Tuesday, March 24, 2009

1990 Yugo Cabriolet

Driving a bright yellow Yugo Cabriolet is a lot like wearing a bright yellow suit to a formal dinner; you'll draw a lot attention to yourself. Some people will think you're crazy, others will admire your individualism.

You can Google "Yugo" and find several dozen sites dedicated to jokes, complaints, and negative discussions about the car. Some of that criticism is fair, but much of it is not. I won't get into all of that here, but, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Yugos have "personality", which is something most cars are missing today.

There were very few Yugo Cabriolets made (I've heard the number might be less than 100, but I'm not certain. - I've only seen one in my life and that was 15 years ago*). Yugo introduced it towards the end of their run in the US. By that time very few people were buying the cheap Yugo sedans and the Cabriolet, which was almost double the price, was all but ignored.

The Cabriolet came with a 1.3 liter 4 cylinder engine, which makes the car tolerably slow from a standing start. (There is no such thing as a fast, stock Yugo, but the 1.3 was an improvement over Yugo's earlier 1.1 engine). This Yugo has a 5 speed transmission, so highway cruising is less frenzied than in the earlier 4 speed cars. Yugos were based on an older Fiat and driving one is a lot like driving an old Fiat. They handle moderately well and, if you keep the engine revs up, can be fun to drive.

Just like an old Fiat, Yugos need to be maintained. Change the oil every 3000 miles, do a cooling system flush once a year, change the timing belt every 40,000 miles and when you hear an odd noise, replace the offending part right away. Really, it's probably best to look at a Yugo as a car from the seventies and treat it like one. With some attention to maintenance a Yugo can be a very reliable car. Most mechanical parts are still available online through specialty dealers.

The biggest problem you'll run into with this car is finding the body panels and trim parts exclusive to the Cabriolet (pretty much everything behind the windshield) if you ever need them. They just aren't available, period.

The car being offered on eBay appears to be in very nice shape. The bright yellow exterior color and the yellow interior accents certainly draws attention to it.

A bright yellow Yugo isn't for everyone. But, if you're looking for something different and don't care about the attitude and misconceptions some people will have about your car, this Yugo may be for you. Best of all, you'll have a little piece of automotive history, one very few people own.

Located in Taylor, North Dakota, Click here to see the eBay listing for this 1990 Yugo Cabriolet.
*A quick update. I received an e-mail from the owner of this vehicle who said that there were just 80 Cabriolets made. Tonight, the friend who owned the one I saw 15 years ago - he sold it to a guy in Vermont - called and said that there were 75 Cabriolets built. Those numbers are too close to be coincidental, making this a very rare car indeed.


Anonymous said...

My friends would rank on me forever for buying a Yugo, but that's a cool lookinfg car.

Less than 100? That has to make it one of the rarer cars around. A nice find.

Anonymous said...

I bought a used Yugo in 1993. I paid $500.00 for it and it had 30K miles on it. It ran flawlessy for another 60K miles til a UPS truck backed into it. The insurance compnay wanted to give me $250.00 but I held out for $500.00 and eventually got $350.00

Like you said, if you maintain a Yugo it's a relaible car. I never knew they made a convertible.

Anonymous said...

I thought the 1.3 Yugos were fuel injected. This one has a carb.

Anonymous said...

The last Yugo sedans had EFI 1.3's in them. The cabrios got the 1.3 but not EFI. I have no idea why

Max Power said...

This car...this stupid little Yellow/Silver testament to Serbo Croatian technology is my 'unicorn'. Way back in 1990 or 1991 I believe, I did my yearly pilgrimage to the NY International Auto Show and there it was...the new Yugo Cabrio in all of its Yellow/Silver glory. Oh sure, I made fun of it in front of my friends, but inside I knew I REALLY liked it. Should I win the lottery, THIS will be one of my first priorities.

Nenad Bumbic said...

Far more then 100 Yugo Cabrio's were made. They sold mostly in Europe since we tend to drive far smaller cars they you do in the US.

It was produced till 2005

See: http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/2110/21lqfjkxkxg2.jpg

and the interior


Anonymous said...


I am from Germny.
Please, sorry for my bad English.
I had one Yugo convertible in red befor about 7-8 yeas and I still bought o nother one (with one).
The one I still bougt is in a bad condition, but I will repair it slowly.
I heard that Zastava build about 3000 Yugo Cabrios.
And in Germany ther are still 60 running on the street.
They sell some used in Yugoslavia every time.
See: http://www.polovniautomobili.com/putnicka-vozila-26.php?category=26&tags=&brand=2346&model=2534&price_to=&tag_218_from=0&tag_218_to=0&selectedRegion=0
The most sold Yugo Cabriolet in Germny have a 65 hp engine with injector.
Only some of the first cars don´t have an injection system, we call it EFI.
I like this small cabrio very much.
I had very les problems wiht it.
I yust so one for sell in USA too.
They sell it on Ebay!
I thik it is in Texas.
But keep in your mind, that it is difficult the get parts with ar specially items for the convertible Yugo.
All, or most of the the technicall part you will still get.
Most parts are used in other Cars too. For example in some Fiat cars.
But the brocken window in the back of the roof is very difficult to buy, like all the windows.
At least in Germany.
Normally this glass plate has a heading system.
The leder seats are to my knowledge
not made by the producer of the car.
I head that this are chanced by the owners because it shall be particularly favorable in Yugoslavia.
I wish you good lauck, if you try to buy the yugo!
Best Regards from Germany, Jenny