Fifty years ago, the Volga Automobile Plant (VAZ) removed the legendary Jiguli from the assembly line. This car model became one of the most popular in the history of Soviet automotive. In total, more than 4.8 million cars were produced. People started calling it “kopeck” for the characteristic shape of its headlights.
In July 1966, construction began on a new car plant in Tolyatti. At that time, the former USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade signed an agreement with the Italian company Fiat.
The Italian Fiat 124 was named the “Best Car of 1967 in Europe” and served as a prototype for the new model. But tests show that the Fiat 124 was much weaker than Soviet roads. During the joint work of Italian and Soviet designers, more than 800 corrections were made, and finally an attempt was made to create a model that almost every Soviet resident of that period wanted to buy.
In 1968, a competition was announced for a new car name. The jury noted the name “Jiguli” (the name of the mountains on the Volga ridge). However, due to the fact that it corresponds to the word “burned” (“jigalo”), it was decided to export the car under the trademark “Lada”.
The first six cars were presented to the public on April 19, 1970. It was two blue and 4 cherry cars. Production in this category began on August 1, 1970. In the first year of operation, the plant produced 21,530 VAZ-2101. In 1971, production increased to 172,175 units, and in 1973, a record amount of this car was released – 379,007.
“Kopeyka” has entered the history of the Russian car industry. It was the first car with first-class heating and noise insulation, and thanks to the technology used, the car body does not overheat in the heat of the sun over time. It was under this name that the first Russian antifreeze was created. However, the first cars were the most expensive copies of that period. Because they used imported parts to create it. These cars could be ridden for years without changing any parts or oil. Probably a factor as to why they’re doing so poorly.