We wrote about Cuba being a small treasure chest when it comes to classic US cars. Some really nice classic models can be found in Eastern Europe as well. Serbia was part of Yugoslavia which had its own auto industry. Most famous models that came from Serbia are Yugo and Zastava Skala. Later was one of the most modern designed vehicles at the time, when hatchbacks wasn’t as common as today. Yugo was the soul product of Yugoslav automotive industry and in the nineties it6 was a victim of a really bad media campaign, with it being declared as the worst car ever, which was followed by numerous sarcastic portraits in various American movies including Die Hard 3. On the other hand it is hard to deny that Yugo was one of the European vehicles that was exported to the United States, unlike numerous other vehicles from Italy, France, Germany and various other highly developed countries.
Serbian old timer enthusiasts from time to time organize open exhibitions and rides around towns. One of these exhibitions was held in Belgrade few moths ago, and my friend Slobodan Rudic, who’s also one of the owners of Work and Travel Iskustvo web site was there with his camera, and he took some really nice photos of some really nice machines including one beautiful Ford Thunderbird, similar to the model seen in American Graffiti. So here are the photos from the classic car fair held in Belgrade few months ago:
Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
This vehcle is one of the most famous VW cars ever. Coupe version was in production from 1955 until 1974. It featured design that was somewhere in between Type 1 (also known as the Beetle) and styling designed by Luigi Serge who was the chief of Italian company called Carrozzeria Ghia. It was designed in Germany and it is one of the most imported vehicles in United States. Famous industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague called this vehicle the world’s most beautiful designed product.
Volvo Amazon is the executive sedan which was introduced in 1956 and produced until 1970. This vehicle was exported to United States from 1959, when it was presented on New York Auto Show and sold under 122S nameplate. 1959 version of Volvo Amazon came with front seat belt and Volvo was the first manufacturers to include this safety equipment and make it a standard feature in all of its models.
Ambassador was produced by American Motors Corporation from 1958 to 1974. Vehicle on the photo is a sixth generation model, first of which came out in 1967 completely restyled and much longer and wider than before. This vehicle new “coke-bottle” styling was well received by American consumers, and it was described by Motor Trend magazine as attractive, more graceful and easier on the eye.
First and probably the most beautiful Ford Thunderbird was also one of the vehicles seen in Belgrade’s old timers exhibition. Same model of Thunderbird convertible was driven by the hot blond in the American Graffiti. It was made to compete with the Chevrolet Corvette and the concept version was presented in 1954. First production version was this model on the photo and it was made for 1957 model year and it was produced until 2005 being one of the longest American nameplate.