I was talking to someone this morning and we mentioned cars we had the opportunity to drive. Thinking back, I have found that a list of cars I drove is not long at all. Just a few models and I didn`t even own any of them. Well, one can`t have everything and a car is not on my list of priorities at the moment.
There we go. First… well, not a car but vehicle I drove was… take a look:

Yes, a tractor πŸ˜€ A model made by factory "Tomo Vinkovic" from Bjelovar, Croatia. Back in the 80s it was most suitable and very well sold tractor in mountainous areas of former Yugoslavia. My friend from Croatia, actually his father, owned one and one afternoon while we were driving on the road in mountain, he decided to teach me how to drive it. It was easy, a tractor had only 3 manual gears and accelerator was divided into pedal and hand one, so if you were driving for a long time, you could just move accelerator lever and hold a wheel 😎 I liked it. My brother and friend were sitting behind me on a trailer while I was a King of the mountain roads, speeding with.. well, maybe 20 km/h (12 mph) πŸ˜†
Later, the same friend decided, since I was so successful in tractor driving, to teach me how to drive a REAL car. He, actually his father, had a nice yellow Zastava 750, a very popular car during 70s and 80s in former Yugoslavia.

That car was amazing piece of technique. Made by Serbian car factory "Crvena Zastava" from Kragujevac, it was probably the most often owned car back then. I know families who would drive it over 800km (500 miles) and back just to spend summer vacations on Adriatic sea. They would put there all the kids and bags (not to mention the pets) and moved toward summer resorts with amazing speed of 80 km/h – some would say it could go even over 100 km/h – and they would have problems only in rare occasions. Properly maintained, that car could last forever.
You may laugh, but once we managed to put nine of us in it and drive to nearby disco 😎
When I was about 23-24 years old most of my friends has already had driving licenses – some of them has even had their own cars – so I decided it was a time for entering the club of drivers. So I took a lessons and was practicing in the pride of Serbian car industry – Yugo 45.

It had only 4 manual gears back then (plus reverse) and was a bit slow on accelerator pedal. And my driving instructor was often giving me orders to stop, then he would open bonnent and took something out of motor, then blow in it. "Dizna (nozzle)", he would say a minute after and I really could not notice it was moving any better than before. Well, whatever.
Since I didn`t have a money to buy a car, another friend decided it would be a waste of time if I forget how to drive so he gave me the opportunity to drive his Little Giant. What? You have never heard of Little Giant? Where do you people live? On Mars? Take a look…

Renault 4 was advertised as Little Giant in our media and I must say I adored that one the moment I sat behind wheel. It has weird manual clutch (we called it "umbrella") and was very easy to drive; sometimes I felt I could just think of accelerating and it would jump and moved faster. Once it was so fast that we ended out of the road :whistle:
On the same time, my father thought I was skilled enough to drive his car – another pride of Serbian car industry: Zastava 101 πŸ˜€

Did I said that Yugo was hard on accelerating? It was a lightning comapred to 101 :doh: The moment I started the engine it turned off. Several times. I managed to move it after sixth or seventh try. My father was too nervous to let me drive alone and was enough on the edge so he yelled at every little mistake I made :irked: I drove it for a few kilometers then gave up. After that, something has happened to a motor so we spent few hours by the road while my raging father was trying to fix it :whistle:
Not to mention I have never drive it again πŸ˜›
After that I got a job in a small company and part of my job was to drive goods outside Belgrade, mostly to Novi Sad and Kragujevac. Company had one really nice van, and like Renault 4, it was very easy to drive. It was Nissan Vannete.

Light on a wheel and very easy to drive. It didn`t have air condition (like most of the cars, anyway) so during hot summer days we would just open a side door and it was ok. To say the truth, police stopped me once because of that :whistle:
My boss had that thing with Nissan cars, he liked them and has model Primera Hatchback for his personal pleasure. Once I was driving it to the airport and back and so far it is the best and probably the most expensive car I have ever had the opportunity to drive :happy:

Even though I still have a driving license – which reminds me I would need to renovate it – I have never had a car of my own. At first I didn`t have money and now I have used to use public transport in Belgrade. Also, finding a parking place in this city has become a nightmare so I don`t feel the urge to have a car.
But it is really hard to find Zastava 750 in a good condition these days….

