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A Grand Monday: Hyundai Pony

Published 24 April 2017

Hyundai's first assault on the European car market began in 1976 with the launch of the Pony - a car that was midway between a supermini and a compact hatchback in terms of its size, but was one of the cheapest cars on sale at the time.

That first Pony was utterly conventional, rear-wheel-drive, with a live rear axle and a chassis based loosely on that of the Ford Cortina.

By the 1990s, though, the Pony was past it. Hyundai, however, was not. It had established a foothold in the European market, and one that today leaves the brand among the top ten car manufacturers in the UK, and one of the five biggest in the world. It's an incredible story of growth.

Part of its success was its decision to expand its model range in the late 1980s and early 1990s. First came the Stellar, an even more Cortina-like large saloon, closely followed by the Excel, its first front-wheel-drive offering.

Hyundai Pony (3)

The Excel was sold in the UK as the Pony X2 to help with brand familiarity, and it came with a choice of 1.3 and 1.5-litre engines based on Mitsubishi designs. The styling was by Giorgetto Giuigiaro, a deliberate ploy to give it a more harmonious European look than its predecessor.

Thanks to keen pricing and high levels of standard equipment, it did quite well in terms of retail sales, but like all Korean cars of the era, many of them succumbed to corrosion, making survivors quite rare.

And that makes this example - a top spec 1.5 GSi - quite an unusual retro runabout. It has a full 12 months' MoT passed with no advisories, has never been welded and has covered just 26,000 miles from new. At £595 or near offer, it's a cheap and useable family classic that stands out from the norm. Offer £500, and you'll probably get a Pony for a pony... 

Comments

Mike harding    on 23 September 2017

I went to liverpool and bought that very car...and truly impressed with it, feels like a new car, drives superb, to be honest better than most Ford's and Vauxhalls, mind you that doesn't take much, but never the less a great car.

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