What's the worst vehicle ever built
50 of the worst cars ever
Automakers have come a long way since inventing the horseless carriage, but they haven't always succeeded in creating decent cars. These are the worst cars of all - have you ever owned one?
Briggs and Stratton Flyer
The two-seat Smith Flyer was renamed Briggs & Stratton after the rights were sold. Regardless of the name, it was produced from 1915 to 1925. There were some innovative designs that made this simple, disassembled vehicle an inexpensive hit in the auto market. In fact, there were five wheels and the wooden boards served as the floor and suspension at the same time. Still, his shortcomings were pretty obvious in the 1920s when you saw him side by side with cars that actually had suspension, windshields, and metal bodies.
The Suzuki Samurai fell far short of buyers' expectations in the 1980s. Just like the decade it came from, it was fast and athletic, but all too dangerous. The four-wheel drive was agile and even outperformed the Jeep Wrangler in 1987. It was until people realized that, just like a real ninja, he could break out in a somersault without warning. When it became known that cornering at normal speed could easily turn into a flip and rollover, sales plummeted.
Lots of companies have made terrible cars, but the Saturn Ion seems like a particularly hard blow. The company was intended as a US-made car that could make its way in the market, even if it seemed far-fetched. When Saturn did just that, it was in part due to the ion. Too bad it was clear that the Ion was an underperforming vehicle, as its weak engine couldn't handle the massive car, the longest four-door sedan on the market. The Ion has not been manufactured since 2007.
The Yugo GV was a two-door hatchback built in Yugoslavia at the height of the Cold War. It didn't sell well on the communist side of the Iron Curtain, but for some reason it was thought it would sell in America. To be competitive, the Yugo was the inflation-adjusted cheapest car on the American market of all time. The "padding" was standard so you can get an idea of what kind of lemon it was. It is often cited as the worst lemon ever. “Yugo nowhere,” people joked.
The Model T was the first mass-produced vehicle in the United States. It was also the first vehicle most people could afford, but there's a reason production stopped in 1927. The romance that surrounds this vehicle overshadows its terrible performance on the road. It didn't have a windshield and the engine wasn't very good. The brakes didn't work very well either, which made this car an extremely dangerous car. If you compare it to all the other cars that rolled out of factories in later decades, it's a pretty terrible car.
France's automakers do not have the most spectacular history in North America, although they have had several successes. The Citroën Pluriel, which was also sold as the Citroën C3, is not one of them. These lemons have been called "about as useful as a chocolate teapot" in Top Gear magazine. Although marketed as a practical car that could meet all of your needs, it was unreliable, had terribly designed features, and tended to fill up with water when it rained. Production ended in 2010.
Sure, it might have been Detroit's first V8, but the handling of the Bi-Autogo's ridiculous steering meant that only one of those cars was ever built. The engine itself only produced about 45 horsepower, which did little to propel the three-seater, which happened to weigh 3,200 pounds. It was carried on two wooden-spoke wheels (the standard from the era), in addition to two pairs of cantilever wheels that retracted. The only unit designed by James Scripps Booth is in the care of the Detroit Historical Society.
You won't find a lot of tricycles in America because the design never caught on. A car that looks like the Reliant Robin will catch your eye in many states, shocked to find someone actually driving such a lame car. Even in the UK, where three-wheeled vehicles are less of a stigma, the Robin has a bad rap. He tends to fall over, which has made him kind of a laughing stock. Fortunately, it's not difficult to repair because the Robin is so light that you can simply prop it up again.
While you won't see too many cars in America with an odd number of wheels, this has not always been the case. With American cars following a “bigger is better” dogma, Milton Reeves thought in 1911 that more wheels would give better performance. He attached eight wheels to a 20-foot long vehicle. Although eight is an even number, a look at the Overland Octo car reveals no other than that eight wheels on a car are odd. He was lanky and the driving behavior was awful.
The TransAm Type K was a Pontiac concept car that received huge public acclaim. He was featured in a two-part episode of The Rockford Files shown. It seemed destined to hit the streets of America soon as a trendy family car, and GM certainly intended to do just that. Ultimately, however, the estimates showed that the project was way too ambitious for the price it was supposed to. To make a profit, Pontiac should have valued the Type K at $ 25,000, which would have bought two Corvettes.
