Junkyard Gem: 1988 Hyundai Excel GL Sedan

I was heading to higher education in Southern California in 1986, driving an reasonably priced Detroit hooptie like most of my friends (due to the fact only a no one walked), when I recognized a odd issue in the campus parking plenty: lots of brand-new automobiles! Much more specially, very very affordable model-new automobiles from two companies no one experienced at any time heard of: Yugo and Hyundai. As we all know, Malcolm Bricklin’s Yugo GV went on to develop into a huge joke, the country that produced it disappeared from planet maps, and its assembly plant was bombed out of existence … but Hyundai became a large player in the American market place. Here’s just one of the vehicles that very first made 현대자동차그룹 a family identify right here, identified in a Denver-spot car or truck graveyard recently.

The Yugo GV was hilariously affordable, with a price tag tag of just $4,199 for the foundation 3-door hatchback in 1988 (that is about $10,805 in 2022 pounds, or almost 3 grand a lot less than you would fork out for the least expensive new auto in The usa right now). But the much even bigger and superior-outfitted 1988 Hyundai Excel begun at a mere $5,295 ($13,625 now).

That was unbelievably cheap for a new car that challenged the likes of the $5,495 Chevrolet Sprint, $5,999 Mazda 323, $5,556 Subaru Justy, $5,899 Dodge/Plymouth Colt, $5,995 Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon, $5,948 Toyota Tercel EZ, $5,490 Ford Festiva and $5,990 Volkswagen Fox for supremacy in the beneath-$6,000 assortment (6 grand arrives to about $15,439 immediately after inflation). The Yugo, Dash, Justy, and Festiva were being itsy-bitsy pretend cars, not acceptable for jousting with battered Plymouth Furies and Lincoln Mark Vs on the 405, so the Excel looked like by much the best automobile-for each-dollar deal of mid-to-late-1980s The united states.

That stated, a several many years of hindsight tells us that the early Excel wasn’t screwed with each other so properly. Hyundai construct good quality has been stable due to the fact because at minimum the center 1990s, but the early Excels tended to slide aside in a hurry. I recall going to California junkyards in the early 1990s and becoming startled to come across however-shiny Excels with under 30,000 miles on their odometers following to the decayed Tremendous Beetles and rage-junked Renault Alliances. If I bought time-machined back to 1988 under orders to buy a sub-$6k new motor vehicle that experienced a fantastic shot at long lasting at the very least a quarter-century, I might get the Tercel EZ or 323 (and then do all the routine maintenance on the dot).

This currently being an automatic-equipped sedan with the one-notch-above-base GL trim amount, its MSRP was effectively above the $6k threshold: $7,145 ($18,385 in 2022). That is still way less costly than an ’88 Corolla or Civic sedan with slushbox ($9,358 and $9,655, respectively), and the Excel’s specs seemed fairly very similar to people of the Corolla and Civic.

The motor is a Mitsubishi-derived 4-cylinder rated at 68 horsepower. Intelligent Excel owners prevented drag races with anything faster than Yugos and diesel Volkswagens.

The automatic transmission additional a rigid $450 ($1,158 now) to the charge of this motor vehicle. American motorists beloved automatics almost as considerably in 1988 as they do now, but two-pedal rigs were pricey and Excels had been purchased on cost, so most of them had the base 5-speed manual.

Believe that it or not, there was a Mitsubishi-badged twin of the Excel marketed in the United States: the Precis. Starting off rate was $5,295 for the ’88 Summary hatchback, same as the Excel.

Not even 100,000 miles on the clock. Given that most Excels died reasonably youthful, they’re complicated to locate in the boneyards today. I suspect that this a person was a just-to-church-on-Sundays car that received standard routine maintenance from its 1 owner. Astonishingly, I have uncovered a junkyard Excel with shut to a quarter-million miles exhibiting not really up there with the 600k-milers I uncover all through my junkyard travels, but nevertheless extraordinary.

It can be a bit rusty, even though the system filler may possibly have slowed down the leakage into the trunk.

It will be crushed pretty shut to exactly where it was bought new.

The Excel was not a fantastic auto, but it was an important vehicle and therefore a large piece of our automotive heritage. That is what will make this a single a gem.

Get two for the price of an average car or truck! A new Chevy Superstar price tag about the similar as a pair of Excel 5-pace hatches in 1988, so this business is not wrong.