Thanks to our faithful Cohort poster RiveraNotario, we are honored to have the first-ever appearance of the Saehan Bird on our pages. He was able to track it down in Rancagua, Chile. If it looks a bit familiar, that’s for a good reason: this is a Korean-built Isuzu Gemini, sold as the Opel by Isuzu in the US and which was a Japanese version of the Opel Kadett C, also related to our Chevette. GM’s T-Car was its first global platform, and it did get around, including to Korea.
That’s where it was built first by Saehan as the Bird, and after 1982, as the Daewoo Maepsy.
The Bird featured a 1.5 L four, imported (from Isuzu, undoubtedly), and was even available with an automatic. That all made it quite expensive at a time when South Korea was just beginning its long climb upwards. So sales were low, and when it reappeared as the Daewoo Maepsy, it had a smaller 1.3 L engine and a somewhat lower price.
Obviously some of these Birds flew the coop, and to some faraway places, like Southern Chile.