The Hyundai Years

Hyundai, it’s announced at every match we catch here in bars – Partenaire Officiel de l’Euro 2012. I’m assuming this gorgeous brand affiliation is the case back home too.*

Fucking Korean piece of shit, was how the good people at Wakefield’s Halfords chose to summarise the qualities of my Hyundai Accent; two protruding pairs of overalled legs twisted and scissoring from its doors in the struggle to install a CD player – an implant enthusiastically rejected via a cunning transferral of engine heat to the player’s casing, causing discs to melt and the LCD to sizzle, and me to revert, three hundred quid lighter, to the ten quid tranny radio I jammed in the piece-of-shit’s dashboard.

The Hyundai Accent – one i.d. short of an accident – was the car you’d expect to see a recall notice for stating simply ‘tremendous shitness’.

Why did I buy this hunk of crap, brand new, in the first place? Well, the end of the nineties, The Hyundai Years, was not a great time in my life, and in the rich storytelling tradition and with the light touch of life’s mise-en-scene and York Notes’ symbolism, I drove through those shitty years, obedient to aptness, in the shitty thing I did – being a reference as circular as nearly were its piece-of-shit wheels; the car was every bit as much symptom as it was symbol.

And therein’s an important distinction. The Hyundai was not a representation of, say, cheapness, frugality (paucity of sense, yes, but the financing was awful at the time), as a luxury motor would then have been of doing very well. The Ford Escort I traded in was economically on that axis. The Accent was, in fact, the Massive Golf Sale sign of a man simply losing his way. After all, when you go to Hell, you go in a handcart.

All of which is not, you’ll have deduced, a review, an evaluation, of the Top Gear or Which? variety. I don’t know how shit, technically, officially, Hyundais were, are, or how different or relative their specific brand of shitness might be. I know cock all about cars in that way other than to know this was, for certain, a crap car. This is rather a pop, heartfelt, at the fact of a car falling short of its role as good servant, empathiser, batman (not that sort) and contemporaneous life companion, good storymaker. My fault? Its fault? Who cares which? It was a shit car to have and I had it.

Hyundai – partenaire officiel of some shitty bad years.

Me. In a better car.

© Copyright, Steve Mitchell and Fisher Lane, 2012.

P.S. Hyundai Lover, have no beef. You will have your own automative lemon in life and yours in turn will be somebody’s sweetie. Mine just happened to be what it was.

*Written last week in a sunnier place.


About Stevie Mitchell

I come from a long line of cartoons and beer. I was once peed on by a tiger. Hoping the resultant super-powers are yet to come, cos if these are they, then, grrrr....
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