Nicest One Left? 1987 Yugo GV

Like Rodney Dangerfield, the poor Yugo didn’t get much respect. Offered in the U.S. from 1985-92, this Yugoslavian-built car developed a reputation for suspect quality and reliability, yet more than 141,600 of them were sold. Survival rates are low and the chance of finding one in this kind of condition is unlikely. And yet here it is, with a newer paint job, redone interior, and in good running condition. From Scottsdale, Arizona, this survivor is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $4,049.

Malcolm Bricklin was the mastermind behind bringing the Yugo to the U.S. He’s best known for the gull-wing car that carries his name and his orchestration of bringing Subaru to these shores. The Yugo is a minicar from Yugoslavian automaker Zastava. Its main claim in America was that it was the cheapest new car you could buy. But they quickly proved to be troublesome machines, even though it was a shortened variant of the Fiat 127. Although tens of thousands of these cars were imported 30-35 years ago, they are seldom seen today except perhaps in parts yards.

This Yugo has outlived its reputation and is as nice an example as you’re likely to find. It was first purchased in California, then moved to Nevada, and finally found itself in Arizona in 2014. So being in dry climates has benefitted the car greatly. The car has been restored, at least partially, and has just 50,000 miles on the odometer. The body and paint look good, having been redone about the time it moved to the Copper State. The interior was also redone, with materials of a higher quality than would have been found in the Yugo, to begin with.

We’re told the GV is mechanically sound and has no leaks. Once you get there, it will cruise on the highway at 65 mph. The little car has been serviced by a mechanic from the car’s country of origin (now known as Serbia) and he has replaced a number of parts with OEM pieces from Servia, including the brakes, CV joints, wheel hubs, and fan motor. The 1.1-liter engine recently received an oil change and tune-up, and a new battery sits under the hood. Much of this work has been documented and will come with the car.

The seller has provided two videos in support of his offering. Video #1 is of a walkaround of the car. Video #2 is a video of the Yugo in motion. If you can put aside the history of these cars, this might be an interesting little car to keep around for local jaunts. Would you own one?

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Comments

  1. Too late

    Just watched a special on Malcolm Bricklin , imported Subaru’s first and later these gems.Not including his own failed SV-1

    Like 2
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Was that the one where he wanted to import the
      Chery,which is made in China.Bricklin came off looking
      like an ego-maniac (to me).

      Like 3
    • David Miraglia

      seduced by Speed on Motor Trend channel. Damn good car show.

      Like 2
  2. Todd Zuercher

    Wow – this has to be one of the nicest ones in existence. And it’s local! And it’s my favorite color! But….it’s still a Yugo….

    Like 13
  3. Mutt

    If the car did not kill me, my wife would… for buying it.
    I would not own one.

    Like 8
    • stu

      Mutt….
      I’m absolutely sure this is the car for you…It even matches your eye color!

      Like 1
  4. Steve

    Had a friend who had one,let me tell you it was a lot of fun to drive in the snow.

    Like 2
    • ADM

      Glad it had a rear window defroster, to keep your hands warm, when you pushed.

      Like 3
  5. Will Fox

    Say what you will, but these left the US market fast for a good reason. Just because this one is clean doesn’t make it ‘collectible’, or ‘stylish’ or even a bargain. You double its value by filling the tank.
    These got named due to an incident on the Yugo proving grounds with two test-drivers. It konked out on the far back stretch. The two techs argued over who is going for help; “You go!!” “No Yuri, You go!! I’ll wait here!!”

    Like 13
    • SubGothius

      “Left the US market fast”? They were sold here for 7 years running. Even Daihatsu didn’t make it here that long, and those were actually really good cars by all accounts.

      Like 8
  6. DanaPointJohn

    Nice refurbishment, and yes, it probably is the best Yugo around. The question though, is why put any money into rebuilding this car? I know people do restoration projects sometimes out of love, and to see a true classic come back to life, but a Yugo?!? To top it off, someone out there thinks it is worth $4,090! Mercy!

