EDITOR AT LARGE
“I don’t like nostalgia unless it’s mine” – Lou Reed
I n the late summer of 1985, two incredibly pivotal things happened in my life. The first was that the movie Back to the Future debuted in theatres. Seven-year old Matt was already a fully-fledged ‘car-guy’ in training but I had never before been exposed to that wedge-shaped hunk of Northern Irish stainless steel known as the DeLorean. The fact that it was a time-machine was secondary: it was the gullwing doors, the matte-silver texture of its skin, the pixelated rear lights and those incredible, finned, cast wheels that captured my attention. The scene where Doc Brown remotely heats up those rears via a brake-stand (before sending Einstein one minute into the future)! Well, I saw “some serious shit” right there and it’s stayed with me ever since. Around the same time, one of our neighbours had been cast as a contestant on the game show Jackpot . Apparently the shooting location of the show had been relocated to Toronto and some local talent were given their shot to have Mike Darow crown them King or Queen of the Hill. After a full-week of play, our neighbour was indeed crowned the “King”, answering all of the riddles that were thrown at him, and he drove home with his grand prize and parked it in front of our house: it was a Hyundai Pony. Surprisingly, that one left a mark, too. The 1985 Hyundai Pony 1400 GLS was a rear- wheel-drive, five-door hatch. It was the first
Korean import to hit Canadian soil and, while my neighbour had his, it was never sold to our geographic neighbours to the south. As a car, it was arguably garbage and had probably already started rusting on our street. But there was something about its design that struck a chord. It was cheap, chintzy and bloated beyond any sporting intents, sure. But something about it was familiar and strangely appealing… It would take some time in libraries with my nose buried in various books and auto-rags to make the connection but I’d eventually learn that Giorgetto Giugiaro and the design house Italdesign was my missing link. Fast forward thirty-seven years and it would seem that those two cars, and their underlying design language, left a mark on some others, too. Hyundai’s N Vision 74 looks like it tossed my memories into a Mr. Fusion and blended up a neo-nostalgic concoction that is indeed – and once again – “some serious shit”. A quick peruse online will tell you that this car is being universally gushed over. And not because it’s a rolling test bed for hydrogen fuel-cell technology (although that’s definitely cool), or because it has bonkers power numbers (670 horsepower, 664 pound-feet of torque). People care because it’s gorgeous. And it’s gorgeous because of our memories. Even if one of them is of a Hyundai Pony.
MATTHEW NEUNDORF Editor At Large | VICARIOUS
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