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Cars

  1. sanshan says:

    :yes: Nice post!

  2. gdare says:

    San, thanks :DKimmie, a lot of them are just lazy. Some of my friends has changed their cars for motorbikes and scooters, because it is easier to find a parking place but they would rarely walk or ride a bicycle. On the other hand, being in busses during summer could be a hell sometimes and bicycle lanes are not usual on our roads :awww:

  3. Spaggyj says:

    Reliable cars, useful cars, much more point to them than pretty cars or fast cars. I don't really like them, I know too many people who walk pretty much never because their cars have made them lazy. People over here often use their cars when really, it's just fine to walk. Your attitude is much better. Are many people like you in Serbia, or are they lazy like the majority of Brits?

  4. Spaggyj says:

    Bicycle lanes are sparse here too. And I know what you mean about buses! Sometimes we will take a taxi, but it is expensive.

  5. thetomster says:

    πŸ˜€ that's a post I really can join with … never ever had a driving license myself, never used it … and really don't like going by car anywhere or anyway … 'though as a kid I was very into cars and everything related to this … and I remember most of the cars you mentioned even the Zastava 750, nice one :up: and 'though never driving myself I once bought a car:very cheap one for 150 DM (Deutsch Mark) in the early 80's my father drove it 10 years and as far as I know it's still running … with an old Beetle motor πŸ˜€

  6. gdare says:

    Kimmie, taxis are expensive here too. So, I use them only when I have no other choices…Dirk, I remember those, there were a lot of them during 80s here. I was even riding in one when I was young 😎

  7. Dacotah says:

    You fit in a Yugo? :faint:Don't live on Mars but I never heard of Little Giant. πŸ˜€

  8. L2D2 says:

    Darko, I know that many people who live in large cities in America do not own or drive cars, but in Texas you couldn't get anything done without a car. I live about 2 miles from the nearest place of business I have to go, and I certainly can't walk that. I can't walk to my mailbox without losing my breath. But, it just isn't practical for us not to have a car. I have owned, 5 since I was divorced 29 years ago. They really are a necessity here if you don't live inside city limits where they have buses. And to take a taxi from my house to town would cost me $20 at least. Very, very expensive. The reason why I haven't used one in many years.Lots of people are spoiled, though. Here, it has become a common practice for parents to buy their teenage child a car on their 16th birthday. I can't condone that at all. They get in enough trouble without giving them the means to do so at such a young age. They don't have sense enough to drive.Here's what I drive now. Probably the last car I will own, both because of the cost and my eyesight.

  9. gdare says:

    Carol, yeah, it was not easy…. but you know, Z 750 is even smaller :DLinda, I know about USA, much greater distances and cars are the must. As for kids, here they can`t have their own car until they are 18 and when they got their first driving license the need to drive in a presence of older driver (at least 5 years of driving) and they are not alowed to drive at night, I think. We got that new law about security on the roads and it is very restrictive. But number of accidents and nuber of deaths on the road accidents has decreased for more than 30% in only one year :yes:Is this a Ford?

  10. PainterWoman says:

    Love the Little Giant Darko. I can see you driving one. I can also see you driving the Zastava. I like the looks of them. My cars in order from the time I was 21:1959 Chevy Impala1967 Pontiac LeMans1970 something Jeep Commando (?)1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (This was burgundy color and I loved this car. It got totaled in an accident when someone made a left turn in front of me. I had my six month old and 4 yr old children in the car but both were in car seats and no one was injured, nor was the other driver.) 1982 GMC extended cab Van1990 Dodge Van1993 Honda Accord (extremely economical but at 13 yrs old it needed more and more costly repairs each year. Sold it in 2008 and bought the following:2007 Dodge Magnum – This is charcoal gray and I love this car. It’s not nearly as economical as the Accord but has way more room. It’s kind of a glorified station wagon. I can haul 3 foot by 6 ft paintings in it easily.

  11. Dacotah says:


  12. studio41 says:

    that is one loooong list, Darko!! I wonder what it looked like to see you driving that tractor (not outfitted w/ your Aikido attire and sword?!)I drove this baby with classmates in a blizzard from our college in Minnesota to Chicago, Illinois. I cannot imagine that my mother wasn't terrified, but she simply said, "drive carefully." now I'd know better. the things I did not know then.

