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Lada 2102 '73 X Zhiguli 2103

by James Preston
27th October 2016 · Northern Ireland

A couple of months ago we spent an incredible few days at the Grounded Event, in the heart of the Sochi mountains. After that however - it was time to head to the streets of Moscow. Before we started this trip we knew we wanted to shoot something that really shouted out Russia. So what could be better than a bagged Lada? Well two bagged Ladas would be... so that's exactly what we did.

Luckily, the previous night Ruslin the owner of Grounded had brought us out for burgers with Mark. Mark had a Ford Ranger pickup that he was willing to let us hang out of while chasing Ladas around the streets of Moscow. We liked Mark. He was our kinda guy. He also let us drink far too many beer's in his burger place.

The next morning, true to his word, he collected us from the hotel and we went to meet up with the guys. You'll see all of this in the last ILBTV episode of our trip of course.

We knew we wanted to shoot something that really shouted out Russia.

So what exactly are these cars? Let's start with Ruslan Llkin's Lada 2102 '73.

Firstly, "Lada" is the Russian word for harmony, and back in 1974 you could buy one of these in Britain for around £979. They produced 20 million units before production ended in mid 2012. Why had they become so popular? They were cheap. They didn't break very often and when they did, you could fix them with a hammer and some duct tape. Most importantly they had unpretentious functionality.

When Ruslan first got his hands on the car around 5 years ago, it was a mere shadow of what it is now. The car had no paint and no engine - but it was a solid base. He completely stripped the car down to the bare metal, and and began prepping it for paint. While he waited for the car to be painted, he had to start collecting parts. This is a lot easier said than done when it comes to these rare Soviet cars. But where do you go to get bits for your 73' Lada? Ukraine of course. He got a new grille, bumper, sidelights and even a USSR trunk handle after searching around. 

Back in 1974 you could buy one of these in Britain for around £979.

The car stayed static for a while before he decided to instal Airlift V2 management with a set of Slam Specialties SS5 air bags. To finish the car off he dropped it on a set of Schmidt TH Line 14x8.5.

Some specs...


Airlift Autopilot V2 management with remote fob
Slam Specialties SS5 air bags
Viair 480cc compressor x 2
4 receivers, 40 L total

Custom adjustable arms
Custom rods
Custom oil pan
Improved brakes kit

Nardi Classic steering wheel
Loads of rare soviet stuff like chrome elements and authentic dashboard

Some more really rare soviet stuff which can hardly be found nowadays like original "Togliatti" hood badge and a bunch of chrome element here and there
Shaved engine bay with all the caps being chrome plated

Schmidt TH Line 14x8,5
155/55/14 tires

This wasn't the only Lada to turn up though. Well "Zhiguli" but i'm pretty sure they are the same thing.

Unfortunately I don't have quite the same amount of information on this one. Although the owner Anderson did drive us around the streets of Moscow. Probably the highlight of my trip, so for that, you're the real MVP.

I do have his spec list though: 

Air suspension
Airlift Autopilot v2 management
Airlift Dominator D2500 air bags
Viair 444c compressor x 2
Seamless receiver Specialty Suspension, 11 L x 2

Kayaba Excel-G shocks
Bent extension rods
Adjustable tie rods
Front lower arms with mounting seats for the airbags 
Shocks side mount

Artificial leather upholstery
Wooden floor
Aluminium air-pipes (Hardline)
Longer range battery in the boot
Horizontal position of the spare wheel

Nardi Classic 360 mm steering wheel

Fog lights (VW Beetle)
Left side mirror (VW Beetle)

WTB Maserati Biturbo 14×6 ET6 4x98
Tires Nankang 155/55/r14

This isn't the last you'll see of these two...

Photos by: James Preston 
Words by: James Preston
Car Owner: Ruslan & Anderson
Location: Moscow, Russia