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by David Zalstein

Russian manufacturer AvtoVAZ has ceased production of its well-known Lada 2107 after 42 years of production.

While the Germans had the Volkswagen Beetle, the Russians had the Lada 2107 – also known as the 2101/2104/2105/Nova/1500/Signet/Laika or Classic. Whatever you want to call it, the Russian workhorse, originally based on a 1960s Fiat 124, was an affordable transportation option for many throughout the world.

First entering production in 1970, the little Lada was available in both sedan and wagon variants and went through changes including a move in 1992 to single-point fuel injection and catalytic converters.

The car’s low costs, basic mechanicals and simplistic rear-wheel-drive layout gained popularity with mechanics and enthusiasts alike helping the car reach something of a cult status as well as a solid racing history.

Reports suggest between 16 and 18 million of the Ladas were built but as demand diminished production was soon to follow suit.

AvtoVAZ is keen to shed the often-negative stigma attached to the Lada name as it moves forward with its joint venture with Renault and Nissan and focuses on its new Largus, Kalina and Granta models. Last week’s announced recall of nearly 100,000 new Ladas for a fuel system fault is unlikely to help the cause.