Thursday, January 29, 2009

The 10 Ugliest Cars Ever Made

From a survey in Business Week magazine, with quotes from people surveyed.


"When the car went into any type of water puddle it would suck water into the engine. They fell apart after 40,000 miles. Piece of junk."

"Absolute garbage BEFORE it was built."

"It was junk like this that opened the door for Toyota and Honda. Sad but true."

"I'm sure there are worse, but in my days with Chevrolet I saw many problems and many unhappy customers with these throwaway cars."

"It was so underpowered, you had to shift down with the AC on to climb the slightest hill. Everything was too small inside, and the dash looked like a 12-year-old designed it. Owned it a year and laughed when I sold it!"


"Has got to be the ugliest car ever to roll out of Detroit."

"Talk about the wrong car at the wrong time!"

"The '58 was schizophrenic! The front motif is vertical (especially that hideous grille), while the rear motif is horizontal."

"One of the worst designs and poorly manufactured cars of all time."

"Gas-guzzling, three-ton behemoth with a toilet seat grill and inexplicably tacky push-button transmission shifting. The standard by which all other automotive brand failures have been judged (and ridiculed) for 50 years."

"Poor styling, poor workmanship, and it was made to compete against its own sister brand, Mercury, not differentiating whether it was a step above or below the brand."


"Looks like a spaceship."

"Uglier than the Gremlin...and it doesn't matter what year."

"The Matador coupe had those bug-ugly front lights and the strange rear-end design treatment. It's hard to imagine a car that large having so little interior space. A total waste of steel (and glass, and plastic, and rubber...)."


"Underpowered and unsafe. I had a chance to ride in one and it was more horrifying than all the rides at Disneyland."

"They were all death traps. If you got rear-ended, they burst into flames. If you got into a sideways slide, the tires blew off the rims and they rolled over."

"Ugly, underpowered, not safe, not safe, not safe. A very bad imitation of the VW Bug. I hardly ever see one, not even at old car shows, probably due to a corrosion problem."


"The most hideously ill-proportioned car of all time."

"This car was the epitome of ugly. The first subcompact was introduced Apr. 1, 1970 (April Fools' Day). Need we say more?"

"So much window that even in the winter you could fry eggs inside! Speaking of which, it sort of looked like an upside-down egg!"

"The car voted best as a hot tub!"

"Whatever happened to the back half of this car? It seems as if 40% of the vehicle's body was perhaps unintentionally cropped off on the drafting table. The introduction of the Gremlin rang the final death knell for the already mortally wounded AMC."


"Cheaply built, rough running, harsh ride, rust prone. It was without a doubt the worst vehicle I ever owned."

"So bad it turned off subsequent generations to GM and created the beginning of the downfall of the world's greatest automaker."

"A car that began to rust on the showroom floor brought a whole new meaning to the term 'Planned Obsolescence.'"

"An alleged four-seater that required a pry bar and 'the jaws of life' (both optional) for passenger extrication from the zero-legroom back seat. Sieve-like leaking aluminum-block four-cylinder engine (guaranteed to crack at no more than 30,000 miles), generating perhaps 70 hp (downhill only, with a good tailwind), while still managing to get less than 20 mpg on the highway! A truly masterful feat of reverse engineering by the guys from Flint."


"There must have been a front-end design team and a rear-end design team. And the two teams NEVER spoke to each other!"

"The only car that can make a Pacer wagon look good."

"It looks like a mini-trash truck."


"If the vehicle was rear-ended, it made the accident worse than it should've been because the gas tank exploded."

"Junk from the day they built it! Do you see any around anywhere? Not even close to a collectible car."

"My neighbor had a vanity plate that read 'IXPLODE' on his Ford Pinto. I was a kid and understood the significance and humor."

"Underpowered, cheap plastic, bodies prone to rust...oh, yeah, they blow up, too."


"You couldn't get scrap-metal money even if it was running."

"The Yugo was a car that fell apart while you drove."

"I used to work for a dealer and the last one on the lot was an '88 model that never got sold. It was there until 1991, when it was given away as a promotional gift on a radio show."


"0 to 60 in four-and-a-half hours."

"Looked like a fishbowl and those windows leaked. Add a leaky sunroof to it and the car rusted from the inside out!"

