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Just wondering. How much did you pay? Were you low-income? Did you need something to get from point a-to-b? How was the car? Pictures? Where'd you go? How often were their problems? Any great adventures or road trips?

Please share your stories.
 

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My father had a 87 Stellar CX 4 door 5 speed in maroon and later a '88 Excel GLS 5 door auto in Shadow Blue, my sis a '88 Excel GL 2 door auto in Ferrari Red.
I had a '85 Pony GLS 5 door auto in maroon and decade later a 86 Pony gls auto in very faded silver.
In 100,000 kms my fathers Excel went though a engine, transmission and 2 alternators.
My sis's was bullet proof spite it sometimes not having much oil in it when she'd ask me to check.
After 100,000 the trans would not shift out of 1st till it warmed up in hers.
 

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I bought a 1986 Hyundai Pony 1.5GLS (AKA Excel) in the UK in 1991.
I was light metallic blue and cost me the princely sum of $400!
You might be wondering why I bought it?
Well a car that was almost 6 years old for $400 (or £240) was just too good to be true!
I was also a student at the time and decided to sell my Nissan Bluebird of the same age and trade down to a cheap & cheerful Hyundai.
The car was owned by a young lad that had inherited it from his Grandfather who was a farmer. The car was in generally poor cosmetic condition but based on the assumption that it was really just a Mitsubishi underneath, I thought there really wasn’t too much to go wrong.
The interior of the car was filthy when I bought it but a quick strip out of the interior soon had the carpets pressure washed to almost new condition and the seats were stripped and the material thrown in the washing machine. It all looked pretty good when re-installed and smelled very fresh!
The oil pressure light came on now and again, so I sourced an oil pressure switch from a scrapped Stellar – that cured the oil light problem.
At the local breakers yard they had a 1988 Pony that had only done 573 miles but had been in an accident where it was T-boned. The breaker let me take whatever I wanted from the car for £100 ($150 at the time) so I had new suspension, driveshafts, exhaust, wheels & tyres, rear parcel shelf and various other components & trim.
I owned the car for over 2 years and put on about 30,000 miles each year. It was great on the fuel and I didn’t really have any major issues.
The issues that I did have, other than the oil pressure switch, included:
Had to replace several window winder mechanisms – I think the originals were made of chocolate?
Both driveshafts – I think only one was worn but I replaced the two – I could do them in 20 mins start to finish!
When I first had the car it would sometimes stall when accelerating, I spoke with a mechanic at the local Hyundai dealer and he said it was the jetting of the carburetor. He gave me a print out of the repair manual and I bought a jet kit for around £6 ($10). Didn’t take very long to replace the parts in the carb and it ran perfectly ever after – it even increased the MPG!
Overall, the car was very cheaply built and you could see that the interior materials were of very low grade. Most things appeared to wear out much quicker than the equivalent Japanese car of the time. My Bluebird looked virtually new with 105k miles on it whereas the Pony with 85K looked like it had done 250k! It was very reliable and economical to be objective.
I eventually sold the car after buying a 1986 Toyota Corolla GT Coupe (AKA AE86) which was great fun to drive and a car I wish I’d kept now that I see the current prices!
I put up the Pony (Excel) for sale without a price and some passing guy offered me £800 ($1200) for it. Who was I to say no!
That was £195 ($300) less than the price I’d paid for the AE86 which was sold just over a year later for £2300 ($3900) but it would be worth 2 or 3 times that price today!
So in my experience the Hyundai Pony (Excel) was a cracking little car that actually paid for itself over the two year period!
 

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I drove my Stepmother's X1 Excel 5 speed manual for about 4 years after high school. First car with a cassette deck, no more boom box in the back seat!

Put a ton of New England miles on it, up and down VT. I think I had it over 150,000 when I passed it on to my Sister in 1995. That last summer, I think I left a full set of tires on the winding North Country roads. Young and stupid, but a lot of fun.

Sister drove it straight into the ground, and gave it away while it still functioned. We both drive Hyundai now.
 

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I had a 1988 Excel GL 2 door 4 speed manual stripper. About a month after I bought mine, a junkyard by my house got in a wrecked fairly loaded GLS. I went and got the radio and speakers, rear window wiper, washer tank and pump, hose and switch, both door mirrors with adjusting joystick. The GLS had storage compartments with a padded lid that doubled as arm rests for the rear passengers. The compartments went into the armrest area that was under the rear side windows. Mine had plastic cover. I popped out the covers and put the compartments in. I picked up a couple other things also. The Excel already had wiring for the radio and speakers and rear wiper and switch making that an easy to mount and plug. Swapped washer tanks so I could have the new tank with front and rear pump. Took a while to run the hose for the rear hatch washer nozzle. I had to remove the inner door panels to put in the new mirrors, but that did not take to long and dropped in the storage compartments after popping out a cover. I am thinking I picked all this stuff up for $65 or $75.
 

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I had a 1989 Excel GLS sedan. I got it in 1991 and back then the "in thing" was low rider trucks. But I tricked it out with ground effects, small wing on the trunk and 15' Enki 5 star wheels with 195/50 15's which were considered big in those days on the outside. Now this was WAY before the import craze of now. I had a tv and VCR in it....yes....I said VCR...haha. I think I paid 3500.00us for it if I remember right. And no telling how much spent on stereo system and such. Drove it until around 1996 or 97 and by that time I had been through a few clutches (wife couldn't drive a standard to save her life) and a transmission.

