As we pull out of the recession and fewer folks fret about losing their jobs and homes, we could use a good laugh. What better source than the Yugo?
The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History, a new book by history professor Jason Vuic, is a great reminder that the auto business has more than its share of jokers, fast-talkers and weirdness.
Take Malcolm Bricklin, who imported the cars to the United States. In April 1984, Bricklin's imports of cars from Italy's Bertone and Pininfarina were stagnating, and he was desperately searching for another car to import. He went to London and met with executives of British Leyland, hoping to import MG Metros or Jaguars. They said no.
But as Bricklin and his cohorts left British Leyland's offices, they spotted a small car parked down the street with "JUGO" written on it.
That chance sighting led to an automotive phenomenon. And jokes. Every chapter of Vuic's book opens, appropriately, with a Yugo joke.
How do you double the value of a Yugo? Fill up the gas tank.
What do you call a Yugo with twin tailpipes? A wheelbarrow.
What do you call a Yugo that breaks down after 100 miles? An overachiever.