1973 VAZ-2103 "Zhiguli"
The VAZ-2103 is a deluxe compact sedan car, produced by AvtoVAZ and introduced in 1972. Better known as the Lada outside of its native Russia, it was a localized version of the Fiat 124 Special, tailored for the Soviet and Eastern European market. The 2103 differs from the VAZ-2101exterior, with four headlights, moldings on the sides of the body and large rear lights. Its main difference - the more powerful 75 hp (56 kW; 76 PS) 1,452 cc (88.6 cu in) straight four. In addition, this model is distinguished by the presence of vacuum brake booster and self-adjusting rear brakes, "sport" instrument panel with rev counter and a dashboard clock.
Known as the Zhiguli within the Soviet Union, the main differences between the VAZ-2103 and the Fiat 124 Special are the use of thicker-gauge steel for the bodyshell (so the 2103 weighed 1,030 kg (2,270 lb), the Fiat 105 kg (231 lb) less), an overhead camshaft engine (in place of the original Fiat OHV unit), and the use of aluminium drum brakes on the rear wheels in place of disc brakes. The car featured a starting handle for cranking the engine manually should the battery go flat in Siberian winter conditions and an auxiliary fuel pump. It also included a clock and improved soundproofing.
It was later joined by the 1,198 cc (73.1 cu in)-powered 21035 and 1,294 cc (79.0 cu in) (VAZ 21011-engined) 21033.
AvtoVAZ were forbidden from selling the car in competing markets alongside Fiat 124; however exports to Western European nations began in 1974 when the 124 was discontinued in favour of Fiat's newer 131 Mirafiori model. The VAZ-2103 was sold in export markets as the Lada 1500 from mid-1970s to early 1980. In the United Kingdom, it was sold from May 1976 until May 1979 and it was the second Lada car to be sold in this market.