Other than hearing the Yugo jokes, and occasionally glimpsing on of these trophies of Serbian and Baltic engineering and craftsmanship, I had no idea how these cars showed up in the United States. This is a highly entertaining story of the process that brought Yugos to America and how they failed ignominiously.
But mostly this is a story of Malcom Bricklin - the serially failed entrepreneur - and how he was able to get millions of dollars and take over the company. As presented in this history, apparently the only person who ever makes a nickel from Malcom Bricklin companies (starting in the 1960's until today) is Malcom Bricklin. The shenanigans and outright deceptions are laid out in horrifying detail.
About half of this book really involves the Yugo, the rest is the story of Mr. Bricklin. But it is all very entertaining.
i would recommend this book to anyone. The specifics of the auto business aside its an interesting tale of Bricklin from Handy Man franchises all the way though the war in the Balkans. The story never gets booged down in details and even though at some points it goes down a questionable trail it is soon tied back into the Yugo and Bricklin story. Highly recommend, good listen.
No it was not that kind of a book but I looked forward to the times I usually listen while working out or cleaning the house.
Dang Interesting. I have heard of a Yugo, but being born in 85' i have never seen or heard much about them. Good insight into the 70s-90s car industry in general.
There's so much more to the story of the Yugo than most would ever expect It's a surprisingly riveting story about the automotive industry, marketing, international politics, high finance and entrepreneurship. I chose it because I'm a car enthusiast, but I got hooked into it for all the other areas of interest even more.
I was a new driver at the time that the Yugo came out, so I have some particularly sharp memories of it, and hearing the
Learning about the contrast in practices between the free market automotive manufacturers versus the state-run Yugoslavian Zastava's methods.
The number of times the Yugo/Zastava deal died and was resurrected and the entrepreneurship that it required.
A surprisingly interesting story that I actually had trouble turning off when I'd get to my destination because I wanted to keep listening to the next phase.
I might listen to this again someday, to relive the moments of promise and optimism of that time just after the Sarajevo Olympics when it seemed Yugoslavia was on the brink of transitioning from a second to a first world nation, when its natural and human resources seemed to be coalescing into something great and perhaps even lasting.
There'd always be a guy with a tray full of little glasses of this jet fuel -- plum brandy -- that everyone would partake of at all hours of the day at the Yugo factory. The way the Americans tried to eat the coffee grounds at the bottom of their Turkish coffee!
The narrator brings a lighthearted, yet earnest, tone to the book. He helps you believe in the charm and winsome nature of the little car at the center of the book. His pronunciation of Serbian names and words is very good. He's good at bringing an ironic, dark undertone to the Yugo gags sprinkled throughout the book. I would listen to more books narrated by him.
I cried at the end, at the lyrics of Yugo 45, about the window of peace and a sort of prosperity symbolized by the freedom to fill up the tank and drive over the border to Trieste to buy jeans. In a completely different vein, I was angered at how much wealth and luxury the entrepreneur Malcolm manage to glean from his huge salary and then his multimillion dollar severance package, while investors and Yugo dealers lost everything they contributed to his dream.
I remember when the Yugo came to America. I took one for a test drive, but I never considered actually buying one. This book explains how the car became a punch line, a longstanding laughingstock, a latter-day Edsel -- and why the reputation was and wasn't deserved.
It was an interesting story. I always wondered about the Yugo. How did it get here.
Why was it so bad?
Say something about yourself!
I listened to this on a long drive. Remembering the Yugo jokes from my youth but being years away from driving, I never really had a reference for the Yugo. Hell, I couldn't even conjure an image of one in my brain.
This book ranges from the history of Yugo, history of Yugoslavia, history car production, and history import manufactures in surprising detail, although always in the vain of the first. Its a long listen, occasionally funny and reserves judgement for the reader even when Malcom Bricklin, the auto-importer entrepreneur obviously was a conman who never delivered anything substantial in his many failed endeavors. It's a nice attempt at being objective when muckraking on Bricklin.
However, possibly the downfall of the book is just its sheer scope trying to be the definitive source of all things Yugo. While extremely informative, it occasionally can tire the listener by layering on detail after detail after detail. I
I enjoyed the book over all but it wasn't favorite either. Car enthusiast I am not either.
See the title which I wrote before I even knew what the first question would be.
I love that there is a wonderful quirky story behind this little quirky, memorable automobile
Even if your not a 'car person' I think you will find this story amazing, educational and entertaining.