Those of you that have lived through the last half of the 20th century will have been unlucky enough to have seen first-hand some of the car disasters that have come and gone. Some of you may have even been unfortunate enough to have owned one, or maybe been one of those kids that have been embarrassed as a child when your parents turned up to collect you in one of these classic bangers!
Cars, you need them to move around, you need them to get to where you want to go to. They are just something that have managed to stand the test of time and they have been around for, like, forever. The funny thing about cars though, is that their manufacturers do not always manage to hit the nail on the head. They can miss the mark horrendously and the result winds up to be awful looking vehicles, with features like something from a horror movie.
This article lists some of the worst classic cars that the world has seen to date. Do not fool yourself, manufacturers of cars are not always able to get the design side of things correct. Read on to learn more.
15. LADA VAZ-2101
This is a car that should never have been approved for production. It is a brand that was manufactured by the Russians. To be precise, the car production company AvtoVZ. Back in their heyday they were based in Tolyatti, Samara Oblat. The name Lada was the official export name for cars that were manufactured and sold under the name Zhiguli on the Soviet market after June of 1970. They became really popular in Eastern Europe and Russia between the seventies and the eighties. A lot of former Eastern bloc countries proudly purchased the cars.
They lined the streets outside houses of those looking for a budget priced car that offered reliability. Production of the brand only ended in 2012, and the brand became the most popular selling automobile brand that was produced without major design changes being implemented. The Lada VAZ-2101 was the very first car produced by the company. It was a sedan that was compact in size. It first hit car showrooms in 1970 and was the very first product from the company. It was a re-engineered version of the Fiat 124. So many people in the west purchased it that it quickly took off. When exported the car was renamed as the Lada 1200, Lada 1300, and the Lada 1200S right up until 1989. Sales of the car got to a whopping one million on the 21st of December 1973. By 1974, that figure had gone up to 1.5 million. It was sold in Britain for just £979 – hence its popularity among families that were struggling to make the bread line.
The logo that the brand sported was derived from a form of Viking long ship – known in Scandinavia as a Lad’ya. Before the last production date, over twenty million of the cars were sold to uncool customers that liked the idea of owning a biscuit tins on wheels! Many former owners, or unlucky kids that have grown up going on embarrassing trips out in the car, have not so fond memories of the car being extremely square. It was the car that everyone despised. Everyone that wanted a bargain that lasted cashed in their savings and purchased one. This is one classic car that not a lot of people will be sad to see the back of.
14. RELIANT ROBIN MK1
The Reliant Robin car company started producing three-wheeled cars in the UK, in Tamworth England. The very first one to hit the market was the MK1 – and boy was this a car that should never have been put up for sale! Strangely enough the MK1 became the second most popular form of fiberglass car that ever sold in history. The company that manufactured the car was the second largest UK-owned car manufacturing company for a long period of time. The MK1 hit car showrooms in October of 1973 and was aimed at being a replacement for the reliant Regal. The very last production of the car was in 1982. The main feature that would have embarrassed the hell out of any unwitting kid back in the day was the three-wheel drive! Yes, it had a lovely three-wheel feature that looked kind of like a tricycle gone wrong. Some weird car enthusiasts still own this car and it is sported at car events by shameless owners! Thank God that car manufacturing has improved. Also, that technology has gotten to be so much more than what it used to be.
13. MORRIS MINI
Now the Morris Mini will stir mixed opinions amongst car enthusiasts; some will be in favour, some will hate it. It’s purely up to you what you choose but the Mini Cooper was a car that was extremely miniature in size. It was spotted on the roads of prehistoric Britain for those that liked the idea of showing off in a not so large and strikingly unpopular micro version of a car. Produced by the British Motor Corporation, (BMC) between 1959- 2000, it was a huge icon of British culture. A whopping eighty percent of the compact car’s floor space was meant for passengers, and of course what every passenger has – luggage! Although it is still on sale today, the Mini has since been updated a lot. They are now manufactured by the BMW car company and called the Mini Cooper. A car for the more specific palette one may assume.
12. 1978 CHRYSLER LEBARON
Now if ever there was a pumped-up piece of junk made to look like a piece of gold, but hugely failing, it was most definitely the 1978 Chrysler LeBaron. This car has been mocked by people for years and the reason why? It was a complete banger on wheels. The car was designed with a classic fake luxury look that saw the manufacturers slapping on layers of shiny hubcaps. They tried to showcase hazards as a top-notch innovation, thinking that this feature alone would compensate for the crappy grille and fascia that the car sported. It was a complete eye sore and if it was still on the roads today, you would need at least three spaces to park this ride correctly! That’s not forgetting a mask to cover your face as you step out – and well, you would have to wave goodbye to ever having a date again.
11. 1958 FORD EDSEL
You cannot blame them for trying. Ford perhaps tried a little too hard when they came up with the Edsel. The Ford Manufacturing Company in the US went through a period of time where they had to overload their cars with crap and make them look way too out there. The Edsel was really weird looking and no matter what angle you would have looked at it from, you would have been taken aback, and left wondering what happened with the design! It looked like some type of a lemon that had been cut and, well, some wondered if the designer had been a little on the tipsy side the time he drew up the plans for this car to be produced. You cannot blame a man for trying though I guess.
10. CHEVROLET CAPRICE WAGON
Offered to car consumers in the early 1990s, this car was made to look like a vacuum. If you were a soccer mom of the nineties, then you would have been able to choose this instead of a minivan. Local police also latched onto the car and invested in a few of them to add to the force. From front to back the vehicle measured at a whopping 18.1 feet, and well let’s just say if you were not a master of parking, then you would never have managed to be able to get this baby into a space. Also, you would never have been able to hide or have a day when you were not noticed in this car. It was the type of vehicle that everyone tried to avoid looking at!
