Hyundai has celebrated the restoration of its Pony Coupé Concept car during the inaugural Hyundai Reunion held at Villa Pliniana in Lake Como, Italy.
The event brought together former and present Hyundai engineers and designers to commemorate the restoration of the 1974 concept car that led to the creation of the brand’s Pony line-up, Korea’s first independently developed mass-production models.
Hyundai Motor collaborated with Italian design firm GFG Style, notably its father and son founders Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro to rebuild the influential 1974 Pony Coupé Concept that a young Giorgetto created for Hyundai’s debut at the 1974 Turin Motor Show.
At the Lake Como event, Hyundai also showed its N Vision 74 concept, which was inspired by the Pony Coupé Concept.
Hyundai says the two vehicles represent a shared lineage between the company’s past and future, illustrating the continuation of its ambition to be innovative and daring.
“Despite the poor industrial environment in the 1970s, my grandfather and Hyundai’s founding chairman Ju-young Chung poured his heart and soul into rebuilding Korea’s economy and improving the lives of its people after the devastating Korean War. He finally realized his vision of making Korea a country capable of developing its own vehicles with perfection,” said Euisun Chung, executive chair of Hyundai Motor Group.
Hyundai Reunion, a heritage brand platform that reflects on Hyundai Motor’s past and its future direction, brought together all the designers and engineers involved on N Vision 74 and the original Pony Coupé Concept, including Giorgetto Giugiaro and former Hyundai Motor president Chung Goo Lee, for the celebration.
“In the age of electrification, a key condition for Hyundai Motor Company to become a leader in future mobility will be our ability to remain faithful to the unshakable values we inherited,” said Jaehoon Chang, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company. “Moving forward, through Hyundai Reunion and other heritage communication initiatives, we will continue to leverage our past as a unique vector for our future innovation.”
Hyundai Motor introduced the original Pony Coupé Concept at the 1974 Turin Motor Show, which was a major international auto show at the time.
The 2-door sports car’s exterior featured a sleek roofline, pure surfaces, dynamic proportion profiles and a unique shape for the door pillar. The interior showcased an iconic sensibility with the Giugiaro monocoque design and driver-centered floating architecture.
With its aesthetic sensibility, the 1974 Pony Coupé Concept was a groundbreaking model in its time. Unfortunately, due to the adverse global economic conditions in the late 1970s, what could have been Hyundai’s first sensational sports car was unable to reach commercial production and was lost to history.
Nevertheless, the concept helped awaken an appreciation for innovative design principles at the company during its early days, and so it has served as a significant influence on the design direction of its current and future endeavours.
The 1974 Pony Coupé Concept embodied Hyundai’s founding chairman Ju-yung Chung's desire to create a 'high-performance sports car' at a time when Hyundai didn’t yet possess the capability to design or develop a model on its own.
Eventually, the ambition for Hyundai to export automobiles to developed countries, invigorate the Korean economy and improve the standard of living for Koreans materialised.
Nearly half a century after the concept’s debut, the first Hyundai Reunion paid tribute to both the original Pony Coupé Concept and Italy's design flair.
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