  13. gdare says:

    Pam, I have never heard for most of those cars you owned πŸ˜† But it is good to have bigger car in case of accident :left:

  14. gdare says:

    Jill, if you take a look at the banner of the site you gave link, on the right side it can be seen that Zastava 750 πŸ˜†

  15. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    I have never heard for most of those cars you owned

    πŸ˜† Somewhere, I have pictures of a couple of them.

  16. raniakasim says:

    one of my dream is to have my own car .i,m not going to attend training course till i have itthe problem is that i dream of modern one and this cost a lot of money

  17. SittingFox says:

    Given the state of English roads after the winter we've had, a tractor wouldn't be a bad idea :whistle:

  18. gdare says:

    Pam, make a post :yes:Rania, it depends what you consider as modern. The latest models has a lot of things computerised and I don`t really like that. Cars older than 5 years would be my choice :left:Adele, it is the same with our roads. Most of them has holes that didn`t exist before winter :insane:

  19. edwardpiercy says:

    "But it is really hard to find Zastava 750 in a good condition these days…."That white one in the photo is a very cool little sub-compact. And almost totally cherry from the look of it.Here's one of my cars, the 78 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. This isn't my photo, just a photo of an identical one I found on the internet. I also owned a 77 Chevy Caprice. It was in bad shape when I bought it. I eventually just gave it away to a young couple with a small baby who didn't have very much money. The Cutlass was the car that replaced the Caprice.Since then I haven't owned any vehicles.

  20. gdare says:

    Ed, that looks like a sport car. Is it? 😎

  21. edwardpiercy says:

    I think at the time it was classified as a mid-range "luxury" car (Luxury back then in the States meaning anything that ordinary businessmen or such would buy). It had a big V8 in it. Auto transmission. And hey, an AM/FM radio — w00t! :pIt wasn't fast. The power was there and very smooth but acceleration was not that quick. Might have been much better if I had put a 4-barrel on it, but I didn't.

  22. Stardancer says:

    I love those tiny bubble-like European cars. My current favorite kind of car that I would like to own is a Mini-Cooper, but they're way too expensive over here.I've been driving a Geo Metro two-door hatchback for 14 years, though. Before this one, I had another. Best cars I ever owned. Never left me stranded on the side of the road.I've owned a Ford Mustang II, a Chevy Camaro Z28 (T-tops and everything. Great car!), a Chevy Cavalier, Ford Granada, Ford F350 Pickup, F250 Pickup, and F150 Pickup. I've driven all kinds of cars, too. The most expensive cars I've ever driven were a Lexus that belonged to a former boss, and a Lexus that belongs to a friend of mine.I love to drive. It's fun to get out on an interstate highway and find out just exactly how fast a car can go and what it's capable of.Fun post, Darko!:up:

  23. gdare says:

    Ed, V8 should be powerful but I guess auto transmission is what slows it down. What is 4-barrel? I am not that familiar with american cars.Star, Ford Mustand and Chevy Camaro? Wow, you did have some wild time, didn`t you? 😎 I have never seen Lexus except on a photos, it is not usual car on this side of a Big pond. And Miny Cooper is too expensive even here. And, upon my humble opinion, overrated. My friend who lives in Germany had it for few months and then sold it, he told me it is not worth that money :left:

  24. Stardancer says:

    I agree that it's overrated, Darko. No way I'd pay in excess of $20,000US for one of those little bitty cars.But they're so darn cute!:lol:Yeah, I really miss the Camaro that I had. I was in my mid-20's when I owned that car. What fun it was!:D

  25. studio41 says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    look at the banner of the site

    I notice that it is entitled "CLUNKBUCKET" I'd never relegate my beloved vehicle's name to CLUNKER. I recognized that we had a similar chapter in vehicles – down to the colour πŸ˜† (did you like your Zastava? I loved my Fiesta!) πŸ˜€

  26. ellinidata says:

    :lol:nice!!!!!!!!!!! at least on the way, the car quality improved! :)I know all these cars, :doh: we grew up in the same region! didn't we ?? πŸ˜†

  27. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    What is 4-barrel? I am not that familiar with american cars.

