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Cheap Thrills? 1987 Yugo GV Project

The Yugo. This is a car that has been the butt of more jokes than I could possibly list. For all of its flaws and failings, there is a dedicated group of individuals who adore these little cars and who will work tirelessly to keep them on the road. This 1987 Yugo GV has been sitting for a long time, and there has to be a question mark over whether it represents a viable project car. It does have a couple of factors in its favor. The first of these is that it does appear to be complete. The more critical factor is that it is cheap. It is located in Mattituck, New York, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached a heady $355, and the reserve has been met. See what I mean about it being cheap?

The Yugo is a complete car that is finished in Adriatic Blue. It appears that it has been sitting for a long time, and this has allowed lichen and moss to start appearing in a few spots. What hasn’t emerged is a massive amount of visible rust. There is some visible in the hood, but the rest of the panels show little more than some surface corrosion. It isn’t clear what state the floors are in, so this will require some investigation if the buyer intends to return the car to the road. If they choose to treat it purely as a parts car, then plenty could be salvaged. As well as some respectable panels, most of the trim looks good, and the glass is free from flaws or problems. Those parts alone could justify the price, and that’s before considering what mechanical or interior trim parts could be re-used.

When you open the doors and slip inside a Yugo, there’s not much chance that you are going to confuse it with a Cadillac. The Yugo was marketed and sold as a cheap mode of transport, and nowhere is this philosophy better illustrated than inside the vehicle. The plastic has a cheap and flimsy look to it, while this car doesn’t even feature a radio. However, the condition is far better than I would have expected when I looked at the exterior. The carpet is badly stained, and this would need to be replaced if the car is to be restored. The upholstery on the seats is filthy, but there are no signs of any rips or splits. I think that some hard work would see the seats return to an acceptable level of presentation. Most of the plastic trim has survived, so that means that there are plenty of smaller items that could be saved if the Yugo is to be dismantled.

With a mere 54hp available from its 1.1-liter engine, the Yugo was by no means a fast car. If respectable performance was required, then the driver needed to be prepared to row through the gears in the 4-speed manual transmission. It isn’t clear when the vehicle last moved under its own power, but I suspect it was probably a long time ago. There is plenty of leaf litter and surface corrosion, and it isn’t clear whether the engine even turns freely. Once again, there are plenty of parts that could be salvaged here, which is worth considering. However, this car has already provided a couple of surprises, so getting it running again might be possible. If I were to buy it for somewhere around its current bid level, I would give it a shot. Even as a parts car, a running engine could justify the sale price. If it proves to be good, then returning it to the road might be worth considering.

Malcolm Bricklin imported and sold 141,651 examples of the Yugo between 1985 and 1992. The 1987 model year was the most successful, with 48,812 buyers choosing to give one a good home. It isn’t clear how many have survived to this day, but plenty has been dismantled as parts cars. I suspect that this will probably be the fate of this one. If it does sell for somewhere around the current bidding level, it can provide plenty of parts at a reasonable price. Do you have a Yugo that you want to keep going, or would you take this one on as a restoration project?


  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    $355 for a Yugo?! – I’ll wait for this bubble to burst.

    Like 8
  2. Bud Lee

    The words Yugo and project should never be used in the same sentence .

    Like 10
    • Brian Ashe

      On the contrary, I think *every* Yugo is a project.

      Like 9
  3. 433jeff

    Freinds don’t let freinds drive Yugos

    Like 6
  4. frank orzechowski

    If they would have built a 4 door it would have be called the WEGO.

    Like 1
  5. JoeNYWF64

    I guess opening door vent windows was a [later?] option.
    At least it has non yellowing/clouding/scratching headlites & good bumpers.
    & it’s a 2 door. & ez to work on under the hood. & has openable side rear windows. & excellent visibililty all around – looking out..
    Tryin to picture it with a lower roof.
    I’d put the spare tire in back for better balance.
    I wonder how heavy that back seat is.


    There was some talk on the street of a 4 door called We-go and possibly a van called We-ALL-go.

  7. Steve Clinton

    Yugo to be kidding!

    Like 2
  8. Rustylinc

    A car that’s condition that has likely looked the same in 1997, 2007 and in 2020

  9. Russell

    One of my favorites … no, not the car

    The problem with driving a Yugo… … is that the Czech engine light is always on.

    Like 8
    • Dave

      I see what you did there…

    • Bill D

      That’s a Skoda that’s made in Czech Republic. Yugos were made at the Zastava factory in Sarajevo, in what was then Yugoslavia and is now Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      The Zastava factory also made munitions, so it was bombed during the Bosnian war during the 1990s and destroyed. This killed off parts availability just when major systems on these cars started failing due to age and mileage. Lack of parts consigned many of these cars to the scrap heap.

      Like 1
    • stu

      That so called Czech light tells the driver the car is operational…Wow…modern technology working at its best!
      Now Yugo and buy this gem!

    • Robb Cochran

      Oh! Superb Execution! Haha. Where is this thing at. I.want it.

  10. angliagt angliagt Member

    A FIAT built in Yugoslavia by local labor – what could go wrong?

    Like 2
  11. Stangalang

    These were projects when brand new 🤔🤣

    Like 6
  12. sir_mike

    If owners would have used them as intended…a CITY car….not to spend hours at highway speeds….

  13. Walter

    I’m going to call resto-mod here guys. Thinking LS-2 andPowerglide with a shift kit.Who’s with me?

    Like 1
    • stu

      I’m thinking way outside the box…A 2.2 Chrysler built motor with 18″ rims and some painted red flames on the side! Even Leonardo Da Vinci would be envious!!!

      Like 1
  14. FOG

    I was always humored by going into the small town markets in Yugoslavia in the ’70s and being able to buy even sheet metal parts for the Zastava while getting groceries.

  15. Phlathead Phil

    If you moved the decimal point over tew places, you would still be underwater on this one.

    It’s not worth the time to even air up the tires…

    And there You-go!

  16. michael kelly

    Most of these didn’t go to a good home.

  17. Napoleon Bridget

    Does the rear defrost work? At least you can keep your hands warm while pushing it into the trailer.

    • Bill D

      Double its value by filling the gas tank!

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