I got a samara 1.3 S for 1,200 pounds and it had done 14,000 and is an R reg yes 97/98 beat that, better than some thrashed NOVA or CORSA. You can fix most things on it yourself. Its cheap to run and insure, mine drips a little oil but tother wise has been ok. I found it easy to install an amplifier and bass box in the quite roomy boot. Unfortunatly security isn't amazing as I found when someone broke into it when it parked on the drive. They stole the stereo and my driving glasses bu#$%ers but left all my heavy metal and gangsta rap CD's - some people have no taste. You get a lot of car for your money, if you want a runarounbd for low money and aren't fussed on cup holders and leather trim I reccomend it. I used to be able to get all my university stuff in it when doing the run home for summer. Its bad name has mostly come from car snobs who have spent more money on simlar cars which hasn't neccesserily had less recalls or problems. For spare parts you will have to try the breakers yards or http:www.lada.co.uk as they are the main importers. The site also contains a discussion group on all things lada. The bloke whose lada got modded by lotus posts there. Also in a roundabout way you are helping the russians plea for trade not aid in helping the country - right on comrade. General Motors have bought a large stake in Avto Vaz the producers, there are rumors of the Niva being reimported. Lada are still making cars check out http://www.vaz.ru/v2108.htm models are unning down the left side, sorry its in russion.
Whatever your thoughts on what Lada's are like, banish them from your mind cos I've got one and I know from experience! Mine is a Lada Samara 1.3E Catalyst. I bought it last September/October for £995. Yes! £nine hundred and ninety five! What's more it had only 16,000 miles on the clock and it's an M Reg! It had a full service history and had obviously been looked after. There's no problems with the bodywork. On the downside, the automatic choke can be a bit of a pain and on a couple of occasions I have inadvertently flooded the engine. I have also had to make a few repairs to it such as a new carburettor (common fault in Lada's), new exhaust and new starter motor. To be fair though, it does exactly what I need it to. It gets me to work and back every day without a problem although you're never likely to bomb down the motorway in it at 100 mph! However, I go back to uni in September so I'll be selling it soon if any of you Lada lovers out there want a piece of action, you know where to come! Oh, and cheers to Jim Menmuir for sorting out the page fault so you could all hear about my Siberian Death Tank!