Start with a stock/restored Lada, add period type accessories, and lower it as much as possible. You can learn more on our 'About Resto' page, but those are the basics. We've got our basically stock Lada, and since it's in such nice original shape, we won't be doing very much restoration at this point. We do have a few things we want to take care of though. Our front badge is incorrect, and evidently the correct part is very rare, so we'll be trying to source one of those. The side mirrors are from a later model Lada, and will be replaced as well. Our last issue may actually be the easiest to deal with…plastic hubcaps pry off pretty easily!
Photo from user over77 on drive2.ru
With modified cars it's all about the details. In Resto, that's where the accessories come in. The photo above shows a couple of the interior accessories we'll be adding. A braided steering wheel cover, and lucite flower shift knob. We need to do more research on where to locate a shift knob. It's a Soviet era piece, and people have them, we just need to find them. You can see here, how we used foreign search engines and translated search terms to help find the car, and the same goes for parts. Google.ru and google.co.ua will be our friends in this endeavor.
Next up are the side view mirrors. Ours are wrong anyway, so we'll be switching to a 4" Peep Mirror that gets mounted to the top of the door. I love the look of these, and hopefully we'll be able to see behind us with them. If not, then at least they'll look cool.
For our wheels we'll need to find stock chrome hubcaps, then we'll paint the wheels red just like in the 'rendering' at the top of the post. We can't afford real wide whitewalls right now so we'll be using 'Port-o-Walls' or 'Flappers' to give us the look of white walls. They're basically just a plastic disc applied to the outside of the tire.
Curb feelers, a single yellow fog lamp on the front bumper, and the roof rack will pretty much finish off our appearance mods. We do have a couple surprises planned, but you'll have to wait to see what I'm talking about. Hint: It involves plaid.
Arguably the most important part of Resto is lowering the car. You can do it a lot of ways, but we chose air suspension. With Resto, lower is better, and we want to be as low as possible. Only problem there, slammed cars don't have the best road trip manners. Adjustable air suspension will give us the ability to slam the car for showing off, and ride at a reasonable height for the many kilometers we'll be covering. There's a few basic parts to an air suspension setup; The air bags or air springs themselves, the control system, air valves, air compressor, and air tank. We're still researching all our options, and we'll probably end up with a simple setup, but you can go as fancy as you want. Automatic ride height control, height presets, and smartphone control, are all options.
I just found airride.ru, a Russian company that makes a Lada specific kit. I'm not really interested in the control system that comes with the kit (too simple for us), but the custom air struts are worth looking into.
So that's where we're at now. We'll definitely be writing a lot more about the air setup, and individual mods in general soon. If anybody reading has any experience with air supension (or Soviet era shift knobs for that matter), let me know, I'd love some help!
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