Hugo the Yugo aka Green Gilbert!

Susan Williams had a Zastava Yugo as her first car which had a habit of stopping for no apparent rea

Susan Williams had a Zastava Yugo as her first car which had a habit of stopping for no apparent reason. Picture: supplied - Credit: supplied

Susan Williams

My parents bought me a Zastava Yugo 26 years ago and I named him Hugo the Yugo.

I can't remember how old he was when I got him, except that he had never been used, other than travelling from the car showroom.

Apparently my aunt, whose car he was originally, drove him home, into the garage and never used him again. When she died, Hugo was still in the garage, and my parents bought him from the family.

Hugo – registration C687 XNG – had several quirks, one of which would be gradually stopping for no apparent reason. This was before the advent of mobile phones so I would be left stranded, wherever Hugo decided to stop. We would both sit there, then eventually I would successfully start him up and off we would go again!

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Hugo had a very basic interior, and his paintwork was a very strange shade of green. My sons named him 'Green Gilbert' and, when I drove them to their Sea Scout meetings, would make me drop them off at the top of the lane leading to the Scout hut. Apparently they didn't want their friends seeing them getting out of my car!

Despite all Hugo's quirks and faults he was my first very own car and I loved him.

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Eventually poor Hugo finally stopped forever, refusing to start again. Poor Hugo the Yugo, gone but not forgotten.

Do you have some tales to tell about your first car? The adventures, scrapes, breakdowns, mishaps and maintenance just to keep it on the road. Email your motoring memories with a picture of the car to or post it to Andy Russell, motoring editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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