July 13, 2010

"Fifty Ugliest Cars of the Past 50 Years"... Hey! I bought 2 of them!

And I've only bought 5 cars in my life!

ADDED:



AND: Sorry to plant that song in your brain. This, with the same catchphrase, should cure it:

50 comments:

Meade said...

A beautiful car.

Ron said...

A Gremlin and a Pinto?

Ron said...

Or did you get an Enzo without telling us? :)

Ron said...

Oh...a Chevette! Detroit's aggressive answer to the Trabent!

peter hoh said...

I owned a Volvo 240, which deserved to make the list.

I rather like the design of the New Beetle. Fresh when it was launched, I think it's held up well.

The Pontiac Trans Sport ought to be on the list instead.

Ron said...

Ann -- Get Meade a Karmann Ghia. He deserves it!

Ann Althouse said...

The pictures at the link don't necessarily go with the introduction date listed. Neither the Chevette nor the New Beetle in the picture is the original design. I dislike both of the models pictured. Didn't buy those. Hate the way they flattened the bulbous Beetle fenders in the redesign.

Hate the way they changed the Audi TT too. Would have bought a new one when my lease ran out, but ended up buying the old one (which I'm now hanging onto).

Steve in Toronto said...

I kind of like both the Volvo 240 and the Honda Element

Clyde said...

I learned to drive in a '73 Gremlin, butterscotch with orange trim. There's a tree in front of our old house in Overland Park, KS, whose bark still bears a scar from a close encounter with the left front bumper that about gave Dad a heart attack. Learning to drive a stick can be an adventure.

I had a silver '76 Chevette when I was stationed at Fort Lewis, WA, in 1984. It was cheap transportation, but better than nothing at all.

I'm surprised that they didn't include my first car, though: A red '73 Chevy Vega that drank oil like a wino going through Mad-Dog 20-20. I had some damned ugly cars in my youth. I'm proud to say that none of my subsequent cars made their list.

al said...

I've owned two of cars depicted (Chevette and Taurus). IMO the Prowler and Enzo are beautiful cars. The Bug is cute. The Lumina mini-van could replace all three of those as it's so ugly.

Donna B. said...

Compared to the Nissan Cube or the Honda Element any car (even the rolling big toe) looks good.

Michael Haz said...

I am zero-for-fifty in terms of owing the ugly cars in the article. I'd welcome the Enzo into my garage, though.

Seven hundred horsepower in a Formula-One derived chassis quells a lot of ugly.

*Insert your own reference to dating here*

DADvocate said...

The closest I came to owning one was an a 1966 VW Bug. A handful of those cars weren't considered ugly by the general public: PT Cruiser, VW Bug, Prowler, Enzo, El Camino, Rav4, Bricklin, DeLorean, Escalade, BMW 7 Series, and the Chevrolet SSR.

About an month ago, I ran into a guy who was 6' 8" and 430 lbs driving a Nissan Cube. I thought he might have been temporarily driving his wife's car and asked him about it. He said is was his and had plenty of room up front. Us big and tall guys can appreciate that and it makes an ugly car pretty.

Pogo said...

All a matter of taste; most are simply blah, rather than ugly.

Except the Aztek.
But damn that thing is ugly; a motorized armpit.

Brian said...

The story says the new Beetle "defiled" the classic Beetle. But in the process they made a front-engined front-wheel drive car that makes it more conventional. Unlike the old Beetle, it has enough power to actually climb a hill, A/C, and heat that actually works.

And it's still cute. Maybe this list should be "50 ugly or too cute cars?"

Calypso Facto said...

Gremlin, Pacer, obviously.

El Camino? No way!

Avalanche~ I agree up to the re-design removing the plastic fenders....

Brian said...

Also, the Hummer H2: I agree it's ugly. But some people like ugly. It's ugly in a brute force way. Like the way some people like bulldogs; they are butt-ugly dugs, but some people love them.

Brian said...

