Vaz is All About Sunset Drives and Spare Bulbs
Owner and photographer: Yuri Ilyaguev
Year, Make, and Model: 1971 VAZ 2101
Location: Moscow, Russia
I have always loved cars but as time passes, my tastes have evolved from new sports cars to old/young timers. Today, most of the cars I am passionate about are at least twenty years old. Nevertheless I still have a deep appreciation for modern technology and besides the VAZ, I own a Subaru Impreza STi as well as a completely original BMW E36 M3 Sedan. Overall, I would say I grew up with a passion that developed naturally.
My brother found this VAZ and I bought it off a veteran who kept the car in his garage most of the time, hence why it has only driven 59,000km since 1971. And this is the first model Vaz ever produced. Back then the craftsmanship was much better, so the build quality of this car is much higher in comparison to the later 21011 for example.
The 21011 is nearly identical in its looks, except for some details, but this car is of the first generation (production line) and rolled out of the production plant in 1971. Although it does have a lot of modifications such as the exterior paint, rims, and a dropped suspension, the motor is in its original, stock condition. The interior has been re-designed in subtle black leather with seats from a later model. I know that many purists are against the mods, still I decided to give it a personal touch and for all the modifications I have used new parts in order to preserve the originals and have the ability to return the car to its original state whenever I decide to. More than anything else, I love driving it on summer evenings through the city with very low traffic while the sun sets.
However, since it’s a Russian car, I can tell you some stories about having trouble with it. There are always little things, such as bulbs, that need replacement and so I always have a box of bulbs around. Recently, I’ve also had a leak in the fuel pump that took me the whole day to fix. But thankfully there are still plenty of spare parts available so it’s running perfectly again. In addition to that I have had trouble with the wiring. With the car being of some age now the wiring gets a little funny sometimes. In particular the lights. Often the blinkers will flash in funny patterns or not blink at all. Overall, it is a great car but here in Russia there are little bugs and problems that are associated with VAZ cars. Nevertheless, people who drive them are aware of the issues and usually take them into account. So dealing with these small things is part of driving and owning a VAZ. In other words it’s part of the fun.
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