Above you will find a picture of my latest toy. Its a 1999 Daewoo Leganza. Who is Daewoo, you might ask? Daewoo is the second largest car manufacturer in Korea, after Hyundai. They are similar to Hyundai, Samsung and other Korean conglomorates in the fact that they make alot of different stuff.
Daewoo makes cars, textiles, hotels, large ships, televisions, VCRs, Armored Personel Carriers and guns for the South Korean military.
Well, the car itself is a story. In the Spring of 1998, I heard an ad on the radio offering a free trip to Korea. Daewoo had an unconventional marketing plan that called for hiring a bunch of college students, taking them to Korea for free and showing them all the lovely stuff that Daewoo makes. When they go back, they would sell the cars by word of mouth, with each getting a free test drive for 90 days and a commision on each sale. I'm a real car buff at heart, subscribing to like 10 different car magazines, so I figured this was for me. I signed up for this trip and within a few weeks found out I had been chosen to go to Korea.
I went to Korean in August. The weather was wet. I got a chance to see alot what Daewoo makes. Interestingly enough, alot of the people on the trip were Koreans. I think that Daewoo hadn't figured that some people would take advantage of a free trip to Korea. Once we arrived "in country", they handed us our tickets. What I didn't realize until later was the fact that many of my fellow students were home visiting relatives and had changed their departure dates to stay longer. My feeling was many saw this as a time share presentation, with the free prize being a $2000 trip to Korea. During the trip, we heard about getting cars at a discount, to help get some on the road. The number I heard was 30% off, so I didn't think much of it.
I returned and went to get my free 90 day test drive as I had been promised. Well, they were having problems sorting out the insurance for cars like this, and registering them, etc. I waited. Then they came down with an offer I thought I couldn't refuse. 50% off MSRP on any car on the lot.
The 1999 Daewoo Leganza SX stickered for about $14,900. After discount and all fees and taxes, I ended up paying $8200 for a brand new car. I bought the biggest one with the least amount of options to maximize my car buying dollar. I wanted a 5 speed, so this was the only trim level I could get.
Initially, this was supposed to be my car, but I had a new addition to the family March 9, 2002 so we needed to have my wife drive something a bit bigger.
That leaves me shopping for a new car that will take a new, very large stereo.