Sorry, no way the PT Cruiser deserves to be here. It's got a cool retro look. It was very popular when it first came out back in 2000. The reason it declined so rapidly is that Chrysler didn't update it, or offer better trims. In fact, they started making the interiors cheaper so that they could milk more money from it. There's nothing wrong with it's external appearance.

Scott said...

Of the cars on that list, I owned a few, including a Cadillac Cimarron. Yes, the car was built in the Janesville, WI plant that the Cavalier was, but the two Cimarrons our family had were tight. They both had big six engines that made them a kick to drive.

I also owned a Pinto wagon. Had the "MPG" axle which killed the accelleration. And it leaked oil. But it was otherwise as reliable as a tree.

Why does the list only have one Volvo? Ever car they ever made deserves to be on the list

Ann Althouse said...

re the PT Cruiser... and a bunch of other things there... the question of ugliness is being judged now, after we're accustomed to seeing the thing and have a hard time feeling the sense of the new.

Also, the editors are hostile to cuteness. Cuteness looks ugly to them. They can't summon up the feeling of being charmed by, say, the New Beetle or the Pacer.

Scott said...

Volvos are preferred by liberals because they are more comfortable than a hair shirt.

Scott said...

(Driving my beautifuly ugly 2010 Honda Civic from Clear Lake, IA to Coldwater, MI today.)

Ann Althouse said...

When I bought my Chevette, I would have loved to have gotten a Pacer instead. But it was more expensive, and because of all that glass, we were told, the AC option was needed. AC added a lot to the price, and it was just unacceptable, back in the days when you could resist paying more than $4000 for your car.

Scott said...

I had a Chevette for awhile. Fun to drive, not much shoulder room. Bought it in Sioux Falls SD when the engine on my Dodge 3/4 ton gave out. Traded the truck + $200 for it; didn't regret it!

ricpic said...

Recently I saw a PT Cruiser with fake wood paneling that gave me car lust.

Scott said...

@ricpic: Your doctor can prescribe an antifungal cream for that.

MadisonMan said...

The only one I really agree with on that list is Cadillac's version of the Cavalier, the Cimarron. It really did kill the Caddy brand in the 80s.

My parents had a Chevette. That was after the Dodge Aspen, I think.

al said...

My wife and I had a Chevette when we got married. Took it on a 2000 mile drive for our honeymoon. Had a great time. What I disliked about it the most was the lack of foot room. It was a wonderful little car - till my wife spun it on ice and wrecked it. It was never the same afterwards...

The amount of room in the Nissan Cube is amazing. I was looking at one when I bought a new car this year. My wife threatened me with divorce if I bought it. To me it's ugly in a cute way.

DKWalser said...

When I married my wife, she came with a 1978 Chevette (four-door hatchback with luggage rack). What more can I say to demonstrate how truly smitten I was with her other than to say I thought getting her was wonderful even if I had to take that car, too?

Fred4Pres said...

I forgot about It's About Time which never got enough shows to go syndication like Gilligan's Island.

DKWalser said...

Of course, while I complain about my wife's 1978 Chevette, she complains even more about my 1973 Capri (V6, 4-spd). She thinks going out with me, let alone marrying me, while I drove that car is great evidence of her willingness to overlook my flaws.

EDH said...

I was singing the theme from It's About Time in the office just last week!

Notice, 1960s TV producers used to love to recycle their props.

Sherwood Schwartz recycled that space capsule between Gilligan's Island and It's About Time.

Irwin Allen did the same with props from Lost in Space, Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, etc.

Henry said...

Also, the editors are hostile to cuteness.

The editors are also hostile to squareness.

Some of the square cars are really ugly. But I would give the Honda Element a pass. It's a fairly well considered squareness.

Dead Julius said...

Sherwood Schwartz really captured the ethos of his era with Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch. I remember watching those shows as a kid and seeing his name, and thinking that it was a really interesting name and that he must be the #1 man in televisionland...

k*thy said...

