The Lada Niva is probably the most successful car ever designed and built in the former Soviet Union. Development of the Niva started in 1971, so the Russians were way ahead of the West in getting their SUV on. The Niva has served many purposes: ambulance, pace car, sag wagon, even an expedition to Antartica! And it’s been sold under many names, but here we’ll just call it the Lada Niva.
You know, automotive enthusiasts have a love-hate relationship with the Niva. On one hand, it’s a sketchy little piece of crap that can barely make 60 miles per hour on the freeway. And on the other hand, it’s a strangely dependable vehicle that--with a can of Rustoleum and some duct tape--can take you just about anywhere. It’s really hard not to love a car with this much heart!