The Most Hated Classic Car Might Not Be so Bad

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Not every classic car is remembered fondly or stays valuable. Cars that are collected and restored are generally ones with famous designs, impressive innovations, or fond memories. Some vehicles have survived on infamy, though, and one of the most notorious cars among enthusiasts is the Yugo.
For years, the Yugo has been the punchline to jokes by car collectors. According to Autoblog, though, there is a devoted community that collects and restores the Yugo. They are helping to change perceptions about the often-hated automobile.

History of the Yugo

A shot of vintage car grilles lined up at a vintage auto show on a sunny day.
The “most hated” classic car actually performs well in some car shows
For a car with such a bad reputation, the Yugo has a long history to it. These cars were produced for nearly three decades, from 1980 to 2008. Its name, appropriately, came from its country of origin, Yugoslavia. Humorously, the Yugo lasted so long that Yugoslavia had dissolved long before Yugos stopped being made.
The Yugo was designed to resemble a Fiat 127 and was a subcompact hatchback. There were minor updates to the car’s appearance near its final years of production, but the overall design remained relatively unchanged.
In the mid-80s, the Yugo made the jump to the United States. Because it came from a communist country, the Yugo was seen as a novelty. This is where it gained its notoriety.

Why the Yugo is a hated classic car

When the Yugo first came to the United States, it saw surprisingly good sales. This is likely because it was one of the cheapest cars in the country.
Many believed that it was cheap for a reason, though. The Yugo had a slow acceleration, and its maximum speed was equally unimpressive. They also broke down frequently, leaving them with a reputation of being unreliable.
As word about the Yugo’s issues spread, the car became a common topic for jokes. Comedian and car enthusiast, Jay Leno, frequently mocked the Yugo. Because of this, many people’s impressions of the car came from these jokes rather than the car itself.

Classic car enthusiasts changed the Yugo’s reputation

It may be fun to make jokes at the little car’s expense, but Yugo collection and restoration are becoming more popular. Fully restored Yugos win top prizes at car shows. Yugo fans do not merely consider these cars novelties either.
One thing that has led to negative experiences with the Yugo is that it was not designed for driving in the United States. Americans take a lot of long road trips, but the Yugo was not produced with this in mind. This isn’t to say that it was ever a reliable car, but it had a better track when used to drive short distances.
Other fans appreciate how Yugo maintenance can often be performed at home. The Yugo might break down more often than other cars, but Yugos are also simple enough that issues may not require a mechanic.
The Yugo might not be a car for everyone. With slow speeds and frequent reliability issues, it makes sense that the car has a fairly bad reputation. As collectors are showing the car community, though, maybe the hatchback isn’t as bad as some may believe.
Yugo collectors take pride in making car repairs themselves, but even they need car insurance. Whether you drive an obscure class car or a modern electric vehicle, you need an insurance plan that covers your needs.
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