"A pregnant roller skate."

"Not only UGLY but two different-sized front doors!"

"Human terrarium."

"It had seats designed like blue jeans, including the brass buttons, which burned the crap out of you on a hot day."



My first car, identical to this one except for the mag wheels and "340." Mine was a '71 or '72; I bought it for $400 in 1980. I changed a lot of hoses and belts in that thing; you could actually get to them.


My second car. I called it the Ford Fiasco. My sis and I shared it in high school. There's a Chinese proverb that says if two men own a horse, it will starve to death. This car died because the oil never got changed. Oops.


My third car, nearly identical to this one. A total POS, broke down constantly - appropriate that it's shown here by a dumpster. I hated this car. So did my sister. We shared it in college and fought over who got stuck with it. It finally died in '93 at a grocery store parking lot, and I left it there. This might be it, actually. Maybe it's still there, sitting by the dumpster, waiting to be hauled to the landfill where it belongs.


  1. God help me, back in the day my boyfriend had a brand-new 1977 Chevy Vega. Being 18 and all, he put fancy shocks and tires on it and built a bed in the back (heh heh). The rear shocks punched through the thin sheet of tinfoil that defined the trunk(?) of the car.

    We had to keep a bag of little plastic butterfly-valve thingys for the carburetor in the glove compartment. When it got cold (Winter in WI, yo), the clips would break.

    Sturdy as a dixie cup.

    Also, my high school drama teacher drove a Pacer. She was Pacer-shaped. It was hilarious.

  2. Wow..growing up my parents had a Duster and a Vega!! It must explain my first car...a 78 Mustang. Now 78 was not a good year for Mustangs. It was a Mustang in the front, and a Pinto in the back....

  3. the chevette, pinto and gremlin are all hideous, and in a similar way.

    however, IMO, ugliest car ever made? Datsun B210. they used to give away that shit on that cheap gameshow, tic tac dough. IN BRIGHT ORANGE. ahhh, God love the 70's...

  4. And hello? You forgot the ever hideous El Camino!

  5. @scapoose-- lol @ pinto in the back. we had a 78 mustang! we also had a 65, which was cool, but the 78 SUCKED! it overheated all the time and spewed green goo all over the driveway...

  6. I drove a '74 dodge dart during high school. Loved it, when it was running...

  7. I must de-lurk in order to nominate the most hideous Saturn Vue.

  8. How can this list not include the Nissan Multi?!

  9. Please note that the proper name is Chevrolet Corvair (see Unsafe At Any Speed by Ralph Nadar) and, yes, because I am a man of wealth and taste, I owned 2 out of 10 of these little gems. Technically it should be 3 because my AMC Javelin was just as fugly as the rest of their truly wretched late 60's, early 70's line. My convertible Corvair was actually kinda fun but you were always one 30 mph head-on away from prematurely meeting your maker.

  10. One has to wonder where AMC got their designers from. France, maybe, because Peugot has put out some god-awful cars, themself.

    Nice hot tub reference in there, on the Gremlin. :-)

  11. My first was a 1980 Chevy Citation. Horrid car. But I narrowly escaped it being a 1955 mint green Rambler with "3 on the tree" shifting. NO WAY could I master that thing. Oh, the things I would have hit.

  12. Oops, Corvair is right. My mistake.

    I can't take credit for the hot tub ref, Frank, or blame for any ugly car omissions. This is all Business Week. I just cut and pasted it, yo.

  13. my dishonerable mentions:

    vw thing.
    ford maverick
    plymouth k car
    chevrolet monza

    and anything made in france. the renault also is butt ugly. whats with the french. they make beautiful art, music, fashions but cars... no those have to be as ugly as 90y/o's feet.

    yall know what they call a yugo station wagon??

    a we-go!

    bwa ha ha ha!

  14. I had a 1978 Chevette from '86-'89. It was even the Scooter model (cardboard door panels). While it was gutless and not great, the only thing that failed was the alternator. There was crap in the gas tank that clogged many fuel filters, but overall, it was amazingly reliable for a Chevette.

  15. I had at least three of these in the late 70s- and the ones I didn't have a friend did. My first car was a periwinkle blue Chevy Vega. Learned to drive stick in that car; close my eyes and I can still feel how it was to drive. Great memories, but oh so happy to drive an Audi these days.

