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.

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.


–Interesting Yugo Trivia–

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. )

–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.

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.


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  1. These 3 wheelers intrigue me – only place I’ve ever seen them is in the UK (my aunt and uncle had one once….v weird). People driving them always seem to wear beige anoraks or “driving coats”, too.

    I remember when I was a kid, a 3 wheeler which was a step up from a kids tricycel, but not the 2-wheel bicycle. For wussy kids (or their wussy parents probably)

  2. its really strange to see YUGO there.:) I almost forgot this car..thank you for making me remembering:)

  3. Amazing collection of photos. The narrative is good too and interesting.

    I have celebrated this day, Mother’s Day in my country, with a magazine cover for my wife. I hope you can see it.

  4. Gee, I have missed knowing about these three wheelers. Now I sahll have to investigate the pros and cons more closely.

  5. I always thought Mr. Bean ran over a BMW Isetta. Whoooops. At least I got the three-wheel part right.

    Here’s another thing I didn’t know: they’re still making Yugos. A dealership? Now I’ve seen everything.

  6. Don’t forget the yellow Robin in Only Fools & Horses. Yugo’s are rubbish cars. I’m surprised they are still in business.

  7. get saving james!
    my mum’s first car was a three-wheeler, but not of the robin variety. it was a real old vintage three wheeler. she said that once she was driving along and heard a dreadful clonk and the car jolted a bit. she thought she had run over an old aldy or something, then saw the back wheel (two wheels at front, one at back) roll by the door……

  8. About Yugo in popular culture: Yugo appears (and being laugh about) in several movies. In DieHard 3 Bruce Willis seats in Yugo than changes it for Mercedes. I think in 101 Dalmations, on the begining of movie Yugo appears, In “Who killed Mona” with Jamie Lee Curtis and Neve Campbell Yugo has main role together with them. I heard Yugo appeared even in some new movie at US box office. And i think i even recognized him in SimCity 4 game.
    Soon, it will stop producing, since FIAT came to Serbia, planing to assemble new models.

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