9. ZUNDAPP JANUS
The Zundapp Janus was not a long-lived car production line. One needn’t wonder why, when looking at it things become apparent! It was a car that should never have been made. The company had been making motorcycles for decades and were based in Nuremberg. Something made them try and introduce a car. Let’s just politely say that that “something” was not a good idea. The public did not latch onto this car and it really should never have hit the showroom, let alone roads. Both driver and passenger were embarrassed to be seen in the car. Those that occupied it had to do so riding back to back. The passengers had to look out of the rear window in sheer terror as the driver made their manoeuvres. It had a grand total of fifteen horsepower. Yes, not a lot, and well the power probably would have been better if it has been powered by batteries from an electric toothbrush! Needless to say, this car is no longer in production and thank God.
8. SUBARU JUSTY
Back in the day when Subaru had not got it all together quite yet, they had a car that was not so cool. The Justy was aimed at unsuspecting, rather naive American consumers that wanted to have a car for a cheaper price. It was marketed for just $4000 in 1989 when the car hit the showrooms. The car was marketed as offering consumers the chance to have a handful of horsepower and decent fuel economy. When it came to style though, it looked terrible. It was an embarrassing ride if ever there was one – well capable of competing with the other cars listed in this article. It also had a look of a Skoda but had four wheels unlike its counterpart. Four wheels might sound good, but it didn’t really look any better than its three-wheeled counterpart!
7. HUMMER H1
The Hummer H1 would have been pretty good if it had been kept solely for the battle field. It is a car that looks like you are about to forcefully storm down some foreign aggression at war. If you planned on taking your children to school, or heading to the office in one though, it drew a lot of attention. They first appeared in the early 2000s and each year their reputation got worse. It kind of sends a message to the world that the owner is insecure. Definitely a car that should not have been put onto the public market. One that everyone will agree is best kept in the past. Well, unless you liked the idea of driving a battle car around and looking like you’d joined the army – it is best kept there.
6. FIAT ORIGINAL ABARTH
Aside from sounding like it is a car with acid reflux issues, the Fiat Abarth looked like that too. The body of the car looked almost as though someone had just stuck two pieces of the body together with superglue. The front section of the car wound up looking like it had a fat lip from a boxing match. It was definitely one of those cars that should never have been invented, let alone hit the road. The car was launched in 1949, and it was supposed to be some top type of a racing car. The logo on the front was a scorpion and it has a yellow and red background. In fact, the logo may well have been the coolest thing about this monstrosity of a car.
5. SAAB 96
If ever there was a car to make you look like a complete idiot, then the Saab 96 was it. It was one of those cars that had the ability to draw attention for all of the wrong reasons. The vehicle was awful. Produced in a town called Trollhattan, it was something that a troll would have felt comfy in. The classic car was designed to make people cringe every time you hit the wheel. It had a look of something that had gone wrong and the front side of the Saab 96, was way too high up in comparison to the back. This gave it a lopsided look to those unfortunate enough to have to look at it. The car was a complete eyesore! A thing that everyone will agree is best kept in the past.
4. JENSEN CV
It looked like something from the film Herbie Goes Bananas, except that this time the car did not talk and, well, it looked like the makers of VW and Mini Cooper had crossed lines with one another. The name sounded like someone was about to apply for a job. The headlights were very strange indeed, and resembled a snout. The lines on the car just look very odd and, well, it was a car for the brave. Let’s just leave it at that for the sake of being polite. You really shouldn’t name a car after a curriculum vitae, and a Jensen is not a car that you want to see cropping up in car showrooms close to you in the near future. Let’s just hope inventors in the future learn from the mistakes that the Jensen CV taught us about car design.
3. PEEL P50
This is a car that that had only three wheels. It was a microcar that first hit the street in 1962, and was produced until 1965. The Peel manufacturing company on the Isle of Man was the company behind making this baby. It even had itself listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the smallest production car that has been made to date. It was a forward going car though. It literally had no reverse option and the only way you could have gone back in this was to have physically done so yourself, as it was so light weight. Not quite so good for your street cred though. Right now, there are only 27 that are known to be surviving, and one hit the auction house last year for a record $176,000.
2. CITROËN AMISEEN
This is a car that should never have seen the light of day. Despite the French being known for their fashion, they certainly were not aware of the unruly look of the Citroën Amiseen when it hit the street. It was first produced in 1961, and it had a reverse rake window that looked terrible. The leisure suite was crafted with polyester, and the headlights of the vehicle were rectangular. Both were styles that really should have been kept well under wraps! It was a car that looked terrible, to say the least. Also, the name doesn’t make it any more appealing than it was. The polyester interior has to be one of the worst ideas that designers have ever had. It is a material that screams cheap!
1. AMC GREMLIN
Last but not least, we have the AMC Gremlin. It was so badly proportioned that you would have struggled when looking at the car, as you spend so much time wondering why this part went there. It almost reminds you of a car that has been assembled from Lego, taken back apart, and then reassembled the wrong way. The hood of the car was way too elongated, and the rear didn’t get any better. It looked like the car manufacturing company AMC had budgeting issues and were signing themselves off for retirement with a last joke! So, if you see a car called a Gremlin up for sale at a good price, then make sure that you understand just why this classic one is so reduced – because everyone wants to get rid of them!
So, there you have it. Count yourself lucky that all of these cars are no longer being produced.