The Flight of the Fića

Several weeks ago, I was looking through classifieds in Serbia to see what was up for sale. There was the usual batch of customized ones, and others in relatively bad shape, neither of which is my cup of tea. Not to mention such examples might be a bit problematic...

Then I found two which I liked: an older model and this one. Before I knew it, the older one was already sold, only days after the ad was posted. I then knew I needed to act fast (and quite creatively, considering I was half a world away from the car), especially at its low asking price.

Meanwhile, my grandma was preparing the wanted ad she offered to post on the following Monday. I gave her a call and told her about the car I found. She promised to give the owner a call in the next couple of days, in case there are any offers that turn up from our wanted ad first. I then explained the situation and its urgency, noting how good examples tend to disappear before they are posted for sale.

Then she told me she'd get back to me in half an hour.

Sooner than I expected, my grandma called me back and told me that my grandpa and her, along with another couple (the husband just happens to be a mechanic) were now on their way to the town where the car was located, about 110km away from Belgrade.

(Click to enlarge - image courtesy of Google Earth)

So on they went. They arrived at the owner's house and began to inspect the car. The ad mentioned that the car hasn't been in use (nor registered) for a year or so. Neither has the battery, it resulted. Despite the good care taken of the car, the battery wasn't so fortunate.

How was the car supposed to be taken home with a dead battery? They convinced the owner to do something about it. He then 'remembered' he has a friend who owns a parts store across the street, and he gave him a call and asked him to open up shop early. The unplanned shopping spree of the owner created some more time for a closer look.

Upon the owner's return, a wave of haggling came over him. He emerged agreeing to the currency limit set by my grandparents. After finalizing the documents, the Fića with its new Yugo battery and lack of license plates headed back to Belgrade (coincidentally where the car 'lived' originally).

I get an SMS from my grandpa: "the car has passed the first test and safely made it back to Belgrade."

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