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Hagerty Employee

If early Hyundais ever become collectible, these will be the cars to have

These days, you can be proud to park something like a Hyundai Santa Fe in your driveway-prouder still, perhaps, to slide behind the wheel of a sultry Genesis G90. But the current success of South Korean automakers had to begin somewhere, and those early roots indicate some serious growing pains.
Intermediate Driver


I can imagine those boxy little Hyundais attracting a bit of attention at Hershey somewhere in the future, although they might be lost among the late '80s Camrys the early '90s Civics, and the Neons.

But that soulless blue thing on the cover photo--no way. It looks like any other '10s car, which is to say, a mess of dissonant squiggles.

I, too, think that most (not all) of the late-model Hyundais are rather good-looking. I think the trend started with the 2011 Sonata.

This is one car that will be forgotten to time in America.

Most here may have never seen one and for those of us who do remember why the are not seen today.

Rust, parts failures and major brake issues here in the Midwest saw them vanish from the road in only a few years.

I still have a couple Korean fans that Hyundai gave me at the Detroit auto show. They held up better than the cars. Maybe if they had used bamboo and cloth they may have failed better.

I am glad to see someone save this car and preserve it. I too am a underdog collector too. Every car deserves to be preserved but anymore even some of the more popular cars of this era are gone.

Just look at all the Grand Ams built in this era. When was the last time you saw a Gran Am Turbo running let alone in a junk yard.

I think there should be a greater effort to preserve many of these orphan cars In metal and if not at least in print.

Every car is owed a memory.


I don't recall a Grand Am Turbo, but then, my memory is not perfect. When were they made?
Intermediate Driver

Funny , I had two a stick the other an automatic. I installed an Audi badge in the front & one on the trunk lid...........drove those German guys crazy when I was on the 401 Hwy......they pass, slow down .....check it over.....confused as hell !
Intermediate Driver

The only 4 cylinder rear wheel sedan available in N. America in it's day? Really?
How about the Volvo 200 / 700 series?

Garbage cans on wheels....
In the early 80's when I was in HS, I remember NOT fondly the debut of the 'Excel"
A girl in my class got suckered by the Hyundai dealer and bought a fully loaded Italian designed piece of junk. It was back to the dealer repeatedly and eventually disappeared. Hyundai faked out the public by offering a pretty little car for a low price.... that turned out to be a corrupt P.O.S.!!
Hyundai will NEVER be a classic after this abomination!!!
Pit Crew

In the early 90's a friend of mine owned a first gen Excel. It had about 130k miles at the time and would have been pictured in the dictionary next to 'bucket of bolts'. It was so bad that every time he hit a pothole the door chimes dinged. But it was surprisingly reliable, doing a 60 mile daily commute every day without fail. There was definitely nothing collectible about it. He just couldn't afford anything better.
New Driver

The link with Ford and Stellar, I remember fitting Stellar brake and suspension parts to Cortinas.

If they become collectible? That is one big "if"!
Intermediate Driver

I guess, the stuff that usually goes to the crusher just becomes more rare.
I was outbid on a Yugo couple years ago, so for every punishment, there's a glutton.
New Driver

I owned a Pony in the early 1990's exactly like the one pictured. I bought it for $2000 with about 10K on the odometer frm a police staff sergeant who was very big to get behind the wheel and rarely ever drove it. It was a pretty good car. I installed an aftermarket Crane Cams electronic multi spark ignition and it had a bit for power . Driven carefully on the highway it would give almost 50mpg (Imperial gallons) and never used much oil. One one trip while travelling on an almost empty Interterstate 75 in nothern Michigan I put the pedal to the floor on a long downhill grade and the speedometer registered 160MPH. The plastic heater control valve over the gas pedal once split and the antifreeze spilled down and scalded my right foot. This was a common failing. I sold it to the my son's girlfriend and she drove it into the ground. Rust was a problem even with Oil Gard every year of the 4 years I owned the car. I never had any mechanical problems. All in all not the best or worst car I ever owned.
New Driver

Hyundai collectable? Barf! The article was a waste of electrons.
Pit Crew

I still remember pulling distributor caps on no start Pony’s and seeing a pile of metal filings.
These cars were almost as bad as the Ladas and Nivias.