Last month, RMSothebys had a Lada Niva former Paris-Dakar racer that was supposed to sell for nearly $100,000.
However, their estimates turned out to be way too optimistic, as the car in question was sold, but for nearly 400,000 rubles – or, as the auction house puts it, £4,600 (buyer’s fee included), equal to $5,973/€5,175 at today’s exchange rates.
That’s about as much as a low-mileage, well-preserved example on the used car market. But keep in mind this particular Niva was manufactured in 1979 and requires a very extensive restoration, which will burn a deep hole in its new owner’s pockets if it’s ever going to tackle some arduous roads again.
The only things reminding of its motorsport heritage are the racing liveriy that still adorn parts of its body, and the rusty roll cage. Fitted at the same time were the plastic hood, doors and boot, reworked bumpers and additional lights, in addition to a larger fuel tank and beefier suspension.
The new parts should have helped it across the very challenging terrains of the 1981 Paris-Dakar rally, but the Lada Niva was forced to retire from the race. However, another Niva claimed third place in the same race!
We have no idea what its new owner might do with it, but the auction demonstrates that there isn’t a collector’s market for old Ladas, if anyone needed proof.