The car that launched an auto industry, remade by its creator

We rightly view Hyundai, the industrial giant from South Korea, as an integral part of the automotive marketplace, and industry, in North America. It’s hard to grasp today that nearly 50 years ago, most Americans didn’t know how to produce the company’s name, much less have a firm understanding of what it produced. In fact, it would be years before Hyundai vehicles would be sold in the United States at all. The car that truly launched Hyundai as an auto manufacturer, and led us where we are today, was the 1974 Hyundai Pony Coupe, the first car built by Hyundai that wasn’t a knockoff of somebody else’s car and the first true mass-produced automobile in the history of South Korea. A lot of history flows from this one car, so it’s fitting that it’s being re-created as a celebration of Hyundai heritage.

Hyundai has announced that it will work with the design firm GFG Style to rebuild the Pony Coupe as a retro concept to mark the firm’s half-century of producing its own automobiles. GFG Style is the successor to Ital Design, whose founder, Giorgetto Giugiaro, penned the wedge-shaped, very 1970s design before going on to achieve design immortality by drafting the look of the original Volkswagen Golf and Scirocco, among many other vehicles. Guigiaro’s son, Fabrizio, is now part of GFG Style and will be working on the Pony Coupe resurrection. Hyundai has hinted that the concept project could lead to more cooperation with GFG Style on future production models, a lofty prospect given the dramatic looks for which Hyundai is already well known.

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