Some parts of the Trabant P50 are relatively unknown as they hardly left the Soviet bloc. However, the lack of a foolish American importer doesn't make the East German wagon any better than the Jugo. In many ways it was a reflection of life in East Germany, with lofty ambitions that were painfully close to being realized. The plastic body seemed smooth, but inside it was cramped, uncomfortable, and you could feel every pebble. The front-wheel drive was powered by a transverse two-stroke engine and the drivers had to add oil to the fuel tank - think of the pollution!
The Desoto Airflow was co-produced by Chrysler with a sibling as an innovative car that would likely have sold much better had it been introduced 20 years later. It had a 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear wheels, an aerodynamic singlet-style hull and was light. Although it was cheap, it was way ahead of its time because the new design caused the engine to fail in early models, earning it a bad reputation. New designs solved the problem, but the bad reputation could not be saved.
The DeLorean was in the movies Back to the Future perpetuated, but the truth is just the opposite about the cool looking car. Driving such a car in real life is a very different experience than what you would expect in the movie. As awesome as it looks, the Delorean motor isn't powerful enough to power the heavy frame without a flux capacitor. In addition, the double doors would not work properly. The car did not take off and the manufacturer, John DeLorean, was hit by a money laundering scandal and the company closed.
This car was built by Michelin, who was the owner of Citroën at the time. You will not see this car anywhere other than France, where today it is used as a novelty at various shows. This 10-tire monster is a bit like a Citroën Frankenstein, as it consists of a “who-is-who” made up of random parts, most of which come from the DS Safari. It weighs 10 tons, so it's noteworthy that the top speed is 111 mph. This is not least due to the two Chevrolet 5.7-liter V8s.
The Edsel Corsair was built by Ford in 1958 and is another example of a vehicle that did not perform as well as the hype. The Edsel was supposed to help Ford compete with GM, but this example of late 50s engineering fell far short of expectations. It was just another substandard sedan, and fewer than 10,000 were sold in 1959. The following year, Ford quit Edsels, and the word has become synonymous with failed auto companies. The Corsair has now become synonymous with the word “lemon”.
Space Shuttle Convertible
There can only be one Space Shuttle Convertible because it is truly unique. The Norwegian Almar Nordhaug built it in the Faroe Islands in the 1950s, with his work colleagues helping him in the local barrel factory. It was the first car in the Faroe Islands to have a cassette player and four loudspeakers. It has passed its owners several times and became known for its bizarre design. For example, in 2011 the Faroe Islands put a picture of it on a postage stamp. The current owner reportedly has plans to restore it, but we'll have to wait.
The Cimarron was GM's attempt to introduce the massive Cadillacs into the smaller car range but failed because the car was so bad. Unpopularly based on the GM J platform, the Cimarron performed terribly and is one of Cadillac's worst failures. In fact, the brand was almost discontinued because it failed so badly. As Elliot puts it, the Cimarron appealed "neither to Cadillac's loyal supporters who appreciated the powerful V8 and Cadillac's domestic luxury lead, nor to buyers who preferred Europe's luxury brands, whose cars surpassed the Cimarron in every way and outperformed the Cimarron."
The Waterman Arrowbile landed on this list for its roadworthiness as it is the first of its kind. You could fly around in the air with the airplane-car hybrid and drive on the road. You just had to take off the wings. Studebaker executives ordered five copies as they expected great demand. In the end, however, demand was much lower than the company expected for such a novelty. Only five of them were ever built. It was a nice idea, but proof that not every concept is worth developing for the market.
Zundapp Janus was a failed attempt by a decent motorcycle company to switch to cars and therefore remains the company's only foray into that market. One can understand why it was named after the Roman god with two faces, one facing the front and the other facing back, because the car looked the same on both ends. You had a 50-50 chance of guessing which way a parked Janus was pointing from the outside. He had both a back door and a front door, but those features didn't help him sell.
