In over four decades of production, Lada has constantly updated the Niva, but the small off-roader remained, basically, the same.
Thanks to its go-anywhere ability and very affordable maintenance costs, the Lada Niva is still favored by off-road enthusiasts, who often go above and beyond in prepping them for rough terrains.
New examples still change hands for about €10,000 ($11,557), whereas about half that price would get you a Niva that’s a few years old and hasn’t been driven that much. However, depending on your expectations, you could purchase one for just a little over €1,000 ($1,156) and turn it into the perfect off-roader.
Not all Lada Nivas are that affordable, though, as the example shown in the image gallery is expected to go for £50,000 to £75,000 ($64,256/€55,589-$96,383/€83,383) at auction. RMSothebys is responsible for finding it a new home at their London sale on September 5, and states that it had just two owners from new and is still in original condition.
Okay, that still doesn’t justify the insane estimated price tag; the reason is that this very car participated in the 1981 Paris-Dakar rally. The endurance race-prepped Niva has a special bonnet, doors and boot made from plastic, extra protection added to the front and rear, auxiliary lights, beefier suspension and a larger fuel tank.
As for its racing pedigree, it’s nothing to write home about as it retired from the race, but the auction house notes that another Lada Niva finished 3rd.
Returning it to its former condition is going to cost a very pretty penny, and even with its body and interior shining again, it’s hard to believe that anyone would flip it for profit. Or pay close to $100k, for that matter.