Sunday, October 14, 2018

1986 Hyundai Pony "Magnifique Hyundai Pony"

There's a pretty good chance that you will never see one of these on the road. Certainly, you will never see one as nice as this one.

The Pony was the first car Hyundai sold in North America. In this case, North America meant Canada. Unable to pass the U.S. emissions standards, it was never sold here.

Hyundai starting building cars in 1967. They were building a Ford Cortina under license. In the early seventies they wanted something of their own. They hired George Turnbull, former managing director at British Leyland to create it. He in turn brought along some of British Leyland's top engineers. The chassis is loosely based on the Morris Marina. Some of the suspension parts came from the Cortina they were already building. The engine was from Mitsubishi. The body was designed by Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A. It was introduced to the Korean market in 1975.

In 1982 the Pony got a bit of a facelift, making it look slightly more modern. Hyundai started exporting the car to Canada in 1984. It was a huge success. Hyundai expected to sell 5,000 cars in Canada in 1984. They wound up selling over 25,000.

The Canadians weren't buying this car for its technology or performance, however. They bought it for its price. At $5,795 (Canadian), it was considerably less expensive than the Japanese imports and only slightly more than a Lada.

But, as in most cases, you get what you pay for. The Pony was slow, crude, not very well screwed together and rusted horribly.

That's what makes this car so interesting... It's in remarkable condition.

This Pony is being offered by a dealer in Brossard, Quebec, Canada. They don't give us a lot of information about it. It has just 22,028 Km (13,687 miles) on it. It looks like what I assume a new Pony looked like. (The seller calls it a "Magnifique Hyundai Pony," which sounds so much better than any way we could describe it in English.)

Ah, but the price... The dealer is asking $14,995 (Canadian). That's about $11,500.00 US. No matter what currency you're using, that's a lot of money for this car.

So why would anyone buy this car? History, that's all. Hyundai followed up the Pony with the marginally better FWD Excel, which was the first Hyundai sold in the U.S.. Now, of course, they are a huge player in the North American market. They offer everything from cheap entry level cars to expensive luxury sedans. Whether any of this would have happened had the Pony been a flop is questionable.

This is not something I desire to own. But, if you are a Hyundai collector / aficionado - with a lot of cash - this may be for you.

Click here to see the dealer's ad.

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