    Like 8
    • Major Thom

      Like Will Darnell said in “Christine”, “Ya can’t polish a turd.”

      Like 7
    • stu

      Maybe this car is not for you but there is a car for everyone….

      Personally, the car should be marinated in gasoline for a couple of days and the lit on fire ….But that’s just me

  7. Jcs

    I’m gonna hold out for the four door Wego.

    Like 4
  8. Kenneth Carney

    The only good thing about the car is the
    MPGs that they get. Wouldn’t take it on
    Palm Bay Road though. Those fools would squash you like a grape. I did see
    a bunch of brand new Yugos at our local
    U Pull It in Auburndale back in the ’90s
    after the local Ford dealer marked ’em
    down to $500 and STILL had no takers
    after they went belly up in ’92. Here in
    Florida, parts were hard to get and many
    were crushed when the spark plugs got
    dirty. Nice to see a true survivor.

    Like 2
  9. fred

    Ah, the Yugo. The only cars I’ve ever seen with a “buy one, get on free” sign on the windshields. Northern Florida, 1989.

    Like 12
    • Bill Overbaugh Member

      Would that be a Yugo BOGO then? Oh no!!!

      Like 8
      • Ed Casala

        I see what you did there! LOL

    • Tracy

      B1G1 Free in 1988 from dealer in San Diego while I was stationed there.
      -Yugo your way and I’ll go mine, Why yuri when we have plenty time to get there.

  10. Timothy Phaff Member

    I would donate it to a failed automobile museum.

    Like 4
    • Don Eladio

      Most automobile museums fail, lol.

  11. Wd62vette

    This car is far from the nicest one left. I know of a dozen Yugos with lower miles and original paint. People bought these cars because they were inexpensive. Most never did maintance and then complained when they broke. People that own these cars are passionate about them.

    Like 9
  12. Autoworker

    I liked the police interceptor version the POGO.

    Like 7
    • Rick

      Belinda Carlisle was rumored to have helped custom design one called the GOGO.

      Like 5
    • Bill Hall

      I don’t know how many people recall the Movie Dragnet with Dan Ackroyd? They kept smashing and loosing cars so they were given a Yugo. There is great line the finest Serbo /Croatian technology. Of course it was given or sold to Yugoslavian government by Fiat which is a whole nother story.

      Like 1
  13. Curt Lemay

    Even more unreliable than the Fiat it was based on, if that is possible. I remember seeing a large line of these in our local junk yard in the late 80s, most of them still shined with good paint. I read here that some feel that they were not properly maintained, and that might be true, but so many junked ones at an early age? Never drove one, but they were pretty modest at a casual glance. The doors were thin and didn’t shut well. One I sat in at a country fair that was being displayed had poor fitting interior trim, and that was one being showed off to the general public! My guess is that the assembly line quality control was somewhat lacking. Of course, the country was on the verge of civil war, so doing your best on the job wasn’t everything going through their heads on that assembly line.

    Like 5
  14. Brian

    If you had to get a Polski-Fiat the 126 is the one I like which is vaguely reminiscent of a early Honda CCV. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 1
  15. Bellingham Fred

    I recall Jay Leno during his monologue on the Tonight Show saying that the Yugo ranked towards the top in the safety ratings. “It’s hard to get in a wreck when your always hooked to a tow truck.”

    Like 7
  16. JMB#7

    I knew a young lady that had a white one when it was fairly new. Ran great, with basic maintenance. Put plenty of miles on it. She loved it (it falls into the “cute car” category (years later she was driving a RX8). Not really my thing, but I like seeing these around, and in this condition it is certainly worth the token bid of $4k. Many people value the history of a car, and since it was maintained by a mechanic from Serbia, that would add to its value especially if he signed the work orders. (note: Yugo featured in the Bette Midler movie “Drowning Mona” circa 2000).

