You can thank the long arm of badge engineering for today's car, the latest addition to the Brougham collection.
General Motors was blessed for a decade following the late 1970s as they had large cars on both sides of the world selling well. In North America, the Caprice; in Europe, the Opel Rekord Series E.
While the Caprice spawned only a few variants, the Rekord was badge engineered across Europe, Asia, and Australia. According to its Wikipedia page, the car's underpinnings—the so-called General Motors V platform—supported more than 40 nameplates and at least one concept car.
The highs? Probably the Lotus Carlton and last Pontiac GTO. Lows? Cadillac Catera and, let's be honest, the 1991-1997 Daewoo Super Salon Brougham must be near the bottom of the list.
A large sedan, the Super Salon Brougham was a trim level of the Prince, the company's large luxury car. And nearly everything about it was terrible. For starters, the Super Salon Brougham has one of the worst car commercials I've ever seen (link below), with an all-black example shown while the draconian Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach plays in the background.
The announcer speaks…
Next, at minimum the car weighed 1,280 kg (2,820 lbs). At best, the Super Salon Brougham made 130 horsepower from a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, so in a drag race you'd be dusted by anything faster than an Isuzu Hombre with a 500 lb. load of scrap shopping carts in the bed.
Its styling was so bland it flattered the Mazda 626 Chronos, and unlike as North American automakers do, they didn't see reason to fit a vinyl Brougham-style roof. Inside, lucky owners got cloth seats, hard plastic, and fake wood. The whole package is just as dated now as hotels that still offer a "Business Centre."
While it seems obvious now why the car never would have been a runaway success, I always wonder with these sorts of cars if those working on it had the feeling they wouldn't be introducing a winner.
The Prince and Super Salon Brougham were replaced by one of my favourite Daewoo models, the Chairman. Now that car has some great commercials…