Excellent, EDH. I loved all of those...and kind of always wondered about that space capsule showing up everywhere. Thanks.

bagoh20 said...

It seems that the editors' primary aesthetic is understatement. While I share that personal preference I don't think all those cars are ugly, though most are damn ugly.

Some are just out of style, but at the time seemed hot.

There is a subtle timeless beauty to some car designs and these fifty certainly all missed that.

A Gremlin fitted with a powerful sound system is an excellent party vehicle for cruising the back roads of western Pennsylvania.

former law student said...

This guy's taste is all in his mouth, as we said in childhood. The El Camino ugly? They're classic. More of them are on the road today than are their sedan contemporaries.

And the Chevette is merely homely, not ugly. It was GM's answer to the Datsun B-210.

Anthony said...

It looks like some editor in need of some linkage decided to throw together yet another 50 Worst Cars list and put up the first 50 he found on Google. I've never heard anyone say the DeLorean is ugly. Overpriced and underperforming yes, ugly, no.

And while the Mustang II wasn't exactly a gorgeous design, it was a damn sight more attractive than the butt-ugly monstrosities that came right before it.

Anyway, most of these are favorites of our Car Lust blog. We celebrate weirdness.

rick said...

Some those early American small cars, in addition to being ugly, were absolute junk. I suspect that may have had an influence on the ugliness factor.

Pastafarian said...

Yet another of these lists compiled by a dumb ass.

To include the new Beetle or the Ferrari Enzo on this list -- you can't take this list seriously after you see that.

Maddad said...

The 240's front end isn't "stretched' and the Thing wasn't supposed to be rounded. It's a kugelwagen for crying out loud, does this guy want swoopy lines on a jeep? Plus the chrome things on the El Camino were an option, I've never seen one with those that didn't come from Pep Boys. I think the writer may have been picking nits with pictures and not actual cars. ...and a 240 wagon with glass lights is a thing of beauty

former law student said...

It looks like some editor in need of some linkage decided to throw together yet another 50 Worst Cars list and put up the first 50 he found on Google.

This sounds right. Guy procrastinated on his assignment, and picked 50 random cars just before deadline.

E.M. Davis said...

I would say a lot of those cars are indeed ugly. But man, what a lazily-written piece of crap the overall article is.

WV: moxide — One oxygen atom. One accompanying atom. All attitude.

Lance said...

The Taurus makes the list but not the K cars? Hmm.

rhhardin said...

Think of cars stopped in a typical traffic jam.

The only design that looks good is the 18-wheeler.

The rest are obviously only designed to look good in the showroom.

Will Cate said...

Damn you, Sherwood Schwartz... now I'm gonna be singing that stupid song all afternoon.

Sigivald said...

So, his problem with the Thing is that it has no front grill?

Well, of course it doesn't. It's rear engined. A front grill would be stupid, wasteful, and pointless.

And complaining about 1973+ 5mph bumpers on the Volvo? Blame the Government, not Volvo.

(And seriously, does he have something against clean lines? The Wartburg isn't nearly "top 50 ugly" any more than the 240 is, but they're both nice and clean and straight.)

Interesting, lastly, that he lists the Escalade as one of the "50 ugliest cars", but his complaints are about practicality and fuel economy and maneuverability... not looks.

List discipline is pretty hard when you're trolling for page views, I guess.

former law student said...

Who remembers Imogene Coca as a maid, in Grindl?

Joe said...

Yet another dumb list. Yes, there are some really ugly cars in there, but most are, as Pogo said, blah.

Funny this is that my son and I recently bought a 97 Taurus for him that's exactly the same gold color as in the picture. It looks much worse in person, but it's a good car; probably the best used car I've ever bought!

Lorenzo von Matterhorn said...

The DeLorean is ugly? This article mostly complains about its speed and power, but not the design. The DeLorean has its own style, and one person may not like it, but doesn't deserve to be on this list... I've never heard anyone saying that the DeLorean is ugly, or anything like that. And the Enzo on this list?...No comment.