I have been doing quite a bit of travel for work this year. A couple of months ago, while on one of my business trips I came up behind this flatbed tow truck that was hauling this Hyundai Pony. I had to chuckle when I read the plate, because it very well could be true. I can’t even remember the last time I saw Hyundai Pony.
The Pony was Hyundai’s first attempt at building its own car, with production beginning in 1975. Shortly after its introduction, Hyundai began to export the car to other countries, beginning in South America, and eventually making its way into Europe. By 1983, the Pony received a mild update, which marked the beginning of the second generation cars.
When the second generation Pony hit the streets, Hyundai decided to tackle the North American market. However, because of its relatively primitive engine (which still used a point ignition), it could not pass the US emission standards. At that time Canada had much less stringent emission levels than the US. So, with a few minor modifications it was introduced to the Canadian Market in 1983 for the 1984 model year. The car’s biggest selling point was its price, with the modest price of $5900 CDN. It was thousands less the Japanese competitors and this resulted in it being a massive sales success. The Pony may have been antiquated by 1984, but was an improvement on the Eastern Bloc cars that were in the same price range also being sold in Canada at that time. Just think, all those Canadian’s buying Lada’s and Skoda’s could now upgrade to a Pony!
Here is a Canadian Ad for the 1987 Pony
It wasn’t long before the Pony earned a reputation of low quality and being very prone to severe rust. In my native Ontario, it was common to see them full of holes even when relatively new. They were pretty well all gone after 10 years. So, seeing one of these cars in Ontario 30 years after the last one was sold is a rare sight indeed. The subject car in my photo was pretty badly rusted along the lower body as I passed the truck. I had to wonder, was the really the last Pony and was it on its final trip to the junkyard?