Summer’s winding down fast. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to take the ol’ Scoupe down to the shore before it does!

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Porschebago Redux, formerly Mini Mid-life Crisis

These were fun little cars to both sell and drive during my time at a Hyundai dealer from ‘91 until ‘93. I had one as a demo for about six months with the exotic and rare CD player option.

A Scoupe story: it is early June at the Hyundai store in central South Carolina, and a young woman buys a brand-spanking new bright blue Scoupe with nothing more than delivery miles on the odometer. She excitedly waves as she drives off in her new car.

Just after Labor day, the car limps onto the service drive, filthy, tired, and with bald tires and blown speakers. In a short 90 days the car has amassed a staggering 37,000 miles (!!!), and the owner wants to know why her “brand new car” is not a perky as it once was.

The car, now beyond any assistance from the 3 year/36,000 mile warranty that it sported just a week earlier, is evaluated by a tech. The verdict calls for an oil change, new tires, spark plugs, and replacement speakers, along with an assortment of minor stuff, all totaling about $600. A scene ensues on the service drive, with the young woman loudly announcing that the car is “no damn good.”  She speeds off in her Scoupe, unserviced and indignant.

A couple of months later the car comes in on a repo hook for storage, inoperable. We later heard from the lender that the young woman’s extended family was running back and forth to Detroit a couple of times a week in the Scoupe.  That’s about 750 miles each way, or 3,000 miles per week.

My experience selling Hyundai products in the early ‘90s was that nothing was wrong with the products, but many of the customers were not quite ready for the responsibility of car ownership.