I stand firm in my belief that the first-gen Hyundai Excel was the worst automobile available in America during the last quarter of the 20th century, and that includes the wretched Yugo GV (if the Austin Rover Group had imported the Metro to these shores, however, the Excel might have been knocked from its dubious pedestal). You don’t see these cars on the street, and they’re very rare in junkyards, but I’ve managed to find three of the things this year.
There was this ’87, then this ’86, and today’s find finishes out the trio. I found each of these cars in Northern California yards, which must mean something.
By 1988, some of the worst bugs had been worked out of the Excel. This one has a few luxury touches, including an automatic transmission.
A lot of rare-on-the-street cars sit in driveways or backyards for many years before getting scrapped, but this car has two-year-old San Francisco parking permits. You can tell from the thickness of the stack of stickers that it lived on SF streets— some of the toughest on cars in the country— for a decade or more. What stories this car could tell!
But then there’s the matter of just 36,000 miles on the clock. Perhaps it was driven sparingly.