The Amphicar had a lot to offer as it could be driven into the water. It then required lubrication in more than a dozen places, one of which required the driver to remove his seat. Most of these were sold in the US, but these cars are little more than their novelty - the front wheels maneuver on both the ground and the water. "We like to think of them as the fastest car on the water and the fastest boat on the road," said one owner.
The Davis D-2 Divan is an example of a failed tricycle, none of which has ever caught on in America. Davis Motor Company marketed these cars extremely heavily in the 1940s, and it was expected that it would be seen everywhere on the streets. The company's owner merely overestimated the car's performance and cost, angering dealers and investors alike. The company refueled and only 12 of these cars survived today. While not very good, this rare lemon could actually hit six figures today.
Lotus is a British car company best known for racing and sports cars. So when they ventured into making cars for everyday consumers, the company had a terrible time making it affordable for customers. Despite being the most expensive four-cylinder on the market, the company reportedly lost a hundred pounds per model by drastically cutting the price. That's over $ 2,000 in today's money, adjusted for inflation! In performance terms, this was a sports car, so it's no wonder they only built just over a thousand of them from 1958 to 1963.
The AMC Pacer was supposed to be the future, but the two-door compact car was a failure. It was very economical in consumption, but that was its strongest selling point because it would lose control in hard stops and cornering. In the beginning it was celebrated for its small size at a time when the cars coming from Detroit were huge, but soon better compact cars came out replacing the Pacer. Sales dropped and the AMC went out of business.
The MGA Twin Cam was a high performance vehicle that was manufactured from 1958 to 1960. At 113 mph, he was really fast for his time. Even so, it had so many warranty issues that indicated serious design flaws. The engine would burn oil and even explode because holes formed in the pistons, although there was no reason cited for such a dangerous problem developing in the engine. After a little more than 2,000 of these had been produced, production was discontinued.
The Fiat Multipla has been used on several of the company's different vans and minibuses over the years, but Americans will be thinking of the 1998 import. Instead of being a hit on the streets like the other models that used that name, the Multipla was a laughing stock in the US. It was just plain ugly and looked more like a portable Martian greenhouse than the vehicle of choice for soccer moms. The interior is actually quite well thought out, but who wants to get into such a bizarre-looking automobile?
The Chevrolet Corvair, so named because it sits between the Corvette and the Bel Air, was produced throughout the decade of the 1960s. In the middle of that decade, Ralph Nader's book became Unsafe at any speed a hit. The Corvair was not spared Nader's crosshairs and was dubbed a “one-car accident” because of design flaws that made it a dangerous car. This led to a drop in sales in 1966, and GM decided to focus on the Camaro. The company even went out on Nader to get revenge on him, but the damage was already done.
Chrysler PT Cruiser Cabriolet
The PT Cruiser was imagined as a kind of Hot Rod Redux in a modern car, reminiscent of the glory days of Chrysler's old muscle cars. But it wasn't like that at all. The PT Cruiser has the soul of a minivan and is classified as a truck because of its fuel emissions, although it is a normal car in all other specs. When they turned the cruiser into a convertible, things only got worse. Cruisers have their loyal followers, and they will likely appreciate it in the years to come for their bizarre cult followers.
The peel trident is a weird looking thing that will make you stop and look for a few seconds. If you see one in real life, you can tell your friends that this is still one of the smallest cars ever made. It has three wheels because four wouldn't fit anyway, two of them in the front and a ridiculous bubble for a windshield. On hot days, the drivers apparently roast alive because this peculiar design creates a kind of greenhouse effect in the interior.
There's a reason French automakers gave up on the US a long time ago, and the Renault Dauphine is exactly the kind of technical failure that gives the country such a bad rap. It wobbled and the engine was weak. In addition, he was extremely insecure. Still, when it was launched, it was an instant hit because of its low cost and maneuverability, despite having terrible acceleration and a two-tone horn. The drivers soon realized that it rusted extremely quickly and sales collapsed.
The AMC Gremlin was faster than the other compact cars of its time, but that doesn't really help unless you're drag racing with another compact car. Either the front is too long or the end is too short - either way, it was a terrible car to try to handle.The windshield wipers were vacuum operated, which gives an idea of the shortcomings in this vehicle. Other than that, it had personality and is now a collector's item. In fact, it has far better gas mileage than other muscle-era cars.