    Darko, a 4-Barrel is a 4-Barrel Carburetor.The more standard carburetor would be a 2-Barrel Carburetor.When guys would soup up their Muscle Cars, not only did they put in a 4-Barrel Carburetor, but even more than one 4-Barrel Carburetor. They then do some serious Burning Rubber!

  28. Suntana says:

    Hmmm? The Yugo 45 — Pride of the Serbian Car Industry …I wonder if that's the Yugo that was making the rounds over here in the 80s? I THINK it looks like it might be. Anyway, it didn't have a good reputation. :insane: Apparently it was extremely underpowered, slow and was broken more often than what it ran. It WAS supposed to be inexpensive though. At least I think I recall that being the case.

  29. Suntana says:

    Darko, I don't know if it's the angle of that 1st Pic, but that tractor looks a bit weird. It sort of appears like the front wheels are too far into the center. It looks like the tractor could tip over forward with the weight of the engine. Is it like that because perhaps it is a 4 Wheel Drive Tractor?

  30. Suntana says:

    Darko, I concur with Peppermint. Over here, at least in Texas, a vehicle is pretty much a necessity.Then again, it could be as you say. IF public transportation IS available and one gets used to it, I guess there is never a second thought … no regrets.I've never been to New York or any other similar cities whereby the NORM mode of transportation IS public transportation. It always puzzled me in movies how in those places, people supposedly always happen to have money to just up and hail a Cab any time of day, any day of the week … all week long. :eyes: In my experiences with Cabs, they're NOT cheap. So, it boggles my mind to think that any and all my trips anywhere would be done via Cabs and Buses.Besides, both the usage of Cabs and Buses would be sooo inconvenient in that it's never instantaneous access. There can be a big wait for their availability vs. always being able to go up to your vehicle.I guess it all boils down to where we live, what's the NORM mode of transportation and what we got used to as we grew up.Over here it's a panic when suddenly your vehicle is broken. It's a MAJOR Red Alert! It's like we're suddenly completely shackled and imprisoned cuz we can't get anywhere.

  31. gdare says:

    Star ;)Jill, actuall that Zastava 101 was y father`s car so I don`t know if I liked them :DCarlos, Yugo 45 was supposed to be a cheap but reliable car for USA market – but it wasn`t as a lot of us expected πŸ˜› And with price of only 5999,- USD it was probably the cheapest new car available :DAngeliki, yes, I guess maybe you have seen some of them while you were still in Greece πŸ˜€

  32. edwardpiercy says:

    If I would/could get another car, I would ideally like to have a 1795 Chrysler Cordoba. With the soft feel of Corninthian leather, or sumptuous velour.And I want the one with the 4-barrel. :)[Darko, the 4-barrel is a carburetor, the thingy that oxygenates the fuel to combust inside the engine. The 4-barrel does this more efficiently than the 2-barrel and gives the engine a bigger boost. Or at least that's what it tells me in my Complete Idiot's Guide to Carburetors.]

  33. edwardpiercy says:

    I like those big old American cars. Terrible gas mileage, transmissions programmed to self-destruct at the 7 year mark — and yet they had style plus.

  34. edwardpiercy says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    do you really have that book?

    Uh, no. :lol:I guess I missed Carlos' comment. :p

  35. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by edwardpiercy:

    Here's one of my cars, the 78 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.

    I guess kids nowadays have it easier in Driver's Ed.It's easier learning to drive in today's smaller cars vs. these Aircraft Carriers of years past. :insane: Then again, I drove a Monte Carlo and Delta 88 in Driver's Ed and had no trouble Parallel Parking even though I had never done it before.

  36. gdare says:

    Ed, thanks I have understood what Carlos explained :DOriginally posted by edwardpiercy:

    Complete Idiot's Guide to Carburetors.

    :sst: do you really have that book?

  37. gdare says:

    As long as I know, those names of cars could be made up :lol:Rambler Station Wagon – sounds like something heavy, made for off road with big horns in bonnent πŸ˜›

  38. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by Suntana:

    I drove a Monte Carlo

    So did I and loved driving it.

