Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Niva (above) battled with the Suzuki Samurai for share of the cheap jeep market, in the 1980's and 1990's.

The Niva is the cuter of the two!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Lada Niva Commercial (In Russian)

Not a Lada and Never Imported...

to Canada, the Volga was the car you'd see Soviet diplomats in, in Ottawa during the Cold War. It looked a lot like a 1960's Ford Falcon. It's interesting to note that the KGB used a Volga with a 5.5 litre V-8.

A Soviet muscle car?

Ladas in Canada: The 1980's

While most sources state that Ladas were first sold in Canada in 1980, the first shipment of Model 1500 sedans occured in 1978. The Soviet Union was desperate to sell goods as they needed hard currency. A dealer network was established by 1980. The tough little 'Zhiguli' was somewhat popular, being the cheapest car in Canada (most years). It's competition was Skoda and, to a lesser extent, Dacias were also sold here. By 1986 the Yugo made an appearance. Many Ladas were assembled in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The 2106: A common site on Canadian roads in the 1980's.


And now I'm going to move on to the venerable Lada, the Russian-built car, because I like them. They also fit into the theme of utilitarian design. While never sold in the U.S., 1997 was the last year the make was available in Canada. There the Niva, a 4x4, has a small, dedicated following. In other countries of the America's, Ladas remains popular in Cuba, Jamaica., and Chile

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Buses are also ugly.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Opinion...

A new Facebook group has started: Toronto Transit operators against public harassment. TTC employees are angry over commuters snapping pictures of some of them who were sleeping on the job or stopping for extended coffee breaks. They plan to snap back.

This has gotten out of hand! Once upon a time, in a kinder gentler Toronto, the bus driver would park and get some of his shopping done. At which point I'd take off my pants and open a can of Colt 45.


What caused this social break down between drivers and patrons of the TTC? Are we so vain that we can't look over each other's shortcomings?

The next time you see someone asleep at their post, put your camera away. Take a nap, too. Or else they may take your picture later on when you spray paint your initials on the side of a bus.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Canada Post LLV

Grumman and G.M. are the companies that build the little Canada Post LLV. Solectria is the company that converted some of them to electric power for short runs. These little step vans are so ugly they're cute.

More pics of a Canada Post Grumman LLV Step Van.