Daimler, the company responsible for bringing all of the great Mercedes-Benz cars to market in the world, doesn't usually make mistakes. When Smart Cars came out with the Fortwo, it was assumed they'd done it again - but they weren't. Everything from development to construction was sloppy. It gets hot quickly because the cooling system is in the front and the engine is in the back. As a result, the cabin is baked in the summer, which is just the beginning of the problems. The first Fortwos almost killed Smart.
The Triumph Stag, like other British cars of the 1970s, was characterized by the fact that its sleek design did not save from bad engineering. It was good to drive when it worked, but it could be absolutely dangerous. The Stag's 3.0 liter V8 was another engine that would explode if overheated. To remedy this, a cooling system was installed that would boil itself if the temperature was too high. It's no wonder parent company British Leyland has been partially nationalized to prevent its collapse.
Chrysler Imperial LeBaron two-door hardtop
The Imperial was once a respected car, but by the late 1960s it was no longer well respected. When it rolled around in 1971, the LeBaron was the only one left. At that time it looked trashy even then and has the special feature of having one of the longest fenders in the history of the two-door model. The interior of the “luxury” vehicle was nothing special and looked cheap. Production ended in 1975, although Chrysler tried to revive the model in 1980. That didn't work because the engine was terrible.
The Bricklin SV-1 is an abbreviation for Safety Vehicle One, but for what was called a car it was bizarre that there was no provision for a spare tire. There were also very few options besides the five colors on offer. The double doors would fail when it got too hot, which made it dangerous. The price doubled in two years as the cost of dealing with outages increased. Only about 3,000 of these were made and about 2,000 survived.
UK based Morgan Motor Company really has class and builds cars just as they looked in the 1930s. The Plus 8 saved the company as they sold many models. However, the company was faced with a terrible reality - new emissions controls meant the car couldn't be sold in the United States. To work around this, they ran the car on propane and attached a flammable propane tank to the back that could easily catch fire if the car was hit from behind.
The Triumph TR7 and the rarer V8-powered TR8 were among the last models the company sold before going out of business. Although US demand delayed the UK launch, which, oddly enough, came later, this car did not live up to its reputation as "the form of things to come". It was known to be bad when it was in production and is still considered to be one of the worst sports cars in history. The sunroof was leaking, the retractable headlights went up, and the problems only get worse when you look at the sloppy electronics.
The Hummer H2 took the bigger is better ethos and injected it with a healthy dose of Americana. The gas guzzler ran 10 miles per gallon, which quickly made people realize that at a time of volatile oil prices, this wasn't a wise buy. Relying on the original H1 (which was used in combat), the H2 didn't have nearly the same capabilities. Many of them were sold in good years, but sales plummeted. A Hummer dealer was set on fire by radical environmentalists because of poor fuel economy.
The Chevrolet Chevette hasn't aged well at all. In 2011 the designated New York Times they as "arbitrarily made, sparsely trimmed and underpowered". However, that doesn't mean the cheap car wasn't a hit, with nearly three million units sold during its 12-year life. Too often, cheap doesn't mean good, and nowhere is that more evident than on the rickety Chevette. The weak engine was capable of producing just over 50 horsepower, which is annoyingly lacking even when driving a light car.
The Ferrari name is not associated with bad cars, but it came out in 1980 with the “cheap” Mondial 8. It was big and heavy, but the V8 only produced 214 horsepower. So it was below average for a Ferrari, but the ambitious electronics system made this car that much worse. When something went wrong, and it often did, there was often a smell of burning wires. Although Ferrari improved the Mondial, the electronic system definitely failed. Allegedly every model built had a system error at some point.
Many cars these days have variable displacement or cylinder deactivation as this saves fuel and the engine by not using unneeded cylinders when the car is not using them. This technology wasn't very advanced when Fleetwood introduced it, although GM has to be given credit for trying to get it to work. These cars, which were manufactured from 1976 to 1996, had a number of engine problems due to this characteristic. They twitched and made strange noises, which led many owners to shut down this system.
