Let Me Tell You A Story About A Russian GraveyardS

My story begins on Super Bowl Sunday 2010. A friend of mine called about a Project Car Hell-worthy Citroen DS for $1900 that only needed a horrifically expensive transmission rebuild little TLC. Of course, the better solution was a Lada!

Given that I have found myself in many ridiculous situations with Citroens and other foreign cars, it was time to get into the real crack of the automotive world. Nothing says GREAT IDEA like a finely crafted piece of communist might. So, I began the search for a suitable Lada Niva that could be imported into our capitalist pig infested country.

Craigslist provided an initial hit (of a non-crack variety) in Nevada. But, the smell of mice could be felt in the pictures and a very Toyota-centric engine transplant made us full of disgust. Any body who would place rice-induced power into the vehicle of Lenin's party should be put into the Gulag!

We then turned our sights to the only moderately socialist haven with Ladas that could be reached by motor car. Canada imported Ladas in the eighties and nineties, but they have gotten thin on the ground even there due to road salt and lack of respect for the Party of Lenin. Kijiji provided a hit for a location north of Toronto that featured many Nivas, including a 1980 model! This was excellent for us, and bad for NHTSA, because the law made it possible for so much glorious engineering to be towed on our chariot car trailer.

We embarked on April 9th for the land of the Maple Leaf. We drove to the border, and explained to the customs official our purpose for entering Canada. This immediately led to suspicion on their part and threatened us with jail time if we didn't declare our (non-existent) weapons.

We then reached the land of the Niva and were greeted by a half dozen Nivas and a half dozen Fieros. The owner of these fine vehicles had given into the winds of change and was moving from Niva to Fiero ownership. In a modern day Russian revolution it was time to release the Niva from this capitalist hell and provide the chance for rejuvenation.

We drove to the border crossing attempting to determine our game plan. While we had a 1980 Niva, we had no title! We drove up to the border crossing, told our story, and were directed to pull over. The heart of the worker, the common man if you will, was strong in me and my comrade. When customs stated we would have to provide additional proof we said we would not submit to their protectionist ways! We pointed to the glorious VIN tag that said on a glorious day in 1980 our Lada saw the light of day. We stated the vehicle was not stolen, and that they would have to submit to our demands!

After customs let us through we then had to deal with the DMV of the land of the American Big Three Italian-American three. They wanted to know why we would buy a vehicle without a title, to which we replied "Better Recognize Bisch" and with a few forms and some bribes we had a US legal Lada Niva! It took three months, but a shiny 1980 Lada title was shipped to us from Lansing!

Then the real fun began, one by one every sensor and system that made the engine run began to die. It should be remembered that Lada in Canada used GM components to accomplish emissions compliance. So, not only were these capitalist pigs against the full flavored aroma of the motherland, they used inferior capitalist goods to stifle the power! Many trips to the auto parts store was able to cross reference parts that would keep the Iron Curtain that is our Niva on the path of victory.

We then found ourselves dealing with a guy named Gabor in Hungary trying to get other parts to keep the fine beast up to the precision standards that the USSR had always prided itself on! Now, the capitalist pigs have pulled us over and DEMANDED we replace the cracked windshield. This is proving to be a complex affair because it seems that these things came from the factory with broken windshields as standard equipment! However, we have delayed the state from taking action due to the extenuating circumstances, they too trembled in fear the thought of awakening the slumbering giant that is the CCCP!

This piece was written and submitted by a Jalopnik reader and may not express views held by Jalopnik or its staff. But maybe they will become our views. It all depends on whether or not this person wins by whit of your eyeballs in our reality show, "Who Wants to be America's Next Top Car Blogger?"