@boredalways Nah, the Chevrolet Niva (or Lada Niva Travel, as it's now called) is still based on the same platform and drivetrain as the 1970s original, just with new sheet metal. It did horribly in even Russian crash tests, and would have never met our safety or environmental standards. The Tracker and S10 Blazer were the closest things GM had in their stable that could be reasonably sold here back then.
@zipfuel The museum claimed it’s a works one, but there’s quite a difference between a works built car being run privately and a car that competes for the works team.
Realistically, it could be either. In the 1970s Rally NZ was in and out of the world championship, but it was a high profile, TV friendly and popular event and it attracted a good proportion of the works teams even in years it wasn’t part of the championship. Maybe in off years Skoda ran a non-WRC livery for some reason, or possibly this car’s wearing privateer or Skoda NZ livery from later in its career.
Rally NZ was typically the last international rally of the season, so it was common for teams to sell off their cars locally rather than go to the cost of shipping them home, since they’d be building new ones for next year anyway. For that reason there’s a surprising number of old WRC cars rattling round NZ - the same museum also has this in it: