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Yugo Cars in the 80s
Was the Yugo the worst car of the 80s?

Well, many people seem to think so, and Yugo cars certainly got a bad press during the 80s, at least. Reviewers often referred to the poor quality build and the use of cheap materials and outdated technology. But that didn't stop the Yugo from becoming popular. During the late 80s, Zastava were producing up to 230,000 cars per year and selling to 70 different countries.

As you will see in the video clip above, Zastava started to improve their cars somewhat during the 90s, and the Yugo Sana featured in the clip was starting to look like a half decent car.

Yugo 45

The Yugo 45 was developed as the Zastava 102 during the latter half of the 80s, but released as the Yugo 45 in 1981, featuring elements of the Fiat 127 and 128. The car was produced by the Serbian-based, Italian manufacturer Zastava Automobiles, a subsidiary of Fiat Group. The styling was similar to that of the Autobiancha A112, although much squarer at the front.

Yugo Sana

A new model called the Zastava Florida (also known as the Yugo Sana and Sana Miami) was launched in 1988 and this had a similar body style to the Fiat Tipo.


A red Yugo Sana car
An early 90s Yugo Sana (Zastava Florida). Creative Commons photo by Asterion
Yugo 311

This model was produced between 1971 and 2008 and was a very affordable and popular car. Known as the Skala in many countries, this was the most popular model and has become something of an icon in Serbia.

A British Zastava Yugo 311 from 1989
A 1989 Zastava Skala (Yugo 311) Creative Commons photo by Asterion
A green Zastava 101 (1976)
Public Domain image of the 1116cc Zastava 101, the 5 door version of the Skala (Yugo 311) which was almost half the price of a Ford Escort in the 80s. This model was popular with Yugoslavians due to its low price and simple mechanics. Spare parts could also be bought cheaply.
Zastava Yugo Skala 55C police car.
Zastava Yugo Skala 55C patrol car. Creative Commons Photo by Dickelbers
Cars we loved in the 70s - book
 

 

Yugo 311 engine - under the hood
The engine of the Yugo 311 - looks like a real mean machine! Creative Commons image by Asterion