070513.Bridgport, Tito: Yugo Where I Go, Montenegro.

May 13, 2007 at 5:49 AM | Posted in Monuments and Memorials, Overcast, Preservation, somerset | 13 Comments

I ran out of words that rhymed, please continue if you can. Of course, this isn’t actually a Yugo but a Reliant something or other (Rialto?) for sale at a Yugo dealership, the type of car Mr Bean keeps sabotaging (Reliant Regal Supervan III). Apparently an appeal of three wheels to drivers was that it only required a motorcycle license to drive. There are enthusiasts out there who may or may not travel in three-wheeler packs, look out world.

070315.226.SO.Bridgwater
Here, the mighty Reliant majestically hovers. Such, such a futuristic car…and it — it’s for sale?!
UK Promotional Poster.
Saw this Yugo dealership near the bus stop in the Eastover section of Bridgport, Somerset. As far as I can remember, my only familiarity with the Yugo was seeing it from a news broadcast after American bombs had destroyed the factory and several of these gremlin-like machines were hanging loosely off shredded assembly lines. However, here I have photos of the Reliant Robin, Reliant Regal and Reliant Rialto. Even though they are somewhat infamous, I figured these characteristically British cars and needed to be posted. The fact that they were at a Yugo dealership was all the better, since I know nothing about either Reliant or Yugo and now had a chance to look them up.

070315.227.SO.Bridgwater

–Interesting Yugo Trivia–

070315.225.SO.Bridgwater
.
Yugos were built by Zastava, an arms manufacturer founded in 1853, which only went into the automobile industry in the 1930s to supply Fords to the Yugoslav army.
.
“When it was first brought to America, the Zastava Yugo only cost $3,990 USD (Approximately $7,330 2006 USD).”
.
“Zastava employees report that Yugo cars destined for American export underwent much more-stringent quality-control procedures than domestic models.”
.
Still, it was voted “Worst Car of the Millenia” by the influential NPR radio program Car Talk.
.
“24-year-old Leslie Pluhar’s Zastava Yugo was blown completely off the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan during a strong wind. High speed was to blame.”
.

(Above photo: It really does settle into the pavement, like it belongs. )
070315.230.SO.Bridgwater

–Yugo Testimonials–

.
Negative – “I once test drove a Yugo, during which the radio fell out, the gear shift knob came off in my hand, and I saw daylight through the strip around the windshield.
.
Positive – “At least it had heated rear windows–so your hands would stay warm while you pushed.”
.
Negative – “The Yugo’s first stop after the showroom was the service department: ‘Fill ‘er up and replace the engine!'”
.
Positive – “Did You Remember to Bring in the Car?” (read full text.)
.
Negative – “Any time we made a right hand turn, we all had to lean to the right to prevent the driver’s side rear tire from scraping against the wheel well.

070315.229.SO.Bridgwater
Wow, imagine the power trip you’d get sitting in your own Reliant.

–Yugo In Popular Culture (OK, only The Simpsons)–

In the episdore titled “Mr. Plow,” (and stop with this pretentious entitled business; I see it everywhere, a name is not entitled to anything) Homer goes to “Crazy Vaclav’s Place of Automobiles” to test drive an unnamed vehicle from a country that “no longer exists.” Homer is instructed to “put [the car] in ‘H,’” which is apparently a reference to ‘Neutralan,’ the Serbian word for neutral, spelled in the Cyrillic alphabet “Неутралан.” The gears displayed are Б, И, Ш and Н.

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.