Moskvich AZLK 2140 SL
Lada VAZ 2101
Skoda Ocatavia 18
I suppose any one of these would have been more comfortable that the MG-B used with a ski friend in my day (BSUV). We would just unzip the rear window, slide the skis through to the passenger side floor, make sure the chains were in the trunk and be on our way. Never got stuck.
Have to give it to the Skoda in the looks department. Not much competition here in that sense but we’re not going to distinguish them on power, handling or reliability, so might as well look good while failing.
hey, hey, they all made it to the photo shoot!
As long as they don’t use the road salt, it won’t hurt!
Count on Lada 2107 too.
The Skoda. Red cars are best for going skiing. 🙂
Like your logic, JP!
The Moskvich appears to be the biggest and most modern, so I’d probably go with that.
The biggest hazard with any of these cars is having a drunk speeder in a similar vehicle shorten your trip.
Well, yes and no.
If the Lada VZ 2101 was built from 1970 to 1988 and the Moskvitch 2140 from 1975 to 1994 (not sure, source : wikipedia France), the underpinning of the 2140 goes back to the Moskvitch 408 which, was built as soon as 1964, whereas the Lada VZ 2101 is basically a Fiat 124, which was introduced in 1966.
Moreover, the Lada VZ 2101 is partly italian engineering while the Moskvitch is soviet engineering only.
One other thing I’ve noticed.If countless dashcam vids are any indication, the Moskvich doesn’t seem to completely disintegrate in a crash as badly as the Lada does.
I saw one where a Lada 2101 collided almost head on with a Mercedes 190E. Despite severe front end damage, the Benz still looked ( barely ) driveable. The Lada was completely destroyed.
Moskvitchi were actually always criticized for having a narrow cabin, dating back to their 1960s roots. The Lada definitely has better shoulder room for the front and more space in the rear.
I would however, still pick the moskvitch, for nostalgic reasons. My grandfather had the Izhevsk produced “Kombi” 5 door hatch in a lovely bright blue, now that’s a roomy road trip car. My great uncle had a sedan variant, also of Izhevsk origin, in tangerine orange. Throw on a metal luggage rack on the roof and you’re all set!
The 1500cc slant four (bmw copy) in these really sings when in tune, and makes more power than the stock motor in the 2101. The Lada definitely has better road holding with the rear coils, but the Moskvitch with rleaf springs out back is more durable and can handle a load of passengers without sagging the rear quite so much.
Both have a rich motorsport history, namely in rally racing. The moskvitch’s durability really shone, which ultimately trumped the Lada handling prowess.
The 2140 “SL” in question was the pinnacle of ‘classic’ moskvitch evolution, it was tarted up with more plastic bits on the outside instead of chrome, some more modern interior elements. According to the review posted below, a lot of the trim pieces and integrated turn signals were foreign made, the turn signals in Yugoslavia, and the headlights in East Germany. IMO it comes across as a bit ‘tryhard’ when compared to the simpler, black painted steel grill and round lights of the “Izh” variant. Some people also claimed that the Izhevsk cars had better quality, as the factory made most of it’s production for the military (ak-47 rifles) and some of the no-corners-cut mentality spilled over to the civilian car production.
See here the commodious trunk of the hatchback “Kombi”
Great pic gtemnykh.
Videos of the “Izh” made Moskvitchi:
Izh 2125 “Kombi”:
Note the simpler front ends and interiors. Simpler and more utilitarian, but I really liked the soft touch dash and snazzy removable radio in my grandpa’s. A few details that stood out to me were the chrome ring inside the wheel to use the horn, and the cool chrome topped shift lever with a perforated leatherette shift boot. Compared to my dad’s ZAZ 966, this was luxury!
How did people generally favour the different cars? It seems the Izh-built Moskvitch were favourd above the Moscow-built Moskvich? They started out as basically the same car, but differed more and more as time got by and the factories improved the cars in different ways. Izh developed that five door hatchback on their own. As I understand it, the Izh cars were of better quality? Was it still seen as a Moskvich, or did it get a sort of identity of its own? And how did people look at things like that? Like, was there a friendly competition, coke/pepsi style? Or the wars between Camaro and Firebird-people?
The Lada VZ 2101 because it’s basically a Fiat 124 so it’s undoubtely the more advanced of the three.
The Skoda. Because I’m Slovak.
The Moskvich looks like it has the most ground clearance, but the Skoda is kinda cute.
Skoda for sure.
Back in the 70s a farmer near Enid owned several Skodas of this era, including a convertible. They were his daily drivers when he wasn’t on the tractor. He was able to keep them running by welding and grinding and lathing new parts.
Those cars were built to be MAINTAINABLE.
Well, this is the first time I read that there was a Skoda Octavia prior to the recent and present models.
All the current Skoda names (Octavia, Fabia, Rapide and Superb) are repeats of old names.
Except the Yeti, of course!
Thanks, it didn’t know that some of these Skoda names were “classic”.
Speaking of (today’s) Superb, big bang for the buck !
The Skoda. In status-image obsessed Vancouver, I believe that would be the only car that would fly in this trio due to its kitsch appearance for the Whistler set. The Lada with its tank construction wouldn’t matter; much like it doesn’t matter that Land Rovers, while less reliable than Sequoias, have more presence here as well because of appearance. While it’s common knowledge of the Lada’s heritage, it also appears the Moskvitch is from the same Fiat design. Interesting.
Moskvitch is a Soviet original, for better or for worse. The “412” engine is a copy of BMW’s 1500cc slant-4, and the gearbox is a VW knockoff, from what I’ve heard. But the body and styling are home grown.
In my personal experience, the Moskvitch is a better fit for the rural Siberian countryside, where a car must not only transport people, but the season’s haul of potatoes, hay, and whatever else. The leaf spring rear suspension is the right engineering decision in this case. They also ride fantastically smoothly on rough roads.
The metal on the moskvitch is also very thick, probably as thick as on American cars in the 60s. You can hammer out fenders with a ball peen hammer and a 2×4, and weld in new quarter panels with an arc welder (although the result is a bit unsightly).
Here’s my grandfather (died not one month ago, RIP) cleaning off his lovely Izh 2125:
Original M-408/412 styling was a creative (in a good sense) mix of several British cars. Most notable would be the 1959-61 Austin Westminster A99. Lots of similarities.
Probably the `Vich with its Volvo like headrests,but quite frankly, I really don`t know too much about these cars.
Q-If Moskvich made a smaller, more compact car,what would its nickname be?
A-“Son of a `Vich”
I wouldn’t ski and I definitely wouldn’t drive any one of those dreadful cars.
Wow, way to contribute.
Well. it’s what I had to say. Skiing is for the rich to show off their expensive skis and casts. And we have much better cars to drive here. I think I contributed just fine.
You can always tell when someone goes skiing here. Well…not exactly here, you’ll have to drive to Austria or so.
About a full week before they leave, a big plastic coffin is placed on the car’s roof. After they get back, it’s still on the roof for at least a full week. Everybody has to see that you go skiing and have been skiing of course.
Standard joke of the bystanders: “is your mother-in-law riding with you ?”
You must be fun at parties?
Prominent product placement for Rosignol in the Moskvich pic. Wonder whose idea that was.
None of the above:
Thanks for sharing this one. Always loved those ads with all the windows rolled down to show off the hardtop styling, no matter the weather!
I would take the one with the best heater !!!
Now that reasoning, I can identify with!
I’d take either the Moskvich AZLK or the Lada VAZ. Whichever is best suited for the cold climate of the former Soviet Union.
Are you saying I *don’t* have the option of choosing a Subaru Touring Wagon from the ’80s? Hmmm…..I choose…..none of them . 😛
When I saw the headline, I was thinking Skoda for rear engine and traction. I still see a rear engined Skoda Estelle occasionally on my commute, and I suspect it would be favour to the driver to launch it down a ski jump 😉
Of these 3, probably a Lada, as its built like a brick s**t house, as they say in northern England
I’d take the Skoda on looks, but I wouldn’t really want any of them.
If I can have any Curbside Classic for skiing, I’ll take this:
Standard adjusted for communism, if picking from three above.
I noticed there is a little country badge on the audi.
Oh, fine! Ruin all the fun!
If it has to be a Communist Curbside Classic (CCC), I’ll take this then.
I’d stil lrather have the Audi.
Oh, yes. Suddenly some design marvel was squeezed out from communism somehow like this one ( if excluding Tatra sedan before the communism take over or Packard copycat ) but it wasn’t far away from the end of the regimes.
( I wonder if others would appreciate the sense of humor if sticking a DDR on an Audi )
Me too. Had very good demonstration of what those things can do in the snow.
Lada with Fiat badges please.
Skoda: Totally stylin’. Getting there in style is everything. Who needs to ski ?
(Did I just prove something?)
They probably all have better heaters than the last car I took skiing. Air cooled 66 VW. With snow tires on the back it was hard to get stuck but easy to be cold.
The running gear from those Octavias was repurposed in NZ in the Trekka a semi off road utility vehiclem they were crude and horrible, I’d take the Lada.
The lada cabin heaters are frequently described as “nuclear” by the scandinavians. if you wanna stay warm on the way to the slopes, opt for the lada.
Prolly Lada/Zhiguli on the account of it being the roomiest of the trio.
If poor roads were to tackle, I’d bet on the Moskvich, which had a much higher ground clearance, and much better torque curve – it pulled well almost from idle and did not like to rev too much.
With its rear leaf springs it also could carry much more stuff without bottoming its suspension.
But the cabin was very narrow (hence its nickname “krevetka”, or a shrimp, because folks had to curl like a shrimp to fit inside). It also had a very poor heater that created lots of noise (like Lada’s), but very little heat or air flow (unlike Lada’s).
Since I watched this video many years ago, I have to go with Lada:
(stock-looking Lada drifting on backroads)
its like saying would you like to be shot or stabbed. Still, I think I’d pick the Moskvitch as it has a whiff of Volvo about it.
For looks alone , the Skoda but then you knew that =8-) .
I seem to remember an older version of the Moskovitch (SP ?) , more rounded , maybe from the 1950’s ? .
I assume Russian Motorcars are sturdy , simple and easy to maintain like my Ural Motos are .
OBTW : no snow ever again .
I’ll take my newly-acquired 2002 Tahoe. It has front and rear heat. And goes ANYWHERE.
Skoda Octavia – because it is at least visually stimulating. 😉
That Skoda is looking kind of sexy to me. But I also kind of like the Fiat’esk/Volvo’esk look of the Vich too.
Doesn’t matter. All three will slide down the slopes just fine.
Within the criteria it has to be
a) from behind the former Iron Curtain, and
b) good for skiing, and let’s add
how about a Tatra Aeroluge?
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