Yugo Next: making a useful Yugo Posted 2010/04/09 @ 08:00 AM By Myles Kornblatt
Those who have read Jason Vuic’s The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History, may have noticed a lone image of a Yugo turned into an accordion with the caption crediting Yugo Next. The Yugo was given a new life in the mid 1990s by 26 students at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Professor Kevin O'Callaghan bought multiple Yugos and challenged his students to turn the joke on wheels into something useful. The result was Yugo Next.
The students came up with everything from building a better mousetrap to a place for confessing your sins (this is helpful considering buying a Yugo in the automotive world is as wrong as coveting your neighbor’s wife.) It seems the little car may have been better suited for jobs like a toaster, barbecue, movie theater, lighter, or piano.
Don’t think the creativity just went to transforming the cars, each participant also made a custom plate for his or her Yugo. Some of the more creative ones included the port-a-potty’s “GOT 2 GO” and the confessional’s “UGO FIRST”. But one entrepreneurial student turned the assignment into a true opportunity. The creator of the Yugo Phone used her own phone number for the car’s license plate -- a maneuver that undoubtedly worked better for an emerging artist than any business card.
These pictures were taken when the art cars were on display in Grand Central Station in New York City, before they went on a nationwide tour. The irony here is that these Yugos probably logged more miles as art than anyone would have dared drive these unsafe and unreliable cars.
Although the pictures may appear older, these images were taken in the summer of 1996. Any discoloration on these photos is just the product of a mediocre machine used to transform the images from slides into a digital format. Regardless, the artists’ creativity can clearly be seen.
Special thanks to Joseph Weishar and Sandra Driesen for the slides