Daewoo Racer 1.5 - Korean Cadet from the pre-November era


Today, the South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia are firmly anchored in our market. However, the first car sold in our country from this country did not have any of these brands, because it was a Daewoo. And it was also not only Korean but also a bit German.


Do you know what the first South Korean car was on our market? Well, maybe you remember the articles about him from that time, because at the end of the eighties Daewoo Racer arrived on our market, a four-door sedan, which was disguised as an Opel Kadett E on the GM T platform. Daewoo LeMans (also Pontiac LeMans for the North American and New Zealand markets), Fantasy, Heaven, Pointer, Asüna, or Passport Optima.


Production began as early as 1986 (two years after the Cadet E) and the car replaced the Daewoo Maepsy based on the older Cadet D. It was certainly a significant achievement for Korea, as the Racer was the first aerodynamic car (see for example the mirrors) produced on their territory and also the first car to have a digital instrument. Of course, the pieces imported to us did not get there. Plastic unpainted bumpers, on the other hand, reveal that the car is quite cheap. It first appeared in our country at the Brno Engineering Fair in 1988, even in this blue color (supposedly forget-me-not metallic, which was probably not the official name). But it is probably not directly this specimen, which was probably sold quite commonly a year later and was included in the collections of the Strnadice Retromuseum. And since the museums will open for us again after the epidemic on May 8, you can go and see it too.


By the way, the Daewoo was sold in Mototechna, not in Tuzex like other foreign cars. Our government had three thousand cars imported. Racer then cost 189,900 crowns (that is 63 average salaries at the time, so it was mainly artists, taxi drivers, money changers, butchers, and other better earners) and was by far the most expensive ahead of the second Western car on offer - Renault 5 (for which you saved fifteen thousand ). The cheapest at the time was the Škoda 105 L for 57,780 crowns and the modern Favorit came out at 89,123 crowns. Daewoo arrived in Czechoslovakia as compensation for Libya's national debt, because the carmaker also operated in Libya. However, the African state never paid the Koreans for the cars delivered to us.


The interior worked


The five-seater interior is decently spacious, thanks to the light beige upholstery it looks airy and the car is easy to see outside. However, due to the austere equipment of the imported version, the crew is not spoiled by any comfortable elements. The suitcase is also very large, but unfortunately, it is not very easy to fold down the backrests. Its volume of 550 liters must simply be enough for you.


Under the hood is a transverse four-cylinder fifteen-cylinder OHC, which sends 75 horsepower to the front wheels if you turn it to 5,500 rpm. The highest 117 Nm can then be found at 3,000 rpm. The gearbox is, of course, a five-speed manual, the choke is also controlled manually. The engine is probably Racer's biggest weakness, as the Opel Kadett was a fairly modern car at the time, but the Racer could only match it at a glance.


The ride is actually nice, albeit in an inconspicuous way


Daewoo is no supersport (even despite the name Racer, ie a racer) - it accelerates to 100 seconds in a hundred, the maximum speed is 170 km / h. But I like its driving characteristics because the car works quite well and is not very heavy. Most importantly, it is comfortable and soft, so it really makes the road more pleasant in a broken district. In addition, it is well soundproofed, so the older engine in the interior does not rub much. Consumption is around 7.5 liters. The ride won't offend, but it won't inspire you either, it's just such a Kadett, well, just with a different (probably worse) engine.


In 1991, the car underwent a facelift, which changed the appearance of the front and rear. Racer was transferred from the production lines in 1994, although this is not entirely true. The car built on the foundations of the Kadett continued to be manufactured at Daewoo, only under the new name Nexia (or Cielo in some markets) and the number of cars produced in South Korea climbed to one million. The Lanos and Nubira models from 1997 actually became the successor. However, the sedan was still produced for some markets, in Uzbekistan until 2016.


Here you will find pieces for prices around 50 thousand crowns because the sellers already consider it a promising young timer. At the same time, Cadets sedans can be found for ten thousand and often with better equipment than the Racer sold in our country. At the time, however, it was one of the best that could be bought in Mototechna, and it also surpassed the domestic Favorit in both driving dynamics and interior space. Its owners remember it with enthusiasm to this day, moreover, it is said to be a very reliable car (if the owner takes care of it), but sometimes the driver is bothered by a clogged fuel line. Its weakness is also corrosion, which also bothers Kadett. The racer is said to cut most around the neck of the tank. But if you catch this problem, it will run for many years.

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