Towards the end it needed jet valves in the head, it had major blow by, pouring oil into the air filter and I had decided to just buy a long block engine for it.

Well it was thanksgiving night and I got home and parked the car, went inside. Neighbor came running over said your car is on fire...well I thought he was kidding....well he wasn't!! Luckily we were able to get the fire out before it burned the whole car...just burned the engine compartment. turned out the oil had flowed out the air filter onto the exhaust.

I was a week away from having all the money together to buy that engine!!! But that was the end of my Excel.

Crazy memories, but I will never forget that car!!! My oldest son came home from the hospital in that car after he was born, first date with the wife in that car, I could go on and on. And it was WELL before the digital camera age and all the pictures I had of it were lost in hurricane Katrina.
 

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Mwife and I bought an '86 Excel GLS, which we got with 8K miles on it at a local used car place. Iit was only a few months old. We were in our first year of marriage, so I guess low income. What was really amazing about this car compared to others in its class was all the features that it had. It was kind of like a mini Honda Accord. We ended up trading it in and getting a new 88 Excel a couple years later.

Hyundai sold so many of those cars that when we went to trade the 88 in a few years later, it was worth so little. It was $10,000 new, and I got a 1,900 on trade. It was a really neat little car, my first new car.

The pics are the '86. The 88 had alloy wheels and a sunroof.






I don't recall any problems of significance.


Years later, Hyundai was plagued by major quality issues. I finally waded back into Hyundai in 2012, but sadly the Theta II engine issues are ruining that experience.
 

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My wife got one not long before we got married, which was in 1990, so probably an 89. It was light blue. I remember accidentally knocking the side mirror off in the garage more than once. It just snapped back on. I drove that car from CO to NC when we moved. It was winter and I70 was a sheet of ice from Denver to KC. There were a lot of trucks and other vehicles in the ditches but the little Excel did okay once I learned not to freak out when the wind pushed the back end around; just keep aiming the front wheels where I wanted to go and never let off on the gas. I drove several hours in 3rd gear without shifting or stopping. We traded it a few years later when faced with an expensive repair but it was still driving well enough to get reasonable value out of it.
 

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I've got an interesting story.

I actually had a lot of money (for the time) when I was in college in 1986.

My GF was from NJ, and as I remember, her parents didn't want to buy her a car for around here and wanted her and her sister to share a car.

So I said - "No problem - I can get you a car." Then I looked in the papers and saw the ads and I think they were $3K back then - and I said "Okay - I can get you a NEW car - full warranty, so no mechanical worries ..."

Ended up picking up a 1986 base model Excel GL in white with the blue interior and 4-speed stickshift. As others have said, there was no radio, but it was pre-wired, so I picked up an antenna and a Sony deck and some 4-inch speakers and it had a stereo.

Lots happened, but I ended up keeping the car for about 4-5 years after that. I remember wanting a tach in it and the dealer said it couldn't be done without replacing the IP wire harness, and I said "Sell me the guage" and I plugged it in and it worked fine (not sure now if I bought the speedo and tach both or if they sold the tach separately.)

Sold it with about 70K miles on it, and I really don't remember it haven't any problems (were was a bit unusual for those cars).
 

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$8600 doesn't quite sound right to me - Hyundai Excel GL - Archived Road Test - Car Reviews - Car and Driver - page works in Chrome, re-directs in Firefox.

http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/11/hyundaiexcel-ad-87.jpg

I had the price wrong, but the base model was $5K - but I wouldn't think it was $3600 more for the GLS - especially without an automatic.
The guy bought it at a dealership somewhere in NYC or Long Island, the name escapes me. I bought an 88 GLS 2 years later, down in Allentown, PA, for $10K. It had a sunroof and alloy wheels. I remember because with 6% PA tax it came out to 10,600. My first new car.
 

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I was the proud owner of a red, 3-door 1986 GLS. It was my first car - I was 17. No one in Southern California had heard of Hyundai in 1986, so it got a lot of looks.

It was a cute little car. Five speed, stock stereo, no air conditioning (which was the bane of my existence the eight years I drove her). Her name was Betty.

Betty and I went through a lot together. I nearly totaled her late one night coming home from a friend's house in about February of 1987. I was playing the stereo loud, and speeding through a residential neighborhood. I hit a dip in the road and got at least two wheels in the air. Her rear started fishtailing, and I fought to keep control as I saw myself careening towards a parked VW Beetle. I wrenched the wheel and did about 3/4 of a spin, which was ended by my right front fender hitting a tree, which swung the back end of the car around, taking out a short retaining wall in the front yard of a house. The car stalled out, and, in shock, I started it up again and drove forward. When I felt myself drive off the sidewalk into the street, I knew it was bad. By then, the entire neighborhood was streaming out of their houses. I got out of the car, and it was then I saw the damage: the hood was all buckled up, and the left front fender was smashed beyond recognition.

I remember what it cost to make Betty whole again: exactly $3001.00. Considering my folks got her new for $7500, she was dangerously close to being junked. Which probably should have happened.
Instead, I drove that car seven more years. In the interim, she was stolen once and broken into at least twice. After the accident, every component wore weird - everything was off by a couple millimeters, but if we enough to mess everything up.
I learned how to pack wheel bearings on that car. I learned that after my ungreased bearings made quick work of the rear axle. Seriously.
Just about anything that could go wrong on that car, did. Still, I loved that silly thing.
 
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