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DRIVEN WITH PRIDE AGAINST THE CURRENT – A Kia Story

4 min read

Norm is defined as something usual. It is a standard in society that may or may not be right, but the vast majority subconsciously agree with it. Whether it’s political, moral values, sports or anything under the sun, to go against it is like swimming against the current resulting in to expected resistance that many times may lead to arguments.

The Kia Pride is a South Korean made car that came out in the market in 1987, a year after it’s Ford counterpart, the Festiva came out. Although Korean cars today is slowly making its progress to be at par with its Japanese counterparts, that has not been the case when it first entered the Philippine market in the late 80s. Kia Pride had an image of being cheap, unreliable and difficult to maintain because of scarcity of parts. Even when it was new, it had a reputation among the car community that it is not the best car in the market. And unless you are out there on a budget just for the experience of owning a brand-new car and willing to compromise performance and reliability, it’s something you might need to rethink over buying a used yet more dependable Japanese car instead.

Today, the Kia Pride is a little bit over 25 years old. It has now earned the mark of a true neo-classic. The truth is, the Kia Pride is a decent ride and the fact that many have survived to date proves that it can still do its job fairly well transporting people from points A to B. The question is, with growing interest on rad era cars and more people going back to the cars of their youth in the name of nostalgia, is the stigma still present for this Korean car? Yes, not so much have changed. It’s still the same old argument that many people would say. It’s unreliable. Stay away from the Kia Pride.  

As expected, for brothers Joseph and Jonathan Librojo who needed to purchase a ride, they heard nothing but discouragements from friends and family.  Not the Kia Pride. Whether the negativity was perceived as a challenge or just pride (no pun intended) to prove the naysayers wrong, Joseph and Jonathan decided to purchase the 1993 Kia Pride anyway. The car was once “stored in a barn” for 10 years, so the stock 1.3L motor was no longer running at its prime. The car needed a lot of fine tuning for it to be streetable because the intent was to use it as a daily commuter. Just like any car that has been neglected for years, there were a bunch of issues that needed to be addressed first. The interior was rough, the A/C no longer works, and there were a lot of rust spots that needed to be given attention. To add insult to injury, just when the Kia was back on the road, it was rear ended, completely damaging its rear hatchback. But instead of getting discouraged with the car’s condition, the incident became the turning point when the brothers decided they will go all out with the Kia. Interestingly, when they were searching for a replacement rear door, they found out that not only are prices of parts for the Kia amazingly cheap, there was no shortage in its availability. And because of that they were able to acquire as much new parts for the car.

After all the problems have been fixed, the car went to the body shop to address its rust issues and get a makeover paint job. The car sits low on 13 x 6 Licenza Pawi wheels wrapped in 175/50R13 tires.

Today, the Kia is no longer the mediocre car as it was when it first rolled off the showroom in 1993. Instead it is now a head turner and conversation starter anywhere the brothers drive it. The car has been receiving mixed reactions, many praising them for daring to be different, but some scratching their heads figuring out why someone would spend so much time, money and effort in restoring a car that may not promise a return of investment. For true car enthusiasts like Joseph and Jonathan, it doesn’t really matter. It was never built for investment anyway, but rather for enjoyment and more importantly, bonding between brothers as they meticulously recreated a car that is far better than it was when it’s new. In reality, a correctly restored non-mainstream car will always attract more attention than any gazillion dollar overly restored cars that is a dime a dozen. For brothers Joseph and Jonathan, it was a second wind, as they successfully challenged the norm, driven with pride (again, no pun intended) as they went against the heavy current of cynicism.

Keep restoring the oddballs! Happy Lumang Oto motoring.

Lumang Oto

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DRIVEN WITH PRIDE AGAINST THE CURRENT – A Kia Story