Cohort Outtake/QOTD: A Zhiguli 2101 in New York Raises Questions

I haven’t posted a QOTD for a while, and looking at these pictures from the CC Cohort of a Zhiguli 2101, posted by kevin_xyxl, there seemed to more questions than answers.

Probably, we all know the Zhiguli or Lada– it is a derivative of the 1966 Fiat 124 saloon licence built by AvtoVAZ in Tolyatti  in the Soviet Union with a Russian designed single OHC four cylinder 1.2 litre engine. 59 bhp, 87 mph and 0-60 in around 18 seconds, so not a pony car. The basic design endured until 2012 in Russia, with various changes and increases in engine size and power. The car was sold in western Europe, under the Lada brand, and some other markets as (usually) the cheapest mid size four door saloon, by a significant margin. Here was a Cortina size car for the price of a Fiesta. OK, the driving and passenger experiences were not great, but it was a significant amount of car for the money, and as tough as old boots.

But, seeing such a car in New York, with a New York registration in such condition, prompts many questions, such as

What’s its history? It’s bearing Russian market badging, not export badging.

How long has it been there?

Why bring it over?

How does the owner keep it looking smart?

Where does s/he get spares?

Is it a daily driver?

Whatever the background, I suspect there are not many Zhigulis in New York, or indeed the US.

I’d love to know the answers!