Jeremy Clarkson once did a divine piece on the Lada Riva where he likened the car to a nuclear bunker. It was impervious to hammers, could run on anything, and ran on for more than 40 years. It was truly a brilliant car. But what about the Samara?
Well, while Clarkson hasn’t done a piece on this – as far as we know – Garage54 have taken it upon themselves to carry out their own testing. The test being: can a Lada Samara start after spending 6 months underwater?
As you can see, it started in a very sorry state. The roof had been crushed due to the freezing over of the lake, and the metal components were covered in rust and debris from spending half a year surrounded by just that: dirt and debris.
Despite this, the formidable car’s starter motor still coughed into life once a new battery was installed, coughing and spluttering what was left of the lake out of the engine’s internals. Now showing signs that this test could end with success, the team move on with a service. They replace the coolant, oil, and spark-plugs, and after pushing as much water out of the engine bay as possible using compressed air, they try once again.
The engine comes to life, shooting thick white smoke out of the exhaust.
So it’s possible. A Lada Samara can survive a Winter in a lake and come out the other side to tell the tale. Obviously the car needs proper fuel and a bit of a going over before it runs properly, but what a success this is!
Maybe we need to get a Lada in our GTN fleet…