With the 2018 FIFA World Cup taking place in Moscow, it’s safe to say there’s going to be a lot of focus on Russia. The spirit of Russia can be felt throughout the world, especially in the car industry. One of the most famous models to come out of Russia is the Lada. The car used to be a common sight on UK roads. In 1994, when England failed to qualify for the World Cup, there were over 134,000 Ladas registered in the UK. Today, there are only around 179 left.
When the first Lada was built in 1970 by AvtoVAZ, it was thought to recall an old world resilience. The name came from a type of viking longship and was presented as being affordable and easy to maintain. The car was characterised by a bulky body and box like design. Around two-thirds of Ladas were sold outside of Russia, with over 300,000 selling in Britain between 1977 and 1997.
Where have the Ladas gone?
The reason why there are so few Ladas on British roads is because of tighter carbon emissions. The brand was ejected from the UK market in 1996, due to not reaching green requirements.
However, Ladas are starting to make a comeback in the UK. In 2017, the number of Ladas in the UK increased from 165 to 179. A further 700 are registered as SORN. The increase can be attributed to the Lada’s status as a classic car.
Alex Buttle, director of motorway.co.uk gave his opinion on why the Lada is making a comeback. “The Lada is not quite empty, but with fewer than 200 now eligible to drive on UK roads, it has become seriously rare. And with the eyes of the world on Russia for the next few months, has the Lada’s time come? Nostalgia for Ladas is growing, and scarcity will drive up prices. Savvy classic car buyers should consider getting one while they still can.”
The World Cup is bound to bring on a wave of nostalgia, so Ladas could potentially become popular again.