Dear Lada Samara enthusiasts,
Today, while doing some "recreational" surfing over the Internet, I stumbled upon your Yahoo group. Since I'm the proud owner of a Samara myself too, and I'm getting a bit bored of all non-Samara enhusiasts bashing it, I couldn't resist joining a group of soul mates :-)
A slight introduction of my Samara: it's a 21083 with GM fuel injection, built in 1996 and the colour is dark red. It was imported to the Netherlands (my country of residence) by EuroLada and later delivered to the dealership by the Dutch importer of Ladas. That means that EuroLada did some modification, like replacing the original bumpers by coloured ones with integrated fog-lights and putting on original Lada alloy wheels.
I myself built in a Pioneer stereo, added a chrome end of the exhaust pipe and replaced all the "western" Lada logos by the Russian ones (so it's called "Sputnik" now).
There are numerous reasons for me loving my ride: the engine is both economical, powerful enough and silent, the design is still attractive imho, and the (main parts of the) car (are) is very reliable and/or easy to fix.
If I'm not mistaking the Samara was designed by Giugiaro. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much about the connection between Giugiaro and the Samara on the Internet :-( I did dig up a list of cars that Italdesign, the company he is head of, designed though: Giugiaro Italdesign Model Chronology, 1960-1995. But, how ironic, the list doesn't include the Samara, nor the Volvo 340, nor a couple of other cars that I know to have been designed by Giugiaro. I think the catch is that he designed them on his own title, instead of Italdesign's title.
Stefan Celmare, Netherlands