Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oka USA - Russian Racecars for All!

Has Beaterblog's Iron Curtain week had you looking for a new Russian car in the USA or are you in search of a factory racer at a bargain basement price? If so, the Lada Oka may be your only option. Since 2003, Oka Auto USA has been importing NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) and racing versions of this Soviet subcompact for American environmentalists and racers alike.

What is the Oka?

It's a little bit of a convoluted story, but the Oka was designed by AutoVAZ in the early-80's as the front-wheel-drive, two cylinder, compact car that any factory engineer could afford. It is currently the cheapest vehicle available in Russia. The first Okas were built by KAMAZ, of Soviet truck fame, and later by SeAZ, a company formerly associated with the production of vehicles for the disabled. Production has now moved completely to SeAZ and the vehicle now uses Chinese FAW powertrain. Since 1986, more than 300,000 Okas have been produced.

Okas in the USA

Since 2003, an offshoot of the Mirox Company called Oka Auto USA has imported different versions of the Lada Oka for motorsports and NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) use. The NEV is classed as a low speed electric vehicle meaning that it limited to a speed of 25mph, and hence, can not be used on highways. An imposing 'Security' version is also on offer, as well as box vans and pick-up trucks.

More interestingly, there are three variants of the racecar offered: the Slalom, Rally, and Advanced Rally, sold at prices of $4990, $6000, and $9000 respectively. Since these vehicles are not registerable and do not conform to FMVSS or EPA regulations, you must purchase the Oka Race Trailer at a price of $1275 or prove ownership of a trailer in order to take delivery. Also, you must be an SCCA member in good standing to be allowed to purchase the vehicle in the first place! A brief listing of vehicle specifications, standard equipment, and accessories can be found on the company's website.
Where can I find one?

Oka Auto USA has already imported several cars, but the website is about a year out of date, so the status of the company may be questionable. Either way, the website says that new and used vehicles racing vehicles are available for purchase. Beaterblog has tried to contact Oka USA to request more information about the vehicles and their availability - check back in Beaterblog's new marketplace section for more information in the near future!

1 comment:

  1. I have a OKA; I come from Venezuela and just want to contact this people to buy spare parts for my car...