Maserati manufactured the BiTurbo from 1981 to 1994 and is one of the few terrifying vehicles the company produces. In fairness, however, it has to be said that the failure was so bad that it almost ruined her. In the beginning, the car ran pretty much what you'd expect from a more accessible Maserati. Good acceleration and good handling couldn't make up for the fact that it fell apart after a few years. The initial excitement after a decent sale turned into disappointment when it became clear how badly these vehicles age.
Lamborghini is another quirky Italian name that isn't often associated with bad cars, and yet they made some bad cars. The LM002, also known only as the Lamborghini truck, was built for the off-road sector. It was initially developed as an army truck, but the military didn't want to buy it, so the company turned to the civilian population. It was even referred to as the “Rambo-Lambo” when it was unveiled in 1986. The luxury just didn't fit an all-terrain pickup truck, and the engine was housed in the rear, which was even more bizarre. Only 382 of these strange luxury sub-units were built.
Pickup trucks are just not meant to be luxury vehicles, but that hasn't stopped automakers from trying. In addition to the luxury automakers trying to meet a demand that shouldn't be there in the first place, Lincoln has tried the Blackwood. Although the car scared Cadillac so much that it opened an Escalade sport-utility pickup for competition, competition from the Blackwood outlived the Blackwood. Lincoln had made some stupid decisions, such as the completely foolish rear-wheel drive in a pickup truck that didn't make sense.
The Mustang is a classic that's as American as apple pie, a holdover from the glorious muscle car era that luckily still exists today. The Mustang II, on the other hand, was a terrible idea. Instead of using the Mustang as a base, it was based on the Ford Pinto, which was one of the worst cars. Do you remember the AMC Gremlin? At that time it was said that the Gremlin could keep up with the Mustang II or even surpass it. Embarrassing!
The Pontiac Aztek has a cool name and was made by Walter White in Breaking Bad hazards. But that's all. From the start, it was one of the most controversial cars that consumers hated the moment they saw it. Its terrible design was way too technical. The engine was weak and the plastic paneling on the body made the car look really cheap. It definitely wasn't cheap, which is why GM sold so few models that didn't even break even in the first year.
The Chevrolet SSR stands for “Super Sport Roadster”, but you should have hit them with the wrong advertising suit. It's actually a convertible pickup, which is an extreme niche market. Very few convertible buyers say, “Hey, that could really use a loading area! Likewise, very few pickup owners want their car to be a convertible. The SSR is not "great", it can hardly be called a "sport" and the truth is, frankly, an embarrassment for the streets. Sure, it looks like a hot rod - but that doesn't mean its underpowered engine dominates the sluggish, heavy body.
The Chevy Vega was released to great acclaim in the early 1970s. The four-cylinder in-line aluminum alloy engine was developed by Motor trend praised, who named it Car of the Year in 1971. But soon after buying such a car it was clear that you had a lemon in your hand.
Aston Martins are what James Bond drove in the '70s, so the Lagonda makes a lot of sense. It was sleek in design, but it was the fact that it was built with the most modern electronics and computer equipment of the time. Too bad he was too ambitious because the advanced equipment didn't work that well. It was pretty embarrassing for the company, which had even swapped the on-screen gauges for a cathode ray tube monitor.
The '90s Plymouth Prowler shows off what the designers of the time looked up to in the past, in addition to some of their own unique and often bizarre looking creations. Inspired by the hot rods of the 1930s, it eventually turned into a bad car. Instead of ending up like a hot rod, the Prowler had a 3.5 liter V6 engine that only produced 250 horsepower. It might have attracted quite a few glances when it was launched, but underperformance kept sales down.
The Ford Pinto, the king of bad cars, looked great. They drove well, looked pretty decent, and the fuel economy made it a happy wallet. The only problem was that these cars had a tendency to explode in flames as soon as you were hit from behind. A federal investigation found it "unsafe at any speed," and the scandal surrounding the abandoned recall makes the story horrifying. Instead of a more expensive recall, Ford decided to leave it on the streets and pay the cheaper compensation to Pinto's victims.
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