The marque: Grew out of the Zastava factory in Kragujevac, Yugoslavia, an arms manufacturer since 1853.

The marque: Grew out of the Zastava factory in Kragujevac, Yugoslavia, an arms manufacturer since 1853.

The history: Zastava supplied the vehicles, produced under licence from Chrysler, Ford and Jeep, that ferried the Yugoslav army to Second World War battlefields. In 1954, the first civilian cars were versions of the Fiat 1400 and 1900. Nicknamed the Ficia (little Fiat), the Zastava 750 went into production in the early Sixties and survived until 1981, topping the million mark. In the Sixties, the roads were filled with variations on the rear-engined, water-cooled Fiat 1100, 1300 and 1500. In 1973, a souped-up Zastava 101 was entered in the Tour d'Europe, winning its class and placing fourth overall. In 1981, the first car designed and built by the firm, the Yugo Koral, or just Yugo, left the factory. Still with a Fiat engine, it was exported to Italy, Britain and America.

Its attraction was price: in the US, it was the cheapest car on sale by several thousand dollars. The dealerships had orders for five times their stock, even though most buyers didn't know what it looked like.

However, faulty engines and electrics coupled with super-low spec created a poor image for the brand. Sales nosedived, and in 1989 Yugo America went bankrupt.

In 1999, Nato bombed the plant. It was rebuilt, and the new Yugo, complete with FIA certificate, new bumpers and, incredibly, a gearbox by Porsche, hit the streets.

Defining model: Zastava 1300

They say: It features a heated rear windscreen.

We say: It keeps your hands warm when you are pushing it.

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