Video: Lada spontaneously combusts
You might say that is the best sort of Lada. This video shows an apparently unscripted episode of a Lada engine suddenly catching fire.
We are not totally convinced. The driver and passenger either have the reaction times of Michael Schumacher, or they were expecting this to happen. However, their subsequent reactions are well worth watching.
This scene is unlikely to be repeated in the UK, as virtually no Ladas are left here (under 200 of the original saloons and estates). Bizarrely, this is not because they all rusted away, but because they were hoovered up by Russian fisherman in the early 1990s.
That sounds insane, but Russian fishing boats used to come in to port along the east coast and load up with as many Ladas as they could carry. They were only worth a few hundred pounds each in the UK, but were hugely sought after in Russia, where there had always been a long waiting list for the Soviet Union's pride and joy.
The Lada saloon (or Lada 2016 to give it its full name) is still available as a new car in Russia, complete with a carburettor-fed engine (no concerns for emissions over there), for £4,000 new. Russians still like them because (a) they are cheap and (b) can be fixed with a hammer – the closest the Lada gets to electronics is the dashboard clock.