Right? From what I understand there are tons of old yugos driving around former yugoslav states…
This is the kind of thing we need more of.
I’d say at the time the Yugo made some sense as a cheap second car for short runs around town, it was at least wiser than the old square, top-heavy US Mail jeeps that people used to repurpose back then --truly unsafe at any speed.
most hated? really? more than the Gremlin or the Thing?
(full disclosure, i like all three)
Just the chassis, eh. Explains why I always thought Yugos were just badly assembled Fiats. I guess it was worse than that.
I remember seeing that show too! That was the first thing that came to mind when I saw this article.
Once upon a time the cheapskate boss of a print/publishing company I worked for bought a couple of Yugos as company cars, and I can say they are among the worst cars I’ve ever driven, and I have driven a lot of cars! Apart from being slow, the brakes were wooden and made it almost impossible to tell if the car was slowing down, the steering was vague and imprecise, like those old back-projected movies where people driving kept moving the wheel from side to side, in a Yugo you had to, because the car would wander all over the road, and as for the gearbox, it was not unlike having a stick in a container full of thick rice pudding, you just stirred it around in the hope a gear might present itself.
My wife had a Geo Metro which I always felt was the American version of the Yugo. There is a steep-ish hill that we used to take regularly and her car wouldn’t make it to the top if the AC was running.
She bought it for $1000, drove it for about three or four years without putting any significant money into it and then sold it to someone for $500.
I took a Yugo across the centre of Iceland once. About 1985. It had 6 miles on it when I got it, and did a good job apart from the exhaust falling off at one point. Can’t say I blame it: there wasn’t really much in the way of actual roads.
The Yugo was based on the Fiat 127, not the 128. The 128 in Serbia was the Zastava 128, and were still manufactured there as recently as 15 years ago. (The 128 was also the basis for the Fiat X1/9, a pretty cool car.)
I drove a 127 for a while in the 80s, it was a fairly solid car that could get me up to 90 on the motorway with the wind at my back. I never understood how Yugo could make their version so poor. Eventually mine was run over by a Volvo while parked. The Volvo had slight body damage, the 127 was scattered across the road in little bits.
“The cutting edge of Serb-Croatian technology!”
There was a Yugo on one of the Lemons Rallies that I participated in. It had so, so much trouble. But they finished!
I took one look under the hood and ran away screaming.
Zastava (Yugo) cars were based on Fiat models, but all the parts were made in Yugoslavia.
Yes, I’m aware, cause I read Vuic’s book.
“struggled and strained to climb highway grades in high gear,”
That’s hardly damning criticism IMO. Every economy car I ever owned had the same problem. They do have lower gears where they do just fine. Just sayin’.
Now, I would fully expect a Yugo to blow up from over revs once one found a low enough gear, but I cannot speak from experience, thankfully.
putting aside some bad things he did (i am fully ack’ing them), he was a badass motherfucker.
Not just the Greece thing. Tito modelled his own economic development plan independently from Moscow - “We study and take as an example the Soviet system, but develop in a different form”, as Tito wrote to Stalin. Which went down as well as could be expected… escalating almost to an armed conflict. In 1949 an invasion by Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania was on the table, with the aim of “removing” Tito’s government. Meanwhile, Soviet satellite states were purged of alleged “Titoists”, just to be on the safe side.
Stalin being Stalin took things personally and arranged several (unsuccessful, obviously) assassination attempts on Tito.
Prompting Tito to write to Stalin “Stop sending people to kill me. We’ve already captured five of them, one of them with a bomb and another with a rifle. […] If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send one to Moscow, and I won’t have to send a second.”
Relations eased up after Stalin’s death, tensed over the 1956 uprising in Hungary, eased up, tensed again over the Prague spring 1968…
Tito was brilliant at playing East–West antagonism to his advantage - and both blocs let him do it, more or less, because it was useful to both of them.
And now, back to Fiat-based cars.
Anyone up for a discussion on the Lada auto works at Togliattigrad?
In my youth I owned a Yugo. It was what I could afford at the time. It oddly enough handled well in the snow, and when it did get stuck, I could easily push it out myself.
Most memorable moment was when I got a speeding ticket. I was going 77mph in a 55mph zone. The only way I got it that fast was because it was a 2 mile downhill strait-away on the highway. The icing on the cake was the fact that it was my birthday. That police officer definitely got a very rare square filled out on his bingo card!
I had a friend buy one of those things brand new in around 1985 or so. It was the only thing he could afford too, but I had an aircooled VW vintage 20 years earlier, all I could afford. I think I got the better deal.
We used to commute together, three of us in that Yugo, and indeed, going uphill all loaded down like that, the Yugo struggled mightily.
My Mother bought a Lada, brand new in about 1983, figuring she was getting a brand new car for less than the price of a second hand one, so what could go wrong?
Hey, stop laughing!!
But yes, the answer was almost everything.
Until now, I always thought only those who purchased incredibly expensive but forever mechanically troublesome cars were like that.
“Having to completely disassemble, service, then reassemble that '57 Ferrari motor after every 2000 miles? No, prob. That’s its charm!”