• Mar 24th 2010 at 2:01PM
  • 34
Q: What's included in every Yugo's owners manual? A: A bus schedule - click above for high-res image gallery

Everyone loves free stuff, right? Everyone also loves (and loves to hate) the Yugo. Well then, have we got a contest for you. Yesterday we posted our review of The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History and many of you commented that you'd like to read the book. Friends, comrades, fellow travelers-now is your chance! Publishers Hill and Wang are sponsoring a contest where you submit your best Yugo-related story and (maybe) win a signed copy of The Yugo. Here are the details:
Jason Vuic, author of The Yugo, wants to hear from everyone who has a Yugo story to tell. Whether you owned one, drove one, sat in one, passed one, or crossed paths with one, if a Yugo made a lasting impression on you, tell us about it. Love it? Tell us why. Hate the Yugo? Give us the cause. Jason Vuic will select his ten favorite stories, and Hill and Wang will include them in an updated ebook edition. The winners will also receive a signed hardcover copy of The Yugo. To submit, go to www.yugostory.com. Entries must be under 1,000 words and submitted by March 31.
In the interest of helping to stir the pot, take our own medicine and practice some preaching, here's our best Yugo story.

As some of you may know, I'm heavily involved in the 24 Hours of LeMons. At the 2008 Arse-Freeze-Apalooza race held at the mighty Thunderhill, the word goes out that someone's bringing a Yugo. Which, at a $500 car race, makes a lot of sense. Not only does it make sense, but it makes us hard-hearted LeMons types oh-so very happy.

Sadly, the Yugo didn't fair so well on the track. After about three laps (two to be totally honest) the extra weight from the roll cage was too much for the Zastrava-grade suspension, and after spinning and slamming into another car, the Yugo flipped over onto its roof. However, the Zastrava-grade roof quality (and aforementioned roll cage) held, and within moments emergency workers had pushed the little Yugo back onto its wheels and were towing it to the paddock. After much hammering, ritual spraying of WD40 into the Weber-derived carburetor, there was much rejoicing as the Yugo started back up.

Sadly for team Tito (or whatever they were called), the 24 Hours of LeMons has a rule called, "Why am I Upside Down?" If you do find yourself upside down in your race car, the car is done for the weekend and the driver is done for the season (don't worry, it was December, the last race of the season). Shockingly, the Yugo team took the news very well. So well in fact, that they offered the Yugo to LeMons Chief Perp Jay Lamm. The conversation went something like this, "Take our Yugo, please." Jay Lamm, a former Trabant owner, looked at the Yugoslavian race car, and after thinking things through for less than one second proclaimed, "Hell no!" That's ours. Now it's your turn.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I once pulled into a service station and asked, "Can I get a windshield wiper blade for this Yugo?" The mechanic looked the car over for a long time and finally said, "Okay, it's a trade!

      not really.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One Miami , Florida , Cadillac dealership ,was so impressed with the Yugo . If you bought any Cadillac , they would give you a YUGO for free . This is no joke, that was reeling them in the doors of that Biscayne Boulevard , dealership, like never before .
      After a while it does sink in there isn`t anything that is really free , NOT EVEN FREEDOM .
      • 5 Years Ago
      Back in my dealership days, everyone used to prank everyone. So one day, I decided it was time to pull off the big one. Prank the GM. At the time I was working in the newly established "Internet Department" We were the odd ducks of the dealership, banished to a small room above the dealership show floor.

      Anyway, I concocted a story about a customer wanting to buy some hard selling car we had sitting on the showroom (I can't remember what it was). The "buyer" was from out of town, and didn't want to come in, until we could give him a ballpark for his trade. The trade? a low mileage, 1990 Yugo convert.

      I thought instantly, my GM would have gotten the joke, known I was pulling his leg and kicked me out of the office. No, no, no. He got on the phone, calling around trying to get buy bids. After sitting in there for three calls, I had to leave because I was dying. Part fear, part laughter.