    Like 6
  17. SK

    All that money spent on “restoration” and they couldn’t refinish the air cleaner cover? It’s all about the details – even on a Yugo!

    Like 1
    • JMB#7

      Funny you should mention that. Last week BF featured a ’65 Mustang Fastback, the body was rough and in flat primer, but someone gold powder-coated the air cleaner housing and the valve covers! I was wondering why they would do that long before addressing the basics?

      Like 4
      • SubGothius

        I can only imagine (hope) they got those on the cheap from another car or project or as part of a larger parts cache.

  18. Bob Maj

    The only thing I think about when hearing Yugo is how one of these cars blew off the Mackinaw Bridge that links Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas on a particularly windy day in 1989. The poor woman who was driving it (RIP) was still in the car when it was pulled out 8 days later. The wind and driving too fast were the main factors in this accident.

    Like 1
  19. Carbuzzard Member

    I was on an international media trip (with Kia) when a young lady journalist with an Eastern European accent said to another American auto writer and me, “You know, we had a car made in Yugoslavia. It was called the Yugoslav.”

    We both sucked air trying to think of something nice to say.

    She saved us, however, when she added, “It was a terrible car. The doors would pop open if you went around a corner fast.”

    But yes, this is a collectible for sure, though the convertible or the GT would be the ones to get.

    Like 2
  20. Martin M

    First off “Nice Yugo” is an oxy-moron.
    Living in Southern California, I had a Grand National and when I took it to the Buick Dealer for service they gave me a Yugo as a loaner, several times. What an experience, I’ll leave it at that. Was invited to their “Champagne and cake” celebration when they finally sold the last two remaining to someone in Arizona for a total of $3,000.
    And now someone is willing to PAY over $4,000 foe one? You would have to give me the $4,000 to take the thing.

    Like 3
  21. Todd Zuercher

    I can’t help but think of the old “Click and Clack/Car Talk” joke every time I read or hear about a Yugo.

    Why do Yugos have rear window defrosters?

    To keep the passengers’ hands warm when they’re pushing it!

    Miss those guys!

    Like 5
  22. McCook

    Laugh all you want, but I have 17 times more fun taking my Yugo to car shows than my Chevelle. This one is a bit nicer than mine, but mine is a survivor, and I paid nearly nothing for it. From my experience, their is other way to have this much fun in the car hobby for a measly $4k.

    Like 3
  23. Brett Lee Lundy

    isnt this price above the MSRP when new? I was thinking $3999 or was it $4999?

    Like 1
    • ADM

      Something like $3990. The first Hyundai’s, which showed up at the same time, 1986, were $4995, for the base Excel 2 door hatchback. I test drove one, and wasn’t too impressed. However, I worked with a guy who bought an ’86 GL 4 door sedan, for family use, and by 1994, had somehow racked up about 250,000 miles. It was beat up, but still ran well. The MSRP was about $6,000.

      Like 1
  24. Officer Dangle

    These were cheap cars when new, built to a price point. People who bought them weren’t looking for quality, just low price. The vast majority of price buyers don’t respect or maintain things, so it’s no surprise that these cars didn’t last. The small minority of price buyers who maintain things allow for these gems to still exist.
    Yugos had timing belt intervals of 40K miles! combine that with the low-price mentality and you have 140,000 cars that have gone extinct rather quickly. These are fun to drive and VERY easy to work on. OF COURSE they aren’t as coveted as a Chevelle, but you could NEVER get a Chevelle new for the equivalent price of a Yugo. At a car show, yes, a Yugo will got more attention than a Chevelle. The Chevelle guys will get irritated, but it’s just a rarity/nostalgia/relatability thing.
    A Chevelle SS when new was $3038, equivalent to $8900 in 1985 (about the cost of an RX-7).
    These will go up in value due to rarity and their reputation (“any press is good press”). They are far too polarizing to be forgotten.

    Like 2
  25. Kevin

    LMAO,if people want to give money away,I can think of some good charities…

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