Russian Prize Winner: 1984 LADA 2106

The Lada 2106 was a product of the Soviet Union that remained in production for 30 years. During its lifetime it didn’t feature a lot of running changes. In fact, any changes that did occur actually happened at a fairly slow walk. Still, they were, and still are, a fairly rugged piece of gear that was built to last. If you feel inclined to avail yourself of one of these tough little cars, this one is currently sitting in Sammamish, Washington, and it has a clean title. You will find it listed for sale here on Craigslist. I really have to thank Barn Finder Roger for spotting this fantastic little classic for us.

The production life of the 2106 stretched from 1976 until 2006, and the joke that I made about the changes was actually pretty accurate. The majority of the changes revolved around the slow replacement of chrome external trim with either painted components or plastic. The owner of this Lada, which is in really nice condition, states that it is a 1984 model. The presence of a chrome grille, chrome external mirror and chrome hubcaps certainly indicate that this particular car was built prior to the mid-1990s, as all of these features were phased out during the model’s mid-life update at about that time. Otherwise, the 2106 had remained unchanged between 1976 and the mid-1990s. The panels, paint, and trim on this car look to be exceptionally good. The owner does state that the car has been a trophy winner at car shows, and the overall presentation leads me to believe that this is no idle boast.

The interior of the Lada also indicates the age of the vehicle. The previously mentioned mid-90s upgrades extended to the interior of the car. The presence of a steering wheel with chrome inserts and the imitation wood-grain dash also pre-date the 1990s update. The interior looks to be just as well preserved as the exterior of the car, and actually looks quite luxurious and well appointed compared to the ZAZ-968A that I recently wrote about.

Once again, we stumble upon an area of the car that is in really nice condition. The engine for the 2106 is a 1,568cc 4-cylinder engine which is hooked to a 4-speed manual transmission. The engine was specifically developed in this guise for the 2106, but a number of components (pistons and crankshaft) from other VAZ/Lada engines were utilized to reduce development times and costs. The engine produces just under 80hp and pushed the car along to a top speed of 93mph. The beauty of these engines is that they are very under-stressed, and were also designed to run on some pretty ordinary fuel. As a result, they do tend to last incredibly well.

So, what is this Lada worth? Good question, but there really isn’t a definitive answer in the USA. These rarely (if ever) come onto the market in the US, and I have never seen one that is in this sort of condition. I guess that in reality, the value will depend on what someone is willing to pay for a nice car that’s a bit unusual. As a point of comparison, the ZAZ that I wrote about a while back was selling for $8,950. The owner of this car has set the price at $10,950. If I had to choose, I’d take the Lada.

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Comments

  1. CapNemo

    Neat little car, but I’m going to hold out for one that’s greener. :)

    Like 8
  2. CanuckCarGuy

    Growing up, the Lada line was available in Canada… my buddy actually bought a Lada Niva, and learned why they still had a functioning hand crank on them!

    They were cheap vehicles that most steered clear of, somewhat of an automotive oddity – much like the the Skoda, also available here in those days. Can’t see paying anywhere near that price for one, but maybe there’s a strong collector demand out there…. somewhere.

    Like 3
  3. Doyler

    Time to bust out my Lada jokes

    Like 2
    • Ralph

      Do you only have a couple or a Lada them?

      Like 12
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        LOL! Sweet Ralph!

  4. r s

    Quarter panel on the passenger side does not seem to match, the mismatch follows the curve of the door opening so I don’t think it’s just angle of light.

    This is quite an artifact though not one that makes a connection for me.

    Like 1
    • local_sheriff

      That’s most probably a factory installed mismatch – Lada came that way

      Like 4
  5. Fla finn

    There were plenty of these in Finland when I was growing up. Cheap, rugged but built quality not the greatest. They got you from A to B usually, but there were electrical problems, fitment of doors, panels etc was not the greatest etc. Very warm car during the winter but a bit tricky to drive when slippery, RWD and quite front heavy car..Used to put 40 to 80lbs of sandbags in the trunk.

    My friend used to have 2106, the first day he bought it we got rid if all the trim and painted it mattblack with rattlecans..He later added Dellortos etc and it was fast enough for the drive quality it offered ..

    The erconomics were a copy of Fiat, of course, and quite odd. You could never get it right, I don’t remember anymore but I think it was so that when pedals were in correct distance the steering wheel was way too far. Typical to 70s and 80s Fiats also.

    I would have hard time paying 500bucks for any of these…They are rare of course but knowing what they are from my experience…Not worth the asking price…

    Like 3
  6. Miguel

    We see these all the time on YouTube getting bumped around on those “Worst Drivers” videos.

    If this sells for this price, I would think it will take the prize for the most expensive Lada of this type ever sold.

    Like 6
  7. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    There were a lot of these in Winnipeg in the 1980s. Not sure whether this is true or not but I heard that in order for the LADA to qualify for Canadian emissions standards, Canadian Tire was commissioned to retrofit the cars. For those of you Stateside, GOOGLE Canadian Tire for explanation. I also remember more than a few SKODA Rapides in Winnipeg streets. And of course, the LADA NIVA. Wish someone would build a modern version of that little SUV.

    Like 2
    • CanuckCarGuy

      ICEMAN, not sure about Winnipeg but I remember in Ontario, the owners of these were often of Eastern Bloc descent; perhaps they had a better appreciation for their beloved Lada. The Skodas as I recall were a popular choice for rally and ice racing. Stay warm out there!!

      Like 1
      • Brock

        I‘m not Eastern Bloc background nor anyone i knew who had them. Cheap…yes!

        We had one of these in 1980…great car.

