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    Lada Niva

    A Dream Car: Russian Niva SUV the Pride and Joy of Motorists Worldwide (PHOTO)

    © Photo : Sergio Antonelli
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    The brainchild of Soviet engineers, the Niva off-roader easily defies bad roads and freezing temperatures and has won an army of enthusiastic fans worldwide.

    Twenty-eight-year-old Argentinian Leandro Peralta is one such fan. In an interview with Sputnik Leandro, a devout angler, said that when he was 17 he moved to Viedma, the capital of Rio Grande, only to find out that the sea was 30 kilometers away and that he had neither a driving license nor a car to get him there.

    This is when he first came across the Soviet-made Niva SUV. Designed to make life easier for farmers, this 4x4 was a powerful and economical workhorse able to defy bad roads in faraway northern Siberia.

    “It was the cheapest car around, ideal for fishing. I decided to buy it and, five years on, I still own it. I adore it and will never part with it,” Leandro, the proud owner of an apple-red Niva and the administrator of an Internet forum of 1,500 “Spanish-speaking Niva fans” across Latin America, told Sputnik.

    The forum was launched three years ago by some 40 Niva owners looking for spare parts for their vehicles.

    • Collection Niva Car
      Collection Niva Car
      © Photo : Leandro Peralta
    • Collection Niva Car
      Collection Niva Car
      © Photo : Leandro Peralta
    • Collection Niva Car
      Collection Niva Car
      © Photo : Leandro Peralta
    • Lada Niva
      Lada Niva
      © Photo : Sergio Antonelli
    • Lada Niva
      Lada Niva
      © Photo : Sergio Antonelli
    • Lada Niva
      Lada Niva
      © Photo : Sergio Antonelli
    • Lada Niva
      Lada Niva
      © Photo : Sergio Antonelli
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    © Photo : Leandro Peralta
    Collection Niva Car

    Sergio Antonelli, the owner of a lilac-colored Niva said that he had come across this Soviet-made workhorse 10 years ago.

    “I needed a car able to drive across rugged terrain. One of my students advised me to look for a Niva, which I did and eventually fell in love with it. This is the best car you can think of the very best in terms of price and quality!” Sergio, who teaches mechanical engineering at Río Cuarto national University in Cordoba, told Sputnik.

    Sergio has logged 150,000 kilometers on his Niva covering most of his native Argentina and also traveling in Peru, Bolivia and Uruguay.

    “Once I was driving down a dirt road 3,000 meters up in the mountains. This car has served me right in the jungle, never once got stuck in deep mud and made easy work of the Cordoba mountains. This car gives me complete freedom of movement no other car offer,” Sergio enthused.

    It looks like Niva owners are all members of a secret society.

    “There is a certain connection between us,” Leandro Peralta said. “One evening I was outside my house changing a wheel. It was freezing like crazy when, all of a sudden, a [Niva] stopped by and a guy came out and started telling me about his life. I had never seen him before, but he knew how I felt because there is one thing that brings us together and this is the Niva,” Leandro told Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    powerful workhorse, fan club, Russian SUV, freedom of movement, Lada Niva, Sergio Antonelli, Leandro Peralta, Argentina
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