Russian MacGyver Drives a Chevy Niva 75 Miles to St. Petersburg on a Log

Chevy Niva 4x4
Chevy Niva 4×4 (by Eduard Alimov)

(all images by Eduard Alimov).

Eduard Alimov took his Chevrolet Niva 4×4 on a weekend off-road adventure. He found deep mud and eventually had trouble with his engine. He was able to get the motor running again, but soon found himself on a side of a road with a failed rear hub/half-shaft and nearly 75 miles to the mechanic shop.


The solution was to fasten a log to where the failed hub was using some steel winch cable and other implements. This enabled Eduard to drive down the highway at a steady pace. In the end, he had to use three logs to make it to St. Petersburg, because the first two logs were worn down to nothing.

Here is a video of Eduard driving on the highway. The video shows the log emitting some smoke. Thankfully, there was no fire.


The Chevy Niva 4×4 is a product of a joint venture between General Motors and AvtoVAZ (aka. Lada), a Russian car manufacturer. The Niva is powered by a 1.7L four-cylinder gasoline engine and uses a 5-speed manual transmission.

The log solution would have worked even better if the road was covered in snow. Still, the embattled Niva made the journey with the extra drag and all. What an odd example of ingenuity, resourcefulness and robustness of Niva’s power train!

We did not have the same failure when we took a Chevy Equinox AWD off-roading in the Rocky Mountain of Colorado. See the video below as the Equinox takes on the trail along-side a Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee.