Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So, dad tried to get me a Niva

Myrtle Beach Sun News
Aug 22 2010

Dodgy car should stay put in Armenia

Dear Tom and Ray: I just returned from visiting my daughter, who is a Peace Corps volunteer, in Yeghegnadzor, Armenia. Now, my daughter is an adventuresome gal, and she's become infatuated with the Lada Niva. It's a very small but particularly utilitarian 4-wheel-drive SUV. She's decided that to reward her for her service to humanity, I should procure one for her upon her return to the U.S. She's scheduled to come home about a year from now, which gives me some time to research this and find a viable reason for telling her it can't be done.

She would like for me to make contact with one of her Armenian friends, have him find and buy the vehicle on her behalf and ship it to the U.S. My alternative plan is for her to purchase the auto in Armenia, drive it across Europe and ship it across the pond once she reaches the Atlantic. Here's my question: What would I need to do to the Niva to have it pass U.S. import standards? Please help me out, guys. I'll have hell to pay if she's not greeted with the car, or at
least a convincing reason for my not having been successful. - Chuck

TOM: Well, your daughter obviously has bonded with the people of Armenia. That's wonderful. And she clearly wants to take a piece of her experience there home with her - she wants a keepsake.

RAY: But it would be easier, and cheaper, if she just married an Armenian and brought him home, Chuck. Because there's no way you're ever going to get a Lada approved for road use in the United States.

TOM: If a vehicle doesn't meet U.S. safety and environmental standards (and trust us, Chuck, this one doesn't), the U.S. Department of Transportation requires you to either upgrade it and make it comply, or destroy it. Guess which you're going to be forced to pick?

RAY: Unless you're the kind of guy who makes nuclear reactors out of balsawood in his spare time on weekends, you're not going to be able to upgrade this thing to meet U.S. code. Even car companies have a hard time doing it. For an individual, it's almost impossible.

TOM: Trust us, a wedding's going to be cheaper, Chuck.

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Anonymous said...

Actually you might be able to buy a second-hand Lada Niva in USA. Just google 'Lada Niva." The problem is the maintenance, not every mechanic will touch it, mechanics of Russian & Armenian origin will fix it when it goes down but those mechanics could be found only in big cities. Also replacing parts can be problem, and when you found a part to replace then it is going to be expensive. I tell you Emily, when you finish the service and you're back in USA, after a month or two your Armenian experience will look to you like a a dream you have been through and you will focus on good-old USA but of course your outlook to life will be new because of your life in Armenia. (armenian forum)

Anonymous said...

It should not take much effort to convert Lada niva legal to drive in US. It's 1.6 liter engine has a reasonable fuel consumption (combined 9-13l/100km). In EU we have the most strict emission standards in the world and niva passes them easily.

Aaron said...

Ladas were sold in Canada 2000s.
The newer ones were a 1.7L with a gm fuel injection system. Lada niva 1.7i I believe they were badged. You can still ses some driving around.