1989 Yugo GVL: It's Not Fun - It's a Penalty Box.
July 28, 2015
When we picked up our long-term 1989 Yugo GVL in Boise, Idaho, I didn't envy Josh Sadlier or Kurt Niebuhr. They had no air-conditioning in a terrifyingly underpowered car from the 80s and 900 miles of scorching hot desert to traverse. I was driving our long-term F-150 and never imagined that I would become jealous of the Yugo.
But somehow, I did.
Every time we stopped for fuel, Josh and Kurt piled out of the Yugo delirious with laughter. They got to live on the edge of their seats with a top-speed run and they had Balkan snacks and warm Cockta to try along the way. They seemed like they were having a hell of a good time in the Yugo and I began to covet the experience.
So I signed out the Yugo. I even offered to take Cameron Rogers to a local dealer to pick up one of our long-term cars. I immediately regretted the decision.
In city traffic around Los Angeles, the Yugo has trouble getting out of its own way. It smells weird. The shifter wanders and it's really difficult to find gears. You have to hover over the gas pedal at all times just to keep the thing running.
Does this thing have personality? Sure. The first owners got married in it, drove their kids to school in it and kept it under a cover for nearly a decade. But it's also terrible to drive. We were looking for a Penalty Box and we definitely found the right car for the job.
Travis Langness, Social Media Editor