In a world where even our most reliable cars can turn out to be lemons (cough, Toyota), it’s really something to be the world’s worst car. That distinction belongs to the Yugo, subject of the enormously entertaining The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History, by Jason Vuic.
The Yugo chronicles the bizarre story of an inexpensive hatchback from Yugoslavia and its introduction to the United States. With the help of Malcom Bricklin, a compelling if insane entrepreneur who has declared bankruptcy a number of times, the Yugo made a splash in the 1980s as a utilitarian people’s car, but failed spectacularly when American consumers experienced firsthand the horrendous quality of its construction. Vuic’s book is about salesmanship, hubris, greed, stupidity and the extraordinary dealings of an American capitalist. Read it if you love cars, or just want to experience the strange story of someone determined to give lemons life.
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