    • local_sheriff

      ICEMAN, your wish has come true!Lada Niva has never been out of production, it is still available . Just google Lada Niva Vladimir Putin edition and you’ll see the top-of-the-line (camoflage of course) version of it

  8. Coventrycat

    If you won’t buy a Yugo, why buy this? The Soviets had the market on poorly built everything.

    Like 2
  9. David P. Reeves

    I bet it’s called the 2106 because that’s how long the Soviets wanted to produce it.

    Like 3
  10. David Rhoces

    …had one …total piece of crap

  11. Grumpy

    Lada junk in my opinion.

    Like 2
  12. Tara

    It should command a value of £1.00 and thats it.

  13. Anthony D'Acquisto

    It’s a Fiat

  14. Charles

    Seems like all the Russian/Soviet cars for sale in the USA come from Washington state.

  15. michael h streuly

    Intresting car. Not my cup of beer.

    Like 1
  16. Chebby Staff

    At a whooping $11k, good luck!

    Like 2
  17. Rob

    I had 2 Lada cars, and a Lada Niva. So many great stories. Its a knock off of a Fiat design, I was told by a Polish Mech Engineer I worked with.
    Great little rally cars, they are meant to driven on bad roads ( Russia ), in the middle of no where, ( Russia ) and can be easily fixed with hand tools ( that came with each car.
    eg. To rebuild the carb, you removed the air cleaner and housing, removed 5 screws on the top of the carb, pulled off the entire top of the carb. Remove and install a float, needle seat ( I think ), new gasket, reinstall. Parts cost was $25, time was less than 1 hour. You laid a drill bit ( about 1/2 diameter ) between the float and the carb housing while it was off, to bend the float tang to the correct setting.
    My wife and I rallied the first one we owned, and routinely beat everything in our club, took home the trophy. It was the Saturday Night at the Rally Club, near KW.
    I paid $500 for the car, rallied it 2 years, wrote it off once, bought it back, resafetied it, drove it another year, wrote it off for good. I made money on the first time I wrote it off! LOL

    Like 2
  18. local_sheriff

    How the heck did this one make it to the USA, didn’t you produce enough terrible cars in the 80s?First owner must have asked for visits from the CIA and tapped telephone ?!?

    I simply cannot comprehend how it has survived 35 years in humid, salty Washington and in that pristine condition.As growing up in northwestern Europe these cars were solely bought by leftists or people that couldn’t care less about what they drove. Sheetmetal , finish and trim quality was at the absolute bottom line of what could be bought for money, My father bought a 5 year old Niva as he needed a cheap 4×4, and it alredy had SEVERE rust issues in the middle of ROOF! How can a car start rusting there?!? It was one of my most humiliating episodes of life…

    After getting into the car hobby though, I’ve come to realize these boxes had something to them.Mechanically they are very sound and can be fixed with ease with little tools.

    However, how anyone would be willing to cough up 11k for a Lada is beyond my scope…it’s an extremely well-kept cool and odd find though!

    • t-bone Bob

      Oh, my goodness. Have you ever been to Western Washington? It is far from humid or salty. Very temperate with mild summers (dries out when it does get hot) and winters (salt is not used because it rarely snows). Plus it’s far enough from the ocean that you don’t get the effects of the sea air.

  19. Ruben

    My father owned one of those for many years back in Cuba, so many good memories! There’s still thousands of Ladas of all types in the “communist” island, mostly in decent shape.
    Was nice to see a 2106 again but I would never paid over $200 for it.

  20. Bill W

    When the Lada first appeared in Canada they used to brag about how well the Lada operated in Siberia, so the Canadian winter would be no problem.

    Around 1987 Lada gained a new front end with two rectangular headlamps instead of four round ones. And a new model name – Lada Signet.

    Also new was a FWD hatchback called the Solara. Came as 2 door or 4 door, with the 4 door being a six window design, similar to the 1960-62 Valiant sedan. The rear seat back could be folded down, but you had to open the rear doors to let the seat lay flat due to the rear arm rests. One the seat back was flat, you could close the doors. Don’t know about the 2 door model, though.

    1995 or 1996 seems to be about the last year for the Lada in Canada.

    I suspect Ladas may be moving their way south into Washington from Vancouver. Seattle is only three hours away.

    Like 1
  21. MikeH

    Ladas are still sold in Europe, usually driven by lefties. I did not know, however, that Lada is now owned by Renault-Nissan. They were [are?] primitive cars.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lada

    • Bill W

      They were primitive cars as they were based on a old Fiat design. The models offered today are a little newer and not based on Fiats.

      Didn’t know Lada drivers in Europe were mostly left handed.

      Like 2
  22. Bo

    I remember when these first came out in Canada Consumer Reports had them as a “recommended” car for 2 years and then “avoid” after that. I have always taken their recommendations with a grain of salt since then.
    Due to the salt we spread in Quebec many of these cars were rusted to the point of being scrap within 4 years. I remember back in the day the guys who were into these cars would have 1-2 parts cars in front of their house and it was often hard to tell which car was the runner and which was the parts car.
    I saw one of these get hit head on in Cuba 4-5 years ago. It came apart like a crushed beer can and the injuries were horrible.
    I love the styling and the retro Soviet heritage. I love seeing these things and applaud anyone willing to own something so oddball.

    Like 3
  23. Fiete T.

    Owned by Simon…like many of the Soviet-era cars that show up here and are in Washington State.

  24. t-bone Bob

    These are quite sturdy

  25. Lada Lover

    The Czech Skodas were terrible, the worst cars I have ever seen… Rear engined, extremely underpowerd, noisy..

    We took one out for a test drive and it broke down, the dealer paid for the cab ride home for us.

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