Also known as Yugo or Innocenti Koral, the Zastava Koral was an utilitary made in Yugolasvia during the communist era and after it. The car was designed in Italy taking the base of the Fiat 127. The car sold very well in Yugoslavia, but also outside Yugoslavia, being exported even to the U.S.A. and selling more than 140.000 cars there (it was a low-cost car, priced under 4000 US$). It was on production between 1980 and 2008, and today it seems that most of the remaining units are in Serbia.
Yugoslavian children, as children from anywhere else, loved miniature cars. Foreign brands like Matchbox were very coveted, and very scarce due to the political and economical situation back then. However, some Yugoslavian company decided to build miniature cars, and they chose a local car model. I have searched information about the company, but I found nothing. I also searched for other models "Made in Yugoslavia", but I only found this one in different colours. Did Yugo - Auro Metal (sometimes mispelled "Auto-Metal") only build this single model? Probably yes, and probably the company built any other kind of die-cast products for the industry or whatever and was commisioned to build this toy.
Yugo Auto Model are rare and difficult to find, and also quite exotic. The car itself is a great quality model, sturdy, with opening trunk, quality paintwork, and accurate scalling. The base is metallic and casted there is a "Made in Yugoslavia" and "Yugo Auto Model". Interior is made of brown plastic, and windshield/windows are also present. It even has some suspension, and quite a good one. I would say it is one of the most robust toy cars I have ever seen.
EDIT: A visitor to this blog named Milos Mihajlovic wrote me on May 2016 an email to add and correct some information from this entry. Many thanks! I include here part of his email
"The Yugo car model you have is actually made by Auro Metal, from town Subotica, not Auto Metal. Auro Metal (I think it is from word Aurum, meaning gold) was a state company processing metals, mostly precious, into small products like badges, also jewellery, goblets/cups, and similar stuff. Yugo car model was, as far as I know, the only one they ever made. I find it very interesting, as it is very different from other products they made, so it was probably a big challenge for them and a pioneering effort. Small metal car models as this Yugo were not produced in Yugoslavia at all, if I know correctly, only in late 1980 did Metaloplastika Sabac briefly make some Bburago clones of slightly lower quality."
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: ZASTAVA KORAL / YUGO
- Scale: 1:60 (approx.)
- Year: Approx. 1987
- Company: Yugo Auto-Metal (Yugoslavia)
- Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm