1989 Yugo GVL Long-Term Road Test - Performance

1989 Yugo GVL Long Term Road Test - Performance


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1989 Yugo GVL: 900 Miles on the Edge

July 30, 2015

1989 Yugo GVL

You've followed the continuing adventures of Kurt and Josh in their quest to get our 1989 Yugo GVL home under its own power. You've seen its first unofficial zero-to-60 run. You've seen the guys connect with the car over assorted foodstuffs from its region of origin.

And now you'll see if they can make it home.

For after nearly 900 miles, the Yugo starts getting fussy down the home stretch, particularly a stretch of very downhill freeway that connects the San Fernando Valley to coastal west Los Angeles, as seen in the photo above. The Fiat-sourced engine shows its true espresso-fueled character, only happy at high revs and wide-open throttle. 

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1989 Yugo GVL: The Balkan Bullet

July 1, 2015

1989 Yugo GVL

"What are you guys up to, anyway?" asks the proprietor of Bosnia Express. Her tone is friendly, her Eastern European accent soft but unmistakable.

We're approaching the register with armloads of Balkan foodstuffs like Cockta and Krem Banana. It's noon on a Saturday. We're on the outskirts of Boise, Idaho. Our five-man team left Los Angeles about 24 hours ago in the Edmunds long-term F-150 and A3, sleeping minimally in Winnemucca, Nevada. There's no known Balkan ancestry among us. Perhaps we look a little out of place.

We drop the Cockta on the counter and explain that we're about to buy a 1989 Yugo GVL and drive it back to L.A., and we need some appropriate snacks for the road.

"Oh! You must be buying Arko's Yugo. The white one, right?" She chuckles. "My husband drove it just last week."

Minds blown. She knows the seller? More importantly, the car is actually road-worthy? We found it on the devil that is Craigslist. All we really know is that it's got less than 40,000 miles on the clock, it's covered about 700 miles since 2002 and the engine has unspecified idle issues. Arko has already weighed in via text: "Would not recommend driving it to L.A. It looks better on a trailer lol." We've been wondering what condition we'll find it in.

"Oh yes, it runs. It's fine. He drove it all over the city."

This is greatly encouraging. But wait. Is her husband interested in buying the car?

"No." Zero hesitation. Then she cocks her head. "Why would you want to buy a Yugo?"

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