This is the best a VAZ-2103 has ever looked

Built between 1972 and 1984, the VAZ-2103 Zhiguli is best know to us western devils as the Lada 1500. A “luxury” compact sedan, the 2103 is built on the bones of the Fiat 124 and featured parts from the newer Fiat 125 as well. However, due to its far thicker steel, the VAZ is heavier. It also features worse braking technology.
Despite that, it’s remained a symbolic workhorse that shrugs off the harsh cold arriving with a Siberian winter. Eventually, the 2103 was phased out so that VAZ could bring in the less decadent 2106. Seriously. VAZ used too much chrome on the 2103, and that needed to be scaled way back for cost reasons.
And, you know, chrome is for capitalist pigs.
This specific car looks to be beautifully maintained. And after it’s received the Petrolicious video treatment, it’s likely that this could be the prettiest video ever to feature a VAZ-2103. 


  1. Gorgeously filmed…an original car with only 148km? Wonder what the back story is? I am currently watching the latest season of “The Americans” and they seem to be putting more and more effort into the carscapes. For road scenes from Moscow, they have managed to assemble a lot of Soviet machinery, a pretty nice 2103 among them.

  2. I like how he crossed the rather busy highway from parking on the opposite berm near the end of the film. I hope he can keep the car safe for his children.

    1. watch an old Soviet military parade: they had white walls on tanks and rocket launchers. Apparently loved them.

  3. Nostalgia mixed with car enthusiasm is a funny thing. My father owned several Ladas back in the old country before we moved to US in the early 90s. I can recall a 21063 (2106 with 1.3L motor), a blue 2106 and the last one – a beige 2104 station wagon with a 1.3L again I believe. He’s very happy that he never has to drive these things again and owned a few cars eventually turning to vans for his electrical work. I, on the other hand, love old cars, own a ’72 Super Beetle, an ’84 Fancy Beetle and one day aspire to own a proper Lada. He thinks I’m crazy. 🙂

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