Management takes habit
Right-hand drive doesn’t mean all controls are “mirrored” at all. So the ignition switch remained on the right side.
The steering column switches did not move, as did the hood lever. So it can only be opened from the passenger side. Because of this I had to narrow the shelf under the glove box.
The biggest difficulty is getting used to shifting. After all, the selection scheme has remained the same: the first and the last are switched on “by themselves”. Not to mention that in the beginning you are constantly looking for the gear stick with your right hand.
The hood opening lever remains on the left.
The transfer schedule remains the same. And it takes time to get used to it.
The brake drive remained in its original position, requiring the rod to be dragged to the right of the pedal assembly.
But after a while you get used to all this.
Otherwise, on the road, the right-hand drive “eight” is no different from the usual – just as light and agile.
Until now, there is a myth that export Ladas were distinguished by rich equipment and “special” mounting. Indeed, European dealers have often retrofitted our machines with interesting options. These are alloy wheels, and a sunroof, and a sports steering wheel and other seats. They put electric windows, air conditioning and even automatic transmission.
In terms of build quality and the origin and processing of metal, export VAZ-2108s (like other models) did not differ from cars for the domestic market. And the lack of corrosion in Lad from France or Germany is explained by a more favorable climate. Look at the “eights” from Armenia or Central Asia – they also do not rot, although they are made for the domestic market.
The interior of the right-hand drive “eight” is distinguished by seat covers, cloth inserts in the doors and a steep three-spoke steering wheel (option). But when we talk about build quality, there is no difference.
Recognition in Europe
But everyone really liked the lively character of the car. So did the engine, which The Motor called expressive. Even the base engine of 1300 cc seemed very perky to them. What can we say about a unit of one and a half liters. But journalists especially appreciated the handling. Especially considering the price of Samara.
I had the chance to drive a second Golf and Lada with a short wing of the same year (both cars were in museum condition). I confirm: our car is much more interesting for the driver.
Even by today’s standards, the VAZ-2108 steers perfectly. And before the arrival of Vesta, she was Lada’s most “rider model”.
You can’t argue with statistics
It’s great that our cars abroad spoke well. This is confirmed by statistics. At the end of the 1980s, more than 300 thousand Frets were exported annually.
And not only to Eastern Europe, but also to the West. In Britain alone, 25,000 to 30,000 cars were sold each year. And then there was South America, Canada and even Australia with New Zealand. Worldwide success? Maybe!
- “Behind the wheel” can also be read in Telegram.
On our test we have a rare modification of the Lada with the VAZ-21086 index. We look at how it differs from other Samara.
Right-hand drive and speedometer in miles – you’ve (certainly!) never seen an “eight” like this
Source: Z R