(VIDEO) Hyundai has now restored the 1974 Pony prototype, drawn by Giugiaro, and those involved are talking about its history, almost unknown outside of South Korea

May. 19th, 2023, 01:19 PM GMT
Just as East Germans had their Wartburg 353 and Trabant 601, Czechs had their Skodas and Tatras, Romanians had Dacia 1300 or Aro 24 as cars dear to their soul, Koreans have Hyundai Pony, a model that, in its first generation still evokes pleasant memories and admiration for them today. The Pony was the first model with its own design, developed by a Korean manufacturer, since until then all Korean factories produced cars of other manufacturers, with a local license, such as the Fiat 124 with the Kia emblemfor example. And, just as Dacia created a station wagon from its basic model, and then a coupe with two doors, Hyundai wanted to do it too.
Few know outside of South Korea, but Hyundai then called on Giorgetto Giugiaro to design both the basic Pony model and the variations. At that time Giugiaro was only a promising young man, with already visible results, but still far from his status as a legend, which he strengthened in the meantime.
The Hyundai factory was almost not equipped with the necessary equipment, the company did not even have the necessary experience to put in its own production all the necessary components, so they hired a Briton from British Leyland to help them organize the production. And a team went to Turin, Italy, to follow the creative process of Giugiaro, who gave them not just some sketches, but dimensions and guidance for series production, as befits an industrial design. One of those Koreans, Chung Goo Lee, then only 29 years old, would later become the president of Hyundai and lead the company to the progress that laid the foundation for what we know about Hyundai today.
The Pony was publicly unveiled and went into series production, garnering a standing ovation both in the West and at home in South Korea, where it was an affordable car and made it affordable for huge numbers of people for the first time. a car.
Photo: The streets of South Korea once upon a time, dominated by the Hyundai Pony

And later came the Pony Coupe Concept prototype, from 1974, which had a visionary silhouette, but which was no longer put into production due to the global crises. Its forms were found in an evolved form, but with clear similarities, on the DeLorean DMC-12.
A year ago, however, in the summer of 2022, Hyundai presented the N Vision 74 prototype to the public, with a fabulous design that came to resume the lost history of the Pony Coupe prototype, drawn by Giugiaro in 1974. The 2022 car was basically a modern reinterpretation of the one from 1974, and Hyundai fans were overwhelmed and fascinated all over the world, asking the manufacturer to put this model into production.
For now, Hyundai says it doesn't plan to produce it, but it still juggles the idea again from time to time, and now it has also restored the original 1974 prototype to keep this history alive.
And in addition to the painstaking work of restoring that 1974 concept car, Hyundai has also produced a film in which people involved in everything the Pony project meant back then — from production models to the Pony Coupe prototype — talk about that history, which was almost unknown outside of South Korea until recently. Even the great Giugiaro welcomes the people from Hyundai to his house in Italy and shares details about the history of 50 years ago.
See everything in the video below, and if you happen to be in Italy, this weekend the restored prototype will arrive at the Villa d'Este, at the Concorso d'Eleganza, on the shores of Lake Como. You can include subtitles in the player commands to translate the soundtrack parts to Korean.
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