The car I saw recently is somewhat reminiscent of the Dongfanghong from my previous CC, in respect of being an adaptation of Western technology by a manufacturer from the Far East. However, this time we’re dealing not with a rip-off of a humble Soviet taxicab, but rather with a full blown Brougham, albeit from South Korea.
The complete name of this car seems to be Daewoo Super Salon Ace Brougham. Compared to the ordinary Daewoo Prince / Super Salon, It had a longer wheelbase and fancier trim, including silvery gray plastic cladding on the lower body. It was produced in 1991-97 and eventually replaced by the infamous Daewoo Leganza and, to some extent, the Ssang Yong / Daewoo Chairman (said to be based on the Mercedes-Benz W124) which is still in production.
Unlike its predecessor, the Daewoo Royale, which was a more or less exact licensed copy of the Holden VB Commodore (essentially Opel Rekord E body with Opel Senator front clip), the Prince / Super Salon / Ace / whatever else they called it was much more elaborate. Keeping the somewhat antiquated RWD GM V platform in its early revision, which featured solid rear axle on a five-link suspension and in essence dated back all the way to 1966, it received a new, rounded body – relatively attractive for the time and making the car competitive enough for the home market.
Coming closer to the car, I experienced a strong attack of deja vu: I’ve seen it all before ! My 21-year-old self seeking for his first $1000+ car 5 year ago, more specifically.
The Ace, built in 1991 as I recall it, was much shinier back then, and didn’t have all those nasty dents and rust spots. It was being sold by a young lady in her twenties. While I liked the styling, and the car’s comfy (if somewhat cramped compared to its external dimensions) gray leather interior and automatic transmission (a relatively rare option on used cars back then) were tempting, its exotic origins scared me off. Daewoo (often misspelled “duh-a-woo”) was still associated here with such lowly stuff as the Nexia and the Leganza at the time; well, it still is, but now this brand is used only for the older models built in Uzbekistan. The original Daewoo is now called GM Korea, and it made quite a progress since 1990s and early 2000s, becoming a no-nonsense world-class developer and manufacturer of cars.
The car still has old “52” [region number] license plates; in 2009 cars were issued “152” plates being re-registered by the new owner, so it most likely didn’t sell. At least not until about 2011, when the registration procedure was changed so that you could keep the plates issued to the previous owner. And now it seems to be parked permanently, front wheels turned into the curb, supposedly due to some irreparable (without significant investments at least) mechanical failure – a common fate among old oddball foreign cars here.