CC For Sale: 1980s Yugo – One Happy Yugo, In Central America

When was the last time you saw a Yugo in the Western Hemisphere? I would think quite a while, for most. The latest sighting at CC was posted back in 2020, and a couple more have appeared at the Cohort. In Eastern Europe, appropriately.

Considering their scarcity, I thought it worth it to share this one being sold in San Salvador. And while I can’t speak for its mechanical soundness, or if it runs at all, the little car is certainly a happy one. Just look at that smile!

Here is that smile closer up, and my apologies for the poor photo quality. There just wasn’t much room to get this grin properly captured.

Admittedly, some may feel that smile looks a little forced, but hey, the little critter is doing as much as it can to keep a good face. Think about it, all of its peers have ceased to be long ago. Meanwhile, spare parts to keep it going haven’t come to this region for ages. In automotive terms this little one is on life support, staring at oblivion, with little hope for it should anything go seriously wrong.

So you may be right if you feel that smile looks somewhat forced. It probably reflects more anxiety than true joy.

In case you wonder, this is not one of my Salvadorian FB Marketplace finds. Instead, it’s an honest-to-goodness old-style sale, with the car’s information displayed on the windows. You know, an Oregon/CC kind of sale, like the one Paul shared yesterday. None of that fancy schmancy online stuff with surcharges and whatnot. You interested in the car? Just copy the phone number and call. Be social.

That is if you can make out the phone number.

Ok, that large ‘S/V’ is ‘Se Vende’ or ‘For Sale’ in Spanish. And the phone number is… Gosh, a bit hard to make out. Looks like that shoe wax has been in there for a while. No Salvadorian has dared to fall for this Slavic charmer in a while, huh?

Now, while my Yugo knowledge is scant, this one clearly carried a rear window wiper. If so, I would think this was the ‘luxury’ version of the model. Or at least, it’s not the base car. Not even my Mom’s ’88 Tercel had one of those.

Also, as far as I can tell, most of these didn’t have colored bumpers. The result of a later respray?

Yes, this owner has certainly done some customizing and maintenance on this Yugo. Don’t ask me to what car the repurposed grille belongs to, for I’m not certain (A mid-80s Chevy Luv?)

But most of the original car is still there, all things considered. And looking at the lack of litter around the car, it probably still moves on its own power.

I had known about this Yugo for a while, but it took me a long time to gather the will to shoot it. After all, the critter was parked in front of the owner’s house. Not the best of situations, in this nation. Would they make a fuss about my taking snapshots? Or worse, would they push me into buying it?

As can be seen, I eventually gave in. Too much of a curbside find, you know? But just as I feared, people were home. As I approached the car, I could see a pair of ladies watching soap operas on the living room’s TV.

Was I ready to be social?

For once, as I snapped photos away, the ladies didn’t mind me and just kept watching TV. Interesting. That had rarely ever happened to me in this city. Was their soap opera in the middle of some crucial scene?

Anyway, I managed to get a shot of the car’s interior. As can be seen, the Yugo is the perfect antidote for those fed up with infotainment systems and such nonsense. And from the looks of things, that Slavic plastic has certainly stood the test of time.

I don’t necessarily share the same ill will towards the Yugo that most of the media did. Worst car ever? Not quite. But certainly sent to a market it wasn’t prepared for. A story told at CC in more detail before.

However, I do find it kind of funny that it was ever sold in US territory. It’s another curious memory from my Puerto Rican days, where the Yugo sold under the odd campaign “Hurt Me With a Yugo!” (A wordplay in Spanish, meant to be amusing). With buyers moving away from such basic transport ever since, the whole chapter seems slightly surreal nowadays.

Talking about such, I showed my Yugo find to my wife and his teen brother and they basically chuckled at the car. Knowing nothing about Yugos at all, they thought the car was cute but that it was somehow incomplete. Its plain utilitarian body looking toy-like to them.

But well, people’s expectations change over time. Even in this region, now filled with grey-import CUVs brought from the US. Plus lots of Korean metal stuffed with cameras and infotainment systems.

I’m not sure if anyone is going to come and save this old Yugo. As low as I suspect its sale price to be, I believe the car’s ‘exotic’ nature is just too much for most.

However, if you happen to be that daring soul and wish to purchase it, just leave a message in the comments section. I’ll surely get you in contact with the seller; if I ever figure out what their phone number is.


Related CC reading:

Automotive History – The Joke’s On U.S. – The Short, Wild Ride, Of The Yugo In America