Thursday, 11 July 2013

Zetec Lada

Words & photos: Daniel Bevis


Why do Ladas have heated rear windows? To keep your hands warm while you push them. How do you get a Lada up to 100mph? Drive it off a cliff. What do you call an open-top Lada? A skip.
Thankfully, we've all grown up a bit. Those eighties jokes are a distant memory as the VAZ-2101 and all of its many variants have passed gracefully into retro chic territory. Sure, it may still conjure images of communist austerity, bargain basement basicness and inch-thick steel, but it's also representative of a fundamentally sound idea: relatively affordable motoring for the masses (well, ish) based on the trusty underpinnings of a proven entity: the Fiat 124.

Today, those chrome accents, crisp lines and over-arching simplicity have made the old three-box rather desirable. And as this jaffa-hued poppet demonstrates, there's plenty of tuning potential too. No, your eyes do not deceive you - that is a modern Ford twin-cam, fitted thanks to a variety of Retro Ford Limited parts. With its shiny trumpets, adjustable top mounts, and serpentine exhaust manifold, it's an engine bay any Escort owner would be proud of. The fact that the interior still bullishly wears its thin-rimmed Eastern Bloc steering wheel and 100mph horizontal speedo is wonderfully tongue-in-cheek.

Spotted at the 2013 Retro Show - click here for more photos





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