Lada skills: Extreme make-over transforms Soviet classic into tank bruiser (VIDEO)

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Owners of the much maligned Soviet era Lada have long been the punchline of jokes in the motoring world, but one intrepid engineer is making the 1970s compact car a force to be reckoned with by turning it into a winter war machine.

Pavel Shavrin, a Russian engineer from Magnitogorsk, has made sure he will never be ridiculed again whilst driving the notoriously basic and underperforming VAZ-2101.

He has fitted the model, known as the Zhiguli in Russia or Riva in Western Europe, with a pair of massive tank tracks capable of ploughing over anything in its way.

The 4-door sedan may have had trouble making it up hills, but with Shavrin’s extreme make-over, this version can thunder painlessly through mounds of ice and snow.

Lada stopped making the box-car in 2012. Approximately 20 million of the original model were sold during its 40 years on the market.

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With a Lada capable of crushing anything in its path, we suspect petrol heads will now keep any mockery reserved for the USSR classic to themselves.