Nikita The Lada: Moldy Oldie

Nikita, my Lada 2101

As I sit here writing this article, I have two thoughts going through my head. The first one is what the hell was I thinking a year ago, and the second is why isn’t tarpaulin as waterproof as it makes you think it is. Why am I thinking these thoughts? Well in the garage next to where I write this, Nikita my Lada 2101 should be sat there. The Lada though is still sat on my mom’s driveway, and will remain there until tomorrow (after this is published). Which is a full week really since it should’ve came home.

It’s a funny story really. The long and the short of it is one of miscommunication. I didn’t tell my friend that the Lada was a non-runner. He didn’t tell me the winch on his truck didn’t work. So when he rocked up to the house he sat looking at the car working out how we would get it on the truck. Which confused me as I thought the winch worked. Anyway, he’s getting it sorted this week so that Nikita can be pulled on the truck.

Where do mold spores stay while on holiday? My Lada 2101.

The thing is, as I took the tarpaulin off the Lada 2101, I saw it for the first time in 13 months. I instantly regretted leaving it there under the tarpaulin for as long as I did. The whole inside of the car is covered in mold of various colours. Given the sort of climate we’re in at the moment, I was half tempted to inform the WHO that I may have found the cause of the coronavirus. Seriously, the car is awful.

The interior of my Lada 2101 Zhiguli, as you can see the door card is extremely moldy as well as the seats.
A breeding ground for the coronavirus. Or penicillin. Whichever works.

It doesn’t end there though. As I said it was under a tarpaulin, and the whole sides of the Lada were covered. So you can imagine my surprise to see a little puddle of water on the driver’s side floor, and another puddle behind the passenger seat. There was a hole in the tarpaulin, don’t know how long for, and water found it’s way in there. Suppose in one way it’s better to find out now before I go over the car with a fine toothed comb to spot any issues. But it’s no less annoying to find the car is about as watertight as Prince Andrew’s Pizza Express alibi.

I can't remember why or how the rear passenger seat is like that. Maybe the mold wanted a ride?
I promise you that’s rain water. It isn’t a piddle puddle made by the dog.

Crispy, crusty, or rusty?

While I waited for my friend to turn up with the truck, I took a look around the Lada. More to refresh my memory about what’s there to do, and more to soften the blow in my head that I left this car out in the cold for far too long. Various bits of rust are on the body. The vents on the bonnet are kind of bad. Where the C pillar meets the rear quarter is crusty. The headlight surrounds are flaky and the bumpers will need to be plated as they’re both turning a lovely shade of orange.

The head lining of the Lada 2101 is so moldy it's almost like something out of Chernobyl.
Chernobyl-esque head lining. I’m not a fan of the post-apocalyptic look though.

Even with all of this, I can’t tell you how excited I am by this project. Everyone I’ve shown this car to have all commented on how nice it is. It’s a classic looking car. While it isn’t universally seen in the same way as the Fiat 124 it was based on I think it’s a great looking car. The finished product is half the fun though, it’s the journey of getting this car back on the road that’s the real fun.

Paddy the Toyota Corolla E11 providing an uplifting experience to Nikita's tyres.
Paddy the Corolla providing an uplifting experience to Nikita’s tyres.

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