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If the Russian navy ever runs out of resources completely, perhaps it can retrofit a fleet of Lada Niva 4x4s to serve as a last-ditch coastal defense force. I mean, if a bunch of regular guys can jury rig one to run fully submerged, we're sure the military could gin up some kind of armed variant. Short of that, however, we think we're sold on the apparent toughness of the Niva. Stripped of extraneous interior trim, instruments, and other accessories, the white example shown here was fitted with a homebuilt snorkel system and driven into, under, and out of a lake's murky waters. Why? Who cares? This looks like fun, which is reason enough as far as we're concerned. Follow the jump for video of the whole crazy thing.

[Sources: ZR.ru (via Fresh Pics via Reddit), YouTube]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Believe it or not, I have actually driven a Lada Niva on a long off-road trip. They are surprisingly comfortable with good suspension. However the carburettor had to be modified in new ones for going off road because if the ride got bumpy it cut off the gas to the engine and the car started to stall. That's Russian engineering!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey, they beat the Americans into space so why not be first to drive a car on the bottom of a lake? But it appeared there was a little bit of water being turned into steam by the end!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Have you ever driven one of these? They're easy to repair and maintain because they're incredibly crude and unpleasant to drive. And, yes, it's great that Grandma can repair one with a ball-pien hammer and ten coke cans, because they break down a lot.

      Ladas are reliable in the special sense of the word that's reserved for people who do back-yard repairs with no tools and little training. For the rest of the world, something like a older Land Cruiser (that won't break down in the first place) would be a better choice.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I loved my Nivas. I had 3 of them at one point. So stupid yet so fun :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      That is pretty frikken awesome actually.

      The old Lada dealership just outside of Winnipeg still buys and restores old Lada's and Fiat's.
      It's always intresting driving past it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow ... that can't be too good for the upholstery ;-)

      Pretty interesting way to spend a sunny Saturday .