      Luckily, I told no one in advance of my plan. I have a feeling if the GM knew I was BS'ing him, I would have caught hell. On my last day there, I almost broke down and told him, but decided to leave on "good terms", LOL!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Best Yugo story:
      Nicknamed "Corvette Killer", this Yugo had Fiat's 1.6L engine and was driven by Konstantin Selakovic in many competitions in Southern USA. Out of 55 cars, this Yugo finished 1st in its class and 4th overall, in front of many Corvettes (which is why it was nicknamed "Corvette Killer").


      Here is another awesome Yugo, powered by Mazda's 1.3L twin-turbo 315 hp engine.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Me and my wife bought a yugo when they first came out we were driving down the road and the front brakes fell right out of the car we managed to get it hom e and never drove it again
      • 5 Years Ago
      I used to work for a dealer that sold Yugos new. And the owner once gave the parts manager something like $5000 to order parts for the parts/service departments. So an order for that much was placed, not really for anything specific. A few weeks after ordering the parts an 18 wheeler showed up at the dealership and unhooked the trailer and left. Inside was about enough parts to build three complete Yugos from the ground up. All of that for only $5,000. Couldn't even dream of doing that today.

      And another. A Yugo owner came in to the service department with a blown head gasket on his fairly new (maybe a couple months old) Yugo. He was so fed up at the blown gasket that he signed over the title to the car to the service manager. He went back to parts, picked up a new head gasket (cost was like $1.25 or something cheap like that). Went outside with some tools and changed the gasket in about 20 minutes. He drove it every day since after that. He still has the car too. And hasn't had to replace the gasket since.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I Yugo. You Aygo?
      • 5 Years Ago
      When I passed one in reverse?
      • 5 Years Ago
      i used to be a repo man, one day i went to a house to repossess a Yugo. the guy owed $11,000.00 on it and was 4 months behind in payments. i laughed my butt off. i asked the guy how he got to owing so much. he said he traded in a olds cutlass that was perfect for better gas mileage. turns out the Yugo only ran for about a year and was sitting in his carport on blocks for longer than he had driven it. i relieved him of his pain and took the Yugo to the bank. and laughed my butt off again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i worked as a body man ,mechanic in a md chrysler dealship ,and we just got these tin cans in
      they had a big sale one w/e sold probally 12 ? of them ,well a say later we got back 4 or 5 with just 30-60 miles on them ,seems the camshaft was made of butter ,the lobes wore down in that little time
      i was taking a class ,my teacher knew of her mistake when the locking gas cap fell off while driving ,best laugh i had all day !
      i got in a yugo to repair ,the guy backed into a rose bush ,i installed the pulling rack to the bottom of the rocker panels to lessen the strain ,the thin metal quarter panels couldnt be pulled straight ,they just ripped off ! oh well totaled
      • 5 Years Ago
      Worked on one once in '86. Car was towed in, not running. Discovered the problem, all the engine valves were bent. What happened was the owner was racing (!) an RX-7, & missed a shift. Owner wanted it fixed, so lucky me was given the job. By the way, at the time I was working at a Parnelli Jones Firestone store. As I was pulling the engine apart, I kept looking at it & saying to myself I'd seen this engine somewhere before. I was curious to know why I seemed to know most of the nut & bolt sizes. The auto parts store next door said he had no parts listings for this car. I kept looking at this car wondering where I'd seen the engine before, & it hit me, The car had on the radiator support tag that started with the # 620- xxxxxxxxx. This was a Fiat 620 motor & transaxle, the same motor in my buddy's Fiat X-1/9, & I had done this same job for him when he broke the timing belt. Went back to the auto parts store, ordered all the parts I needed for an X-1/9. Everything fit perfectly. And the car ran like a Singer sewing machine. The Yugo was indeed a cheap tinny car, but was by no means an unreliable piece of junk. The biggest & most chronic problem was that no one took care of them & did any real maintenance on them, they were just run into the ground.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is there a Bricklin Sv-1 in the gallery?
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