I'm the only Samara 'lover' here as far as I can tell. There used to be quite a few Samara haters but now everyone's forgotten the bad press lada used to get or even what a lada samara is so I guess we're safe in obscurity! Not that I care tho! Anyone who judges you by the car you drive (and that particular car's image) is none too smart.
I've had my 1990 three door 1.3 samara since 1994. The current engine is the third one and is moderately worked. It actually came out of a rally car so it has forged pistons, a reground camshaft, straight cut gearbox and two and a half inch exhaust. I added a resonator (to save my hearing) plus got the carburettor stripped and re-jetted and finally, high powered ignition and coil (with made in CCCP written on ignition module. On the outside its got a boot spoiler and roof spoiler from an Australian Brock body kit and front and rear bumper extensions and side mouldings from a French 'Continental' body kit.
Here in Australia, ladas are valued not by their year but by the mechanical condition that they are in. Honestly, some individual units are incredibly solid and reliable. Others are shockers. Case in point: my 21086 (RHD export version) samara. It was my first car in 1994. I abused the crap out of it, not changing the oil, plugs or filters for about a year. CV joints and bearings went, I burnt a couple of clutches but the engine never stopped.
Australian samaras run Bosch ignition, at least the carby 1300s like mine. I drove the car with the original engine from Perth, Western Australia inland to Kalgoorlie (800 kms) then to Esperance, 500kms then back home 1700 or 1800 kms all up. Admitedly, the clutch was stuffed by the time I had left to return home. The original 1300 engine did 165,000 kms before water started turning up in the oil. In 2000 I bought a 1300 engine, gearbox CVs and front brakes/shocks with 100,000 kms on it for AUD$300. Same as a Canadian buck I think. I delivered pizzas in that for 70,000 over two years. I went through 2 alternators ($120 second hand) and a starter motor ($100). I eventually swapped that engine and gearbox plus $1800 for the race engine and straight cut gearbox (fitted, tuned etc). It hasn't missed a beat in 20,000 kms despite 35 C plus heat in Perth.
Anyone run any quarter mile times?
Bogdan, Perth, Western Australia