche in Germany. They will stay there from 1976 to 1978. The Germans took the project in their hands, the front beam fixed to the floor extension, the running gear adjustment and certain accessories. The future Samara tirelessly turns on the Weissach polygon Lada System Porsche At the same time, Porsche is supporting Ibiza from the Spanish manufacturer SEAT. A collaboration seen in the final product, with the famous “System Porsche” inscription affixed to the seat, but Lada refuses to mention that Porsche can design parts of the car. Samara is the pride of the Soviet Union and should remain. Today, Lada Samara is proudly housed in the Porsche Museum in Germany. The European-made Samara Baltic should have revived the brand. Photo Lada Smart Buy Samara finally went into production two years later after it was finally shown in Russia in 1984. In 1987 the first Samaras arrived in eastern France by train, where they passed the importer Poch’s preparatory center in Haguenau. Cars are tuned, overhauled, and sometimes transformed into a limited series. Some vehicles may have to be painted or dismantled, but for this Samara, French importers play a big role. As soon as Samara was released, it was well received by the French press. He is criticized only for the quality of interior materials. Selling at 39,900F, the three-door Samara is a hit. At this price, Citroen 2CV or Renault 4 are also more expensive. Between 1987 and 1990, Lada sold 30,000 cars per year in France, raising the brand to number seven. The big success and the release of the five-door version in the fall of 1988 will drive home to the core. The Samara comes in three petrol engines, and importers even envision a “sport” body kit reserved exclusively for France. GLS and GLX are quickly joined by a number of limited editions, including an “African Replica” that adopts the colors of the Jacky Ickx version engaged in Dakar. All is well and Dacia 20 years ago Lada plays Champion Row. – Expenses in France. But autumn will be terrible. When the Soviet Union exploded in 1991, the manufacturer was left alone, the quality deteriorated, and Lada in particular was unable to develop a car. Samara shows the weight of time, and the arrival of the first Hyundai and Daewoo sold at the same price signifies the end of the era. Sales of the Lada in France will continue to break down before it disappears from France. A few years later, Renault President Louis Schweitzer will admit that Lada was inspired by the success of launching the Dacia in Europe.
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