  39. Suntana says:

    You wanna talk style? I got my Driver's License in an AMC 1963 Rambler Station Wagon. :eyes: As soon as the State Trooper got in with me, I saw him write down something. It wouldn't surprise me if he docked points for me having the audacity to show up to the Driving Test in a Station Wagon. :yikes: :doh: He probably wrote down, "10 points off for lack of style."

  40. Suntana says:

    Made up? Heavy, made for off road with big horns? :yikes: :insane: I'll let you be the judge: Haw! :headbang: Ours was Maroon-colored.Somehow it looks longer than I recall. I recall it more mediumish.

  41. L2D2 says:

    1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 (this what my first and I owned when we divorced. I took my driving test in this car. Ours was a wine color. Great car. Could scoot. ) Ours was this wine color, only solid color, no white. Anothe muscle car, 1978 Pontiac TransAm. Ours was this exact color. favorite car I ever owned. 1973 Dodge Dart Swinger 340 with high performance engine and high performance rear end that came stock. Mine looked exactly like this except it had a black wide stripe and hood scoop middle of hood. Had 160 MPH on speedometer, and we have had it go faster than that. Hair raising. If I could have another one just like it, I'd take it in a heartbeat. Had many, many cars while married to Larry Muckleroy. Probably don't even remember all of them, sometimes had 3 and 4 at once.

  42. Suntana says:

    Okay, Peppermint, so you edged me out in the class & style department as to our Driving Test vehicles. Is that Trans Am right around the Model of Burt Reynold's Trans Am in the movie Smokey & the Bandit? Hmmm? Or was that a Firebird? Or are they one and the same?1973 Dodge Dart Swinger 340 … driven faster than 160 MPH? Wooooooo! You were a Bad Girl, Peppermint!:insane: :headbang: My older brother almost bought a Dodge Charger that exact color. His Dream / Fantasy car is a Plymouth Roadrunner. He says that since way back in High School, after seeing some guy with a Purple & Black Roadrunner, he's literally dreamed, even to this day, of having one. He says he wants to buy one already fixed up cuz he's too old to be Fugging around trying to fix it up himself.

  43. gdare says:

    Linda, that Pontiac TransAm was a car I was dreaming about when I was a kid. Saw it first time in some movie and then in some Adriatic coast village during summer. It was bright red, felt almost like a Ferrari πŸ˜†

  44. L2D2 says:

    All these were muscle cars. For your info, Chuck, it wasn't me who was driving that fast—it was my husband, Larry, but I was in the car with him. Running from the Constable in White Oak. I told that story somewhere once before. But I loved that Swinger.Had a friend who owned a Barracuda. Remember those?Firebirds same as TransAm, just different paint jobs, and there may have been a difference under the hood, just not sure. This TransAm was a nice car for sure and would scoot. Dare, yes, the TransAm had that tough car reputation.

  45. Suntana says:

    Oh, that's right. I remember something about you and Larry playing Bonnie & Clyde. Barracuda … I had a friend back in Electronics School who had a red Barracuda with a white stripe. Years later when I met up with him again, I asked him about his Barracuda. I think he told me he totaled it. :insane:So, do you remember whether Bandit Burt Reynolds had the Trans Am version or the Firebird version in the movie Smokey & the Bandit? Maybe that's the movie to which Darko is referring. I'm guessing it was the Trans Am version. Somehow Firebird is not ringing a bell as to it having been what he had.

  46. Suntana says:

    Darko, I don't think I'm liking the location of the muffler on that tractor. I looks like the exhaust smoke and fumes would end up right in the face of the driver. I think all the tractors I've seen and driven, have the muffler up top to where the exhaust floats upward.

  47. gdare says:

    Carlos this is a small tractor, so exhaust is placed low and it never bothered a driver. I don`t know how, maybe something with float of air around it moved fumes away while driving.

  48. Suntana says:

    Ohhh, Okay. Now that I take yet another look at the Pic … either those are some huge ass doors in the background or yeah, you're right. That IS a small tractor, cuz it appears to be only about half the height of those doors.

  49. gdare says:

    Yes, a small one πŸ˜€

  50. gdare says:

    My friend gave me a lift home from training yesterday. He has that ancient old Renault 4 – we were joking about it calling it Quattro πŸ˜› It brought some good memories back πŸ˜€

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s