Tito’s Last Gasp – 1987 Yugo GV

The Yugo was the only car built behind the Iron Curtain to be successfully sold in the United States. Malcolm Bricklin found himself a cheap car to take advantage of Americans’ never-ending thirst for cheap wheels, and the thawing cold war meant it was easier to accept cars from the socialist bloc than when Ladas and Skodas were being sent to places like Finland, England, and Canada. And while those cars were either fully or partly developed by nasty Communists, the Yugo was just a Fiat built outside of Italy, which was not communist or socialist at all! Okay, actually, it was, kinda. Check out this 1987 Yugo GV for sale for $1500 in Lemon Valley, NV.

1987 Yugo GV left side

Blue works well on this car, and seems to be more impervious to fading than some of the other colors, particularly red. Given the price point these were built to, it’s surprising there’s any paint left on it 27 years on. Ignoring all the advances in safety and standard equipment since 1987, imagine buying a brand-new car for $8000 today – that’s what $3995 was worth in 1987 dollars.

1987 Yugo GV interior

The car is said to run great, and to be very clean inside. Perhaps the seller’s definition of clean is somewhat liberal, unless it’s just the lighting playing tricks. Other detail shots show light soiling as well – perhaps an afternoon spent with some vinyl/plastic cleaner and a steam cleaner might do wonders. Everything does appear to be intact and present, which is remarkable for any 1980s car.

1987 Yugo GV engine

Things look reasonably clean, if used, under the hood – definitely driver condition, which is just what you’d expect at this price. The spare looks to be the original tire – fortunately this car’s performance envelope is small, so even some cheap tires (often the only ones available this small) will do the trick. That said, with some light modifications to the drivetrain, brakes and suspension, this car can be a competent auto-crosser.

1987 Yugo GV rear

It’s a box – kind of aping the first-generation Golf but not really, the rear view is nothing to write home about. At least this car has dual auxiliary reverse lights, which is more than the earlier cars did. That said, these are thin on the ground, fun to drive, and this one looks like a solid basis for some fun. What’s today’s equivalent? Hyundai Accent? Nissan Versa? Blehhhh….


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One Response to “Tito’s Last Gasp – 1987 Yugo GV”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    The rear side windows have plastic hinges that get extremely brittle when it’s cold out. There’s nothing quite like a window falling off the car and shattering, while you slowly drive over a speed bump and it’s 25degrees out and raining. It’s funny now, but we weren’t laughing at the time.

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