  16. Nice additions, Voronya. I meant to mention the VW Thing, though I think that some people bought it because it was so ugly.

  17. Funny car stories with you and your sister. And you left that one there?? Haha.

    I think the Gremlin is the ugliest. No question.

  18. Great list. The late 70's and early 80's cars were pretty much all crap/ugly (imports included). I would go with the Aztek as the ugliest. It looks like somebody crushed three different cars together.

  19. One of my boyfriends had a Pinto; it was such a POS that one of the wheels came off the car WHILE WE WERE DRIVING down the road! The wheel actually passed us while we rolled to a stop on the shoulder. But it had a "rockin stereo" and a bumper sticker that said "I break for Coneheads", so I guess that's why he bought the Babe-Mobile!

  20. i have to agree that the asstek is the ugliest hands down. i remember when pontiac came out with it and my first words were 'what the hell were they thinking???'

  21. Hubby's first car was a Pacer, we always called it the Fishbowl and him the Guppy. That thing was held together with nail polish on all the bolts and a whole lot of praying. In the winter you could have either heat or the radio, so he kept a blanket in the backseat for those of us with thin skins to wear while cruising the Yonge St. strip lol.

  22. Oh, the memories! My older brother - who looked like Don Johnson - drove a lemon yellow Ford Pinto just like that picture! It had tan vinyl seats and an 8 track player (I think - her wouldn't let me ride in it) and he thought he was sooooo cool (late 70s).

    My friend had a Pacer and as a passenger, people outside the car could see your lap - the windows were so low! It was freaking weird!

    I had a Toyota 210 (from the year they dropped the 'B') and it was a revelation that a car could be that comfortable (I'd been driving American Boats) and easy to steer. I remember thinking that I must be the same size as a Japanese adult male, because it was the first time I could reach the pedals and see out the windshield!


  23. Here's a good tune for this list............

  24. mom had a chevette - i think it was green. always had to remember to put your towel down on the seat so as not to burn yourself on the way home the pool in the summer. dad had a vw truck. in canary yellow. i don't know what vw was thinking with the truck. it was far uglier than the thing. and so tiny, you really couldn't haul anything. not even ass...

  25. My parents decided I could have a car when I turned 16. I wanted a pickup (which is what I drive now), but Dad decided I had to have a car. So we test drove a brand new Matador, Pacer and Gremlin. I lusted after the Levi's-edition Gremlin.

    But I ended up with my addition to the ugly list: a mustard-yellow Mustang II, 4 on the floor. ...sigh... But it DID have an 8-track player. In the dash, no less. So that was...ummm...never mind...

  26. Ouch. Not good cars. A similarly good bad list is at:,,1658545,00.html

    (I'm a big fan of the Horsey Horseless, myself...)

  27. I don't know if I should be amused or dismayed to see that I've owned several of the cars on this list. Hmmmm....

  28. You're so right about all of them! They are all BF ugly!!

  29. My favorite history teacher in high school had a Yugo... Until he hit a deer. Yugo was totaled. Rumor had it that the deer walked away.

  30. When I was growing up, we had a red Pinto station wagon, with the 'sport' mirrors and a black vinyl interior (perfect during a heat wave). Before long, the doors rusted off - shocker! - and we got replacements from a junkyard. The replacement doors were fake-wood-paneled.

    Now imagine how this beast looked. I got picked up from school in that. Repeatedly.

    Good thing for me my friend Chris's parents had an orange Vega wagon. Took the heat off of me.

  31. Do the AMC cars have a cult following? I can imagine it, as there is something compelling about their ugliness.

    The mug shot of the day looks like Neil Young might if the AMC designers had a go at renovating his noggin.

  32. I went from a Chevette straight to a two-tone (dark/light blue) Dodge Omni in college. Not exactly a step up. The thing shook over 55mph. My parents had a baby blue Chevy Duster, and before that a puke green Dodge Dart. No, we were not the cool family on the block.

  33. I'd have to put my 1983 Yellow Toyota Tercel Wagon on the list. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED this car!! It was affectionately referred to as "The Bus" by all of my friends. To honk the horn I had to come to a full stop and turn the wheel all the way to the left. Aside from being quirky,the car was butt ugly. ....babspeapod

  34. I had a Ford Festiva right out of college.

    "Yugo-the disposable car"

  35. My first car was a '72 Duster - it cost $250. I got it when I went off to college. It had a hole where the antenna used to be and it leaked coolant like a sieve. I carried water with me to refill the radiator when I got to campus.

    Several years later I purchased a Chevette. The stick shift actually broke off of the transmission one day at a stop when I foolishly attempted to put it into gear. What a piece of junk that thing was.

  36. I'm with scapoose...
    The El Camino is the ugliest EVER!!!

  37. "My favorite history teacher in high school had a Yugo... Until he hit a deer. Yugo was totaled. Rumor had it that the deer walked away."

    Same thing happened to a friend of mine. But it was a squirrel.

  38. Don't be hatin' on the El Camino!

  39. I'm pretty sure that is the exact Ford Fiesta in which I learned to drive a stick shift. Nothing says cool like an orange car with brown interior.

  40. Hyundai's. Want to be specific? This atrocity called a "Pony". Never sold in the US (you are lucky) it took Canada by storm with a $5995 sticker price. Need I mention it was a discarded design from Ford?

  41. My vote goes to the Road Toad, aka the Plymouth Valiant. Ugliest car ever, especially the 1960 model.

    You can find plenty of pics via google images or take a look at this one:

  42. Two of the worst built cars of all time were the Plymouth Volare and Dodge Aspen (they were the same POS). Rex Harrison did the Aspen commercials as Henry Higgins, more or less. Try finding any of them today. You can still find Pintos and Mavericks and even the occasional Vega, but Aspens and Volares have all returned to the Earth from whence they came, whether or not they were deliberately junked or not.

  43. I am not about to argue with you over your top ten, but you obviously does not know the SSANGYONG RODIUS.

    This is the ugliest car EVER. Google it and you will agree!

  44. There is only 2 ugly cars on this list.
    BTW My Chevette has 105k and has been a daily driver its whole life and has not failed me hell it doesn't even leak any fluids

  45. to the guy who mention Hyundai Pony. it was Hyundai's first EVER car. And well.. that speaks for it self. Now they make O.K. cars. now. as in 2008 and 2009.

  46. THE CAR KIND OF LIKE REMINDS ME OF THE TRACK, 'Mr Personality' It is quite ugly. lol

  47. I think it's worth mentioning that the Aztec was also dangerous.
    It nearly cost me my life when I saw one for the first time in the next lane on the freeway.
    I couldn't stop staring.
    Or laughing.

  48. mazda 5 should defenitly be on this list

  49. Seeing all these dinosaurs brought back memories. What I find funny is that I had a sister who is a U of Mich. graduate who not only owned a crappy Gremlin with the Levi seat covers, but she also owned a Pacer, and she liked it. My dad thought she was nuts...HA! Just goes to show you that even a person who should be smart enough to know better can't see a lemon if it bit them.

  50. I had a Vega back in Upstate NY, the roadsalt virtually devoured the UniBody frame. I went over the tracks one day and the car broke in half...! They had to bring a special wrecker to lift it straight up.

  51. Why all yesteryear's cars? What about today's Cube? Echhhhhhkk! My boyfriend drove a Chevette--mustabeen the reason our marriage didn't last. Finally I have closure knowing the truth.

  52. I loved my Gremlin. I had it 13 tears w/o a major repair. Bought it new in high school, and did the normal stuff; put 14 kids in it, wrote on it all the time with polish, etc., etc. It stood up to all of it. Great memories of my 1st car.

  53. While you did list the hideous Pontiac Aztec, I have no idea how you could've missed listing the 1951 Nash Ambassador as absolutely #1. Chrysler Corp. produced something---a Plymouth or Dodge, I'm pretty sure---that had lights all over its monstrous grille; kinda reminded you of a spider, with eyes scattered all around its back. But even it didn't rise to the Ugliness Standard of the '51 Nash Ambassador!

  54. My ex girlfriend had a silver blue Pontiac T1000 (Chevette clone) back in the early 80s. The damn thing was pretty ugly and couldn’t get out of its own way to boot. This was especially true when she was at the wheel because I pretty sure she weighed more than the car.




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