Monday, January 31, 2011

The top 10 ugliest cars ever….

I thought I would give everyone a break (including me) from my car stories. And…you may be wondering where those Porsche stories are; fear not, have patience, keep the faith, chill; they will show up. So we are going with a list! Who doesn’t love lists? David Letterman has one every night on his show. Top Gear has a list of the fastest “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” (Okay, that is a stretch…but I got to mention Top Gear) and the “infoNET” is rife with them. So here is my chance. A list of the ugliest cars I can think of. Now I encourage you my dear readers to chime in and tell everyone what car you think is the worst, the ugliest, the most hideous monstrosity ever made. There is a comment section on that the end of this blog thingy. The bad news; it could be a very long list. The good news, they are fun to find, even if you find them revolting and nauseating.
Honorable Mention:
1999 Vauxhall Corsa, Oldsmobile Alero, AMC Gremlin, Panhard Dyna Z, Reliant Robin , Fiat Ritmo/Strada
The bottom feeders:
10. Alfa Romeo Arna: Shame on you Alfa Romeo; Spiders, Giulia’s and GTV’s are all sprouting spontaneous rust because of this eye sore.

9. Lamborghini LM: Sant’Agata Bolognese ill-fated attempt at a SUV. Best left for certain discerning tastes…

8. AMC Pacer: Worst rear end ever. Too wide and squatty, it put the “U” in ugly.

7. Ford Thunderbird (Mid-70’s):that third window, those bumpers, bad American mid-70’s luxobarge at its worst. And to top it all off…my wife drove one in college. But dig that landau roof and matching trim.

6. VW 411: a look only a mother could love, although in this case, it probably helps if she is German.

5. Panther 6: OMG… would you caught dead in this thing? I am guessing not…

4. Tetra 603: Can you say three eyed Cyclops? Eastern European styling at its best. And that is not saying much.

3. Panhard PL17: French for Ugly. Maybe they should just stick with military vehicles. Ugly is not as important when it is shooting back at you…

2. Citroen Ami 8: the French had a sense of humor, they designed some hideous cars in the 50’s and 60’s. The punch line to this joke? The French bought a shit-load of them.

1. Pontiac Aztek: And then there is this. The most vulgar thing ever to have four wheels. The joke was it was a styling exercise by the Pontiac division chief’s wife that was not supposed to ever see the light of day. But it did and we must all shield our eyes when one wonders into our sight line. Bask in all its hideousness!

So here is a funny story. Truth be known, I hate the Aztek. But one day I had to head on a quick day trip from DFW to Tulsa for a couple of meetings. My daily driver was out of action so I called up the rental car store and arranged for a rental. I showed up and this thing awaited. I thought about going back in and asking for another car, but then realized it was the perfect opportunity to spend a day torturing this awful car. I headed back home to show my family my rental for the day. They fell over laughing.
The motor was rough and at only 185hp could barely hold up its end of the bargain when accelerating. So what did I do? I wound it out in ever gear as I manually shifted at the redline every chance I got. I hit every pothole, bump and expansion strip I could find. And I don’t even get me talking about speed bumps… hitting them at full speed caused great joy as the suspension made every attempt to soak up the jolt. The seats were awful, the arm rests and door trim had a scratchy fabric that caused a rash to develop on my arm and the view out the rear was blocked by the spoiler and hatch trim of the two piece hatch. You could only see cars that were tailgating very closely or were way far back. In other words, the view out the back was totally unusable for everyday driving. It rattled over smooth pavement and the trim and controls were styled in a lovely puke gray. What a piece of shit.
When I returned the car, it may have been steaming a bit, the tires bald and the suspension shot. Oh, and that big gulp? Well I thought the cup holder (such as it was) could hold that big boy over a speed bump…oops. Hate it for what it is; the worst thing that GM ever fostered upon an unsuspecting American public. The downfall of GM? This car surely hurried the company towards teetering on the brink of financial disaster. Happily it is gone. PLEASE GM…do not come out with an Aztek II (but branded as something other than Pontiac as we all know that brand is dead - R.I.P.). I do not think we could take another one.
Until next time.


  1. Rob, I busted a gut on the Aztec story...I can see you torturing that car. That is the funniest thing I have read in a long time.

    I personally think ANY car made by AMC was BUGLY! I cracked up seeing the Pacer picture you posted. Remember the Hornet? I hated the Gremlin as well! surprise that car company went the way of all the Earth!

  2. You Sir,don't have a slightest sense of style! :) Maybe Aztek,Citroen and Lambo - ugly,but Panther Six? It's- beautiful! And Panhard and AMC - extremely cute! All others got their own style. ...And it's Tatra,by the way! -"B-minus" for you. :)

    Eastern-European Guy

  3. Can't disagree more, your selection is very biased )) To me, only ## 9 and 1 are really ugly, homegrown looking cars. Alfa is just a generic 'folded paper' styled late 1970s early 1980s hatchback - nothing less nothing more. Obviously not something one would expect from Alfa, but still. The Pacer's rear end may have been non traditional for it days (just as the car itself!), but it obviously looks much better then modern Toyota's and other generic fatty compact hatchbacks and it also somewhat resembles the Citroen C4 of the previous gen, a beautiful car for today. I like 1970s broughamous luxobarges, and while the T-bird surely is NOT a 'concours d'elegance' winner, the contemporary Lincolns (which it was a stripped down version of) were pretty darn stylish. The PL17 was always among my styling favourites, especially the latter models with pronounced chromed 'eyebrows' over the headlights. And believe me, the Tatra is a gorgeous looking limousine IRL, this foto just fails to show the fact. As